Dannette R. Smith, Director, Human Services Department. Ms. Smith was selected to be the Director for the Virginia Beach Human Services effective July 1, 2013. She leads over 1,200 employees across eight divisions and manages a budget in excess of $109 Million. This budget funds approximately 60 programs offering Virginia Beach citizens the opportunity to achieve the highest level of self-sufficiency, safety, and quality of life possible, through an array of coordinated services which are delivered in a climate of dignity, respect, and accountability. Ms. Smith has over 25 years of leadership experience in human services including: Director of Human Services for the City of Seattle, Washington; Regional/County Director of the Fulton County Department of Family and Children Services, Atlanta Georgia; Director of Youth and Family Services Division of the Department of Social Services, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina; Several non-profit organizations serving children and families, Chicago, Illinois. Ms. Smith has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Eastern Michigan University and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois.
Contact Info: Human Services Administration, 3432 Virginia Beach Blvd, Suite 342, Virginia Beach, VA 23452 / (757) 385-3613 / (757) 385-3466 fax
Aileen L. Smith, Deputy Director, Director of Community Services Board, has worked in the field of intellectual disabilities, mental health, substance use and prevention for the last 21 years. Mrs. Smith began her career by working for First Hospital Corporation in various roles to include: Intake and Admission, Crisis Counseling, Family Counseling on the Adolescent Unit, Quality Assurance and she also provided direct services to clients on all of the units at the Norfolk Psychiatric Center. During the early part of her career she also worked for the Barry Robinson Center. In 1995, Mrs. Smith started her employment with the Norfolk Community Services Board and she worked for this agency for 17 years. She performed many different leadership roles for the NCSB to include the MR Director position from 1998-2002, the MR and Family Development Director (which included oversight of the Youth programs and the Prevention services) from 2002-2006 and the Community Support Director position from 2006-2012. The Community Support Director position primarily focused on adults who were diagnosed with a mental health and a substance use diagnosis. In February of 2012, Mrs. Smith became employed with the City of Virginia Beach’s Human Services Department as a Clinical Services Coordinator for mental health and substance use services. During her first year with the agency she was asked to provide additional oversight for the entire MHSA Division and also for the Community Services Board side of the agency. She was hired as the CSB Deputy Director on March 16, 2013. Mrs. Smith has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Counseling from Old Dominion University. She has also attended and graduated from the LEAD Leadership program at the University of Virginia.
Contact Info: Community Services Board Administration, 297 Independence Blvd, Suite 302, Virginia Beach, VA 23462 / (757) 385-0504 / (757) 473-2102 fax
Gailyn Thomas, joined the department on November 24, 2014 as Deputy Director, Director Social Services. Ms. Thomas has more than twenty years of executive level experience creating and directing successful programs and initiatives within state government; and has a strong background in child welfare, child protection, and juvenile justice. After completing her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work at Xavier University of Louisiana, Ms. Thomas earned her MSW at Washington University School of Social Work in St. Louis, Missouri. After this, she enrolled in a Doctorate program at the University Of Illinois School Of Social Work, in Chicago, where she completed All But Dissertation.
Originally from New Orleans, Ms. Thomas re-located to Virginia Beach from Chicago, Illinois where she was recently responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of a statewide aftercare program for the Department of Juvenile Justice. This was an innovative pilot program which served more than 1500 youth. Part of this program required her to engage key community partners, including partnerships with vital Youth Services organizations. Prior to this, she was with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) for over fourteen years, where she was responsible for the statewide Division of Child Protection. In this role, she was responsible for overseeing approximately 1100 Child Protection investigative staff and providing services to children and families in 102 counties. Other positions that she held at DCFS were Assistant Chief of Staff, Child Protection Manager, and Supervisor. In addition to her program development and leadership experience, Ms. Thomas is experienced in grant administration and budgeting, policy development, and community relations.
