Commission for Women

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

TTY 711

12011 Government Center Parkway, Suite 738
Fairfax, VA 22035

Toni Zollicoffer,

Commission for Women

Fairfax County Commission for Women banner graphic; The commission's charge is to promote the full equality of women and girls in the county. Images: graphic silhouette of women; Fairfax County logo; five images of different women/girl.

Honoring Women Warriors on the Front Lines of the Pandemic
Monday, March 15
7-8:30 p.m. 

The Fairfax County Commission for Women (CFW) is hosting a virtual celebration for Women’s History Month.

Commission for Women Celebrate Women's History Month 2021 event flyer graphicDuring a Facebook Live (@CommissionForWomen), CFW will honor “Women Warriors on the Front Lines of the Pandemic” for their leadership, courage and commitment to inform, guide and inspire Fairfax County residents during this unprecedented and extraordinarily perilous time of the Coronavirus pandemic. (You can also tune in to the event at Fairfax County Channel 16 Live Stream.)

  • Special appearance by Jeff McKay, Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
  • Host and moderator Lisa Sales, Chair, Fairfax County Commission for Women.
  • Discussion panel member Toni Zollicoffer, Division Director, Fairfax County Department of Family Services Domestic and Sexual Violence Services.

Interested in submitting questions to panelists? On the day of the event, go to its Facebook Live and post questions in the comments before or during the event.

Meet the Honorees

Gloria Addo-Ayensu, M.D., MPH

Gloria Addo-Ayensu, M.D., MPH
Director, Fairfax County Health Department

Gloria Addo-AyensuIn her capacity as director of Fairfax County’s Health Department, Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu provides overall leadership, management and direction for public health programs for the Fairfax Health District, which includes the Cities of Fairfax and Falls Church. She has led several local and regional public health initiatives in the areas of emergency preparedness, health promotion and health equity.  

Throughout her public health career, Dr. Addo-Ayensu has promoted community health and resiliency through partnerships and has successfully leveraged community assets to create innovative, practical and sustainable community-based approaches to complex public health challenges. Dr. Gloria, as she is known, received her medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine and her residency training in preventive medicine from the Loma Linda University Medical Center.

Deputy Chief Tracey Reed

Deputy Chief Tracey Reed
Operations Deputy Chief, Division 1, C-Shift
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

Deputy Chief Tracey ReedDeputy Chief (DC) Tracey Reed is a 16-year veteran of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department (FCFRD).

Her introduction to public service began in 1995 when she started volunteering with the Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department while in high school.

In 2004, DC Reed began her career with FCFRD as a firefighter and national registry paramedic.

Over the years, DC Reed has served in a variety of operational and administrative roles for the department. Those roles include: Technician on the Hazardous Materials Response Team, Special Projects Captain, Shift and Station Commander, Emergency Medical Services Supervisor, and Battalion Chief. In addition, DC Reed is a current member of Virginia Task Force 1, a domestic and international urban search and rescue team, where she serves as the Plans Team Manager.  

In 2017, DC Reed created the FCFRD’s Girls Fire and Rescue Academy for middle and high school girls. The mission of this summer camp is to build confidence and empower young women to push themselves beyond what they think they are capable of.  

DC Reed holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Mary Washington and Master of Arts degree in homeland security from the Naval Postgraduate School. In addition to being a public safety servant, she is married to a local law enforcement officer and is the mother of two children.  

DC Reed's Pandemic Impact Statement

When the pandemic began to impact Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department (FCFRD) operations in March 2020, DC Reed was a captain serving as an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) supervisor. In this role, she responded to significant medical emergencies involving serious illness or injuries.

In addition to the normal stress and strain of emergency prehospital medical care, firefighters and paramedics faced additional challenges related to the pandemic. Personnel were required to minimize exposure to patients by working in smaller groups, which increased the workload on individual providers. Medical emergencies now required additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and decontamination procedures. Additional PPE, including plastic goggles, N95 masks and plastic gowns, added another layer of difficulty when working and communicating with patients, family members, bystanders and each other. The decontamination of personnel and equipment after an incident extended the amount of labor and time required to enable the crew and ambulance to respond to new emergencies.

FCFRD firefighters and paramedics also faced emotional challengers involving patients and families. Hospitals reduced the number of visitors allowed and families had to make difficult choices on who would be allowed to be with a patient during difficult times. All FCFRD personnel were also acutely aware that their workplace exposures may result in potential repeated quarantine from their families, friends and coworkers.

DC Reed was promoted to a broader leadership and management role during the pandemic where she focused on providing support to the frontline firefighters and paramedics, as well as the community they serve.

Captain Brooke D. Wright

Captain Brooke D. Wright
Fairfax County Police Department 

Captain Brooke D. WrightCaptain Brooke Wright is a veteran of the United States Air Force and a 22-year veteran of the Fairfax County Police Department. She graduated first in her academy class and has risen through the ranks, having served as a patrol officer, School Resource Officer, detective, supervisor in investigations, Assistant Commander of the Public Information Office, and Commander of the Mason District Station, staffed by 125 officers, detectives, and civilian support staff.

Captain Wright served as a speaker at the 30th Annual Mid-Atlantic Association of Women in Law Enforcement Conference