Board Members

Franklin Hudgins, President

Franklin is a Professional Civil Engineer with Cardno, Inc. He is the Chairman and co-founder of the T. Oast Memorial Scholarship Fund at Norfolk Collegiate School, and he chairs the Alumni selection committee which selects its recipient. Franklin is active in the Norfolk Chapter of the VMI Alumni Association, once serving as President and in other leadership roles. He was a Volunteer Coach for the Maury Boys Lacrosse Team from 2008-2010, and the Maury Girls Lacrosse Team from 2011-2014.  He and his family reside in Norfolk.

Eric Peterson, Vice President

Eric is Sarah’s father and a retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel. He is employed as a Program Manager with the consulting firm Management Analysis Technologies, Inc (MAT-Inc). Eric currently serves as a board member of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Virginia Chapter, and he has a long record of community service in every place he and his family have lived over the years. In Norfolk this includes serving as the Larchmont RAT Race Director, a Cub Scout den leader, the Maury Boys’ Lacrosse Booster President, and the Congregational Council President at First Lutheran Church. He and his friend Mark Todd have published a children’s book, Fredericka and the Fire, based upon stories he and Sarah made up at bedtime.

Paula Barclay Cook, Treasurer

Paula has over 40 years experience in special event and volunteer program management, leadership development and fundraising. She has previously worked in higher education, retail banking and as the executive director for Volunteer Hampton Roads. Paula has worked at Norfolk Collegiate School since 1997 in development and is currently the administrative assistant for the upper school division. Her volunteer experience includes board and committee involvement with Norfolk Harborfest, Norfolk Festevents, First Lutheran Church, Leadership Hampton Roads and CHKD Holly Circle.

“I am honored to now serve as a volunteer and board member for SMPF to help our community better understand depression and fight suicide.” Paula and her husband live in Norfolk and have a daughter in college.

Amy Woods, Secretary

Amy is the Director of Religious Education at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ghent.  She has worked for the Catholic Church for the past 22 years. Amy began her work in the church in youth ministry and considers the youth her first love.  She continues to work with them because they keep her young and enthusiastic. Amy lives in Norfolk with her husband and two teenage children.



Dr. Carl St. Remy is chief of orthopedics and sports medicine at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters.  A native of The Bahamas, Dr. St. Remy was a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar for the Study of Medicine in the U.S.  He completed his medical school and orthopaedic training at Columbia University in New York City.  He moved with his family to Hampton Roads more than a decade ago to provide pediatric care to our community.  Dr. St.Remy serves on the faculty of Eastern Virginia Medical School as assistant professor of pediatrics.  He lives in Norfolk with his wonderful wife and kids.

Vanessa Fleming is a Norfolk native, Newport News Resident. She is in media sales at Virginia Media, and has a long, connected history to promoting mental health. A former yoga teacher, she came to yoga as a release and relief from depression, and helped others find their way to discover moments and feelings of joy. Ms. Fleming was touched twice in her life by teenage suicide, which is two times too many. She looks forward to serving on the board of The Sarah Michelle Peterson Foundation and contributing her time and energy to help spread awareness and assistance.

Dr. Lisa Mazzio is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and has received both a Doctorate and Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from the Clinical Psychology program at Regent University. Dr. Mazzio has been providing clinical services to adults and children for more than ten years in various settings, including: outpatient, inpatient, and group settings in clinics, hospitals and universities. She is an engaging and dynamic therapist who values cognitive behavioral and solution-focused treatment. Dr. Mazzio treats a wide range of clinical concerns including mood disorders, addictions, personality disorders, relationship issues, parenting challenges, family conflict, trauma, and grief and loss. Additionally, Dr. Mazzio provides a range of psychological assessment services including diagnostic clarification and psychoeducational assessment.

Ben Willis is the owner and president of Willis Furnitures in Virginia Beach, VA. A lifelong area resident, Ben is the fourth generation to own and operate Willis Furnitures. He holds a Masters in Business Administration from The College of William and Mary and is highly skilled in the areas of marketing, business development, and strategic planning.

Michelle Peterson is Sarah’s mother. She is a former teacher who holds a B.A. in education from Michigan State University. Michelle is a certified safeTALK trainer who also presents Erika’s Lighthouse programs and AFSP programs including Talk Saves Lives, More Than Sad, and It’s Real: College Students and Mental Health. She is trained in ASIST and Mental Health First Aid.

As a parent of four children, Michelle has been active as a PTA board member, Booster board member, Vacation Bible School Director, Sunday School Teacher, and Youth Group leader.  She is a current board member of Tidewater Pastoral Counseling Services and a member of the CHKD Larchmont Friends Circle and the Tidewater Officers’ Spouses Association (TOSA). In addition to being a voting board member, Michelle is our executive director.

We are extremely grateful for the service & dedication of our former board members, including:

Susan Nixon

Dr. Steve Bell, Phd.

Abigail Morgan, LCSW

Jody Alperin, PsyD.

Greg Chaplain

Tina Thoele

the Reverend Dr. Rick Goeres, Phd.