Contact Info: Social Services, 3432 Virginia Beach Blvd, Suite 342, Virginia Beach, VA 23452 / (757) 385-3262 / (757) 385-3466 fax
Dr. Donald R. Kirtland
, PHD, LMFT, LPCC, joined the department on April 1, 2014 as Deputy Director of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI). Dr. Kirtland received his Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology, Summa Cum Laude, from the California Southern University and his Masters in Counseling Psychology from the American Behavioral Studies Institute in Santa Ana, Ca. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Computer Methods, from California State University. He has more than 25 years’ experience in IT and healthcare quality and brings unique knowledge of complex, multifaceted healthcare systems and multiservice settings, along with extensive experience in facilitating relationships to provide quality service delivery in a multidisciplinary environment.
Contact Info: Continuous Quality Improvement, 297 Independence Blvd. Pembroke 6,Virginia Beach, VA 23462, (757) 385-0642, / (757) 473-2104 fax
Dr. Rudolph Freeman accepted the position of Medical Director for the Department of Human Services effective June 7, 2014, after having served as the Medical Director of the Recovery Center since 2011. Prior to that, he was the Medical Director for Geriatric Psychiatry with the Hampton-Newport News Community Services Board from 2005-2010 and Vice President of Medical Affairs at the Riverside Health System from 1998-2005. He also served as Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Riverside Regional Medical Center from 1993 – 1996.Dr. Freeman received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Hampton University and his M.D. from the Medical College of Virginia/VCU. After completing an internship in Psychiatry/ Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, Health Sciences Center, he completed his residency at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic followed by a Fellowship in Geriatric Psychiatry. He also completed a Fellowship in Patient Safety at the Virginia Commonwealth University. As Medical Director of Human Services, he is responsible for the Community Services Board; provides consultation and guidance to the Social Services Division as needed; and collaborates with outside agencies with a particular emphasis on the integration of primary care and behavioral health services.
Contact Info: Recovery Center, 409 Birdneck Circle,Virginia Beach, VA 234251 757-385-6950
Dawn Rykheart, Business Administrator, Administrative Services
Ms. Rykheart joined the department on December 8, 2014 as the Business Administrator. Originally from New Jersey, Ms. Rykheart has strong family ties to Southwest Virginia and moved to Virginia Beach in 2003. After 9 1/2 years with the City of Norfolk, Ms. Rykheart was attracted to this opportunity to advance her career in a direct social services delivery system. She is excited about the privilege to come to work in and serve the city where she lives.
Ms. Rykheart earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Kean University in Union, New Jersey. She devoted the first decade of her career to various social service related organizations where she progressed from the position of accounting manager to Director of Operations for Prevent Child Abuse –NJ and then to Finance Manager for Hands, INC, a nonprofit housing developer. From there she moved into the banking industry where she held various leadership positions before going to work for the City of Norfolk.
Ms. Rykheart started in Norfolk as an Accountant IV and then held the position of Senior Quality and Finance Analyst for several years. In this position, she was responsible for developing budget, policy, and planning recommendations consistent with City Council and City administration priorities. This involved assessing and advocating for the needs of city departments, including Human Services, the City Manager’s Office, City Auditor’s Office and Human Resources, along with City-wide personnel budgeting. Most recently Dawn has served for 6 ½ years as the Operations Controller for the Norfolk Community Services Board, managing the finance, reimbursement and human resources divisions.
Contact Info: Human Services Administration, 3432 Virginia Beach Blvd, Suite 349, Virginia Beach, VA 23452 / (757) 385-3204 / (757) 385-3466 fax
Eddie P. Antoine, II joined the Department as the Human Resources Administrator on September 22, 2014. Originally from Pass Christian, MS, Mr. Antoine received his BA degree in Spanish from Jackson State College. After serving at locations around the world and retiring at the rank of Commander from the US Navy, he earned a Master in Public Administration (MPA) from The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Mr. Antoine has more than twenty years’ experience in the field of Human Resources and previously worked as the Director of Human Resources for Norfolk Public Schools and the City of Norfolk; Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for Virginia Beach City Public Schools; South Region Vice President of Human Resources and Risk Management for American Medical Response, and Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Staff Support for Newport News Public Schools.
Contact Info: Human Services Administration, 287 Independence Blvd.Pembroke 3, Suite 312, Virginia Beach, VA 23462 / (757) 385-0083 Fax (757) 493-5456