Michael Town Executive Director

Michael Town joined the Education Fund staff in June, 2014. His nineteen years of experience working in the conservation community includes running both state and national conservation organizations. His last position was as President and Executive Director of the Partnership Project, a national environmental organization that builds and manages collaborative campaigns for the broader conservation community.

Having grown up in Southern Maryland, New York State and Pennsylvania, he moved to Virginia to attend James Madison University, where he fell in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Commonwealth. He has lived in Richmond since 1995, and is the father of four children. When not at work, Michael can often be found reading non-fiction, watching a movie or enjoying time on the James River.

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Kelly Tsow Development Director

Kelly Tsow joined the Education Fund staff in the summer of 2013, bringing with her over 16 years of experience in non-profit development and management. She has an extensive background in building collaborative and supportive partnerships that strengthen and expand the resources necessary to fund organizational goals. Before coming to the Education Fund, she spent six years as Virginia Opera’s Central Virginia Development Operations Manager. Prior to her time at the Opera, Kelly served for several years as the board president of an affordable housing non-profit in her historic neighborhood of Oregon Hill. A native of northwestern Pennsylvania, she has called Richmond home since 1988, when she came to Virginia Commonwealth University to earn a B.F.A.

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Lee Francis Deputy Director

Lee Francis started work as communications manager for the Education Fund in early March 2015. Previously, he worked as editor of the (Hanover) Herald-Progress, a weekly newspaper based in Ashland. His tenure there followed a three-year stint in the Northern Neck of Virginia, where he served as managing editor of three weekly newspapers: the Westmoreland News, Northumberland Echo and Northern Neck News.

Lee graduated in 2006 from James Madison University with a bachelor’s of arts in English. Last spring, he completed a graduate degree in multimedia journalism through Virginia Commonwealth University’s Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture.

Lee grew up in rural Nelson County, nestled in Virginia’s majestic Blue Ridge mountains, and conservation and environmental stewardship have always been near and dear causes.

Lee resides in Mechanicsville.

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Avohom Carpenter Director of Civic Engagement

Avohom Carpenter joined the Education Fund staff in April, 2018. His brings ten years of experience working in both the Political field for progressive candidates and Non-Partisan Advocacy work around voting rights, civil rights, restoration of rights and environmental justice. His last position was as Regional Field Director and Interim State Field Director with New Virginia Majority where he helped to lead the largest and most effective Voter Registration operation in Virginia history.

A native of Connecticut, Avohom grew up in the South Norfolk Area of Hampton Roads. Avohom graduated in 2010 from Hampton University with a bachelor’s of arts in Political Science. When not at work Avohom can be found at a sporting event, watching a movie or doing community service/advocacy work with several organizations he volunteers with.

Avohom is a resident of Chesterfield County.

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