New Communications Director

Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Diocese,

I write to tell you about an important transition that will soon take place on our diocesan staff.

Tanya Howard, who joined us at the beginning of the year as our Director of Communications, has decided to resign from our staff as of April 7. Family circumstances, which make it impossible for Tanya to move to the Richmond area from her home in Hampton Roads, have led to her decision.

The second half of my message is that on April 19 Nancy Jenkins Chafin (in photo below) will be rejoining our staff as our new Director of Communications. Nancy filled this position with distinction from 2000 to 2005, so it will be a pleasure to welcome her back. She will bring to this important post an impressive background in both diocesan and corporate communications, as well as a passion and love for our Diocese. I have every confidence that Nancy will help us continue to build and strengthen our communications efforts in the Diocese, which are absolutely vital for our ministries.    

Though Tanya’s tenure with us has been brief, she has made a number of important contributions to our staff and to our Diocese during the past three months. Tanya has shared not only her expertise in communications, but also her insights on staff and organizational development, which come from her years in corporate America, as well as consulting. We are sorry to see her go, but thankful for all she has brought to us.

We also give thanks for Nancy’s return to diocesan service. After leaving her diocesan position in 2005, Nancy joined the communications team at Media General, then a multi-state corporation with media properties that included the Richmond Times-Dispatch. She rose to the rank of Corporate Communications Manager. Nancy has academic experience as well, having taught courses in public relations writing and media relations at Virginia Commonwealth University. Most recently, she has worked on communications for the Virginia Municipal League. Nancy and her family live in the Richmond area.

I believe that Nancy’s combination of diocesan and corporate experience, along with her demonstrated track record of excellence, is precisely what we need to ensure that our voice is heard loud and clear on all of our key ministry goals. It would be difficult for me to overstate the importance of communications to our efforts. I know we will benefit in that respect from Nancy’s gifts. Please join me in welcoming her to our staff and in thanking Tanya for her service to the Diocese.

Faithfully Yours,


The Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston
Bishop of Virginia