Officers and Board Members
Joy Rios: President
Colleen Luksik: Vice President
Heather Breland: Secretary
Terry Ann Stevens: Treasurer
Pictured left to right: Joy Rios, Terry-Ann Stevens, Heather Breland, Colleen Luksik
Joy Rios is the wife of Ralph Rios for 26 years and the proud mother of three adopted children and one foster child. Mrs. Rios is also the founder/president of Connect With a Wish Inc. Mrs. Rios graduated from Old Dominion University in 1998 with a degree in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology and a minor in Special Education. She worked as a Special Education teacher while working on her Master;s degree in Special Education until their first child arrived two years later. Mrs. Rios began volunteering with the Holiday Project program through Virginia Beach Human Services over 10 years ago. After receiving years of support, doing her research, choosing officers, and developing a mission, Mrs. Rios and her family agreed that Connect With a Wish was going to be her mission. Mrs. Rios has since been awarded the Hope Humanitarian Award in 2015 by the Salvation Army's Women's Auxiliary, the People Taking Action Award from News Channel 3 in 2016, as well as an Exemplar Award Honoree in 2017. Mrs. Rios was recognized by the Virginia Beach Human Services Department for outstanding and dedicated service to Virginia Beach foster care children, and received the Giving Back Award from Coastal Virginia Magazine. She now serves as a board member to the Virginia Beach CPMT (Community Policy and Management Team) as well as a board member for Tidewater Friends of Foster Care.
Colleen Luksik is originally from Pittsburgh, PA where her family fostered infants through Catholic Social Services. She and her husband, Lance, moved to Virginia Beach on military orders in 2008. They have three sons, ages 20, 18 and 13. Colleen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Development from Penn State University and completed her Master of Arts degree in Applied Developmental Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, specializing in Child Abuse and Neglect. Colleen worked with Joy Rios for several years on the Holiday Project and has served as the Vice President of Connect With a Wish since its inception in 2014. Additionally, Colleen chairs the Wish Program, which leverages the incredible generosity of the Hampton Roads community to provide wishes for children in foster care. She is continually inspired by the volunteers and donors she works with, and with the unbelievable resilience of Virginia Beach’s foster children.
Heather Breland has been with Connect With a Wish since day one. After previously working as a CASA, Heather is passionate about improving the lives of children in foster care in Virginia Beach. Heather has lived in the area for 10 years and loves everything about the beach. She is a currently completing her Bachelor's degree from Old Dominion University in Human Services Counseling and working as an insurance agent for the Rios Insurance Agency, Inc.
Terry Ann Stevens has worked on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Beach SPCA for a number of years and is currently an honorary board member. Additionally, she served as Treasurer for the Mid Atlantic Women in Law Enforcement (MAAWLE) in the 1990s when she was a Virginia State Trooper. She has been heavily involved in our community through LEAD Hampton Roads, Emerge Virginia, Vanguard Landing, Red Mill Elementary School, The Southeast Virginia Women's Soccer Association, and much more. Terry Ann has a degree in Actuarial Science and Mathematics from the University of Connecticut, with a minor in Accounting from Tidewater Community College and Troy State University. In 2010, She moved with her family to Alexandria, VA, and then again to Bahrain with the US Navy. She started volunteering with Connect With a Wish in 2016. Since then, she has volunteered with the Back to School Event, Santapalooza, the Prom Event, and #GirlCode. She has thoroughly enjoyed volunteering with CWW and fully supports our mission. She is honored to continue her volunteer service as a board member, and finds it amazingly rewarding to see the children in foster care at various events through the years.
Ralph Rios is a graduate of Fordham University and received a Bachelor of Business degree in 1988. He currently resides in Virginia Beach, VA where he lives with his wife, Joy. They've been married for 25 years. Ralph is a father of three children and he currently leads the Boy's Youth Group here at Connect With A Wish. He is also the president of Rios Insurance Agency Inc. and has been so for over 20 years. Ralph also regularly volunteers his time at Kellam High School and is one of the assistant coaches for the football team.
Michelle Payne has been a board member and volunteer with Connect With A Wish since the beginning. She volunteered with the Multiple Sclerosis Society and Big Brothers, Big Sisters in the past and was looking for something worthwhile to get involved with when CWW was forming it's board. She is married and has two grown daughters, ages 24 and 19. Michelle works for Ron Zoby Tours, Inc as Marketing Representative and enjoys birding and nature photography.