Board of Directors

Andrea Ciecierski, President,  joined the VU board in early 2015. After graduating with a BA in Literature from Rutgers University, she has worked in the publishing industry for 26 years, both in Manhattan and here in Virginia. She is currently vice president of Stylus Publishing. After moving to Sterling, Andrea became an election officer in Loudoun County and coordinates a program at her workplace to collect food donations for Loudoun Interfaith. Andrea volunteers once a week in the after-school program and is looking forward to getting to know all of the students and volunteers and the ways in which she can contribute to the program.

John Porter joined the board in 2005. He is the vice president of Vecinos Unidos. He volunteers twice a week in the homework assistance program. John has 40 years of experience as an editor and a reporter for the Oakland Tribune and USA TODAY. He teaches four classes of English as a second language and heads Immigrant Outreach at Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, VA.

Scott Newman, treasurer, joined the board in March 2010. He is a certified public accountant in the commonwealth of Virginia and is a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. He graduated from Villanova University in 1998 with a Bachelors of Science in Accounting. He is a member of the Virginia Society of CPAs, Massachusetts Society of CPAs and the American Institute of CPAs.

Jan Umphrey began volunteering at Vecinos Unidos in 2008 and joined the board in 2009. She is currently the Director of Social Media. After contributing to the community for more than 20 years as a member of the Herndon Optimist Club, she was looking for a way to expand her volunteerism into other areas. Jan was the associate director of publications at the National Association of Secondary School Principals from 1997 to 2014 and the editor of Principal Leadership, the association’s flagship magazine. Before entering the nonprofit world, she taught composition and literature at George Mason University. Knowing how important personalized education and relationships are to students’ education, she particularly enjoys working directly with students to help them improve their cognitive skills and learn to love learning.

Janis Dworkis joined the board in 2013 as Materials Production Coordinator after having volunteered with the homework assistance program for one year and in 2014 added to her responsibilities by assuming the role of Volunteer Coordinator. Janis holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geography from UCLA and worked in LA for several years in the field of environmental science. She then turned to writing, freelancing for The Dallas Morning News for more than 10 years, as well as writing and editing for other local and national publications. Janis also has 10 years experience working as communications director for a mental-health and social-service agency in Dallas, TX. After moving to the Northern Virginia area in 2011, she established her own freelance marketing and design firm. Her clients include schools and other nonprofit organizations.

Julie Nyren joined the board in 2014 as Secretary after 28 years of federal government service in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Julie holds bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Texas at Austin. She provided software business solutions in various business areas of CIA including human resources, finance, logistics, and education. She was a senior manager while serving as the registrar in CIA’s University. Prior to joining the CIA, she served in the US Air Force as a Russian linguist. She also gained experience in financial oversight while working for the Texas State Legislature. Julie has in-depth knowledge of contracts management and working with government contractors.

Katie Grace began volunteering with VU in 2014 and became a board member in 2015.  A lifelong resident of the Herndon/Sterling area, she is a graduate of Christopher Newport University and currently works in marketing for an education company.  Katie has volunteered with several local organizations, including area homeless shelters and LINK.  Katie loves getting to know the students who come to Vecinos Unidos and is so happy to be making a difference in their lives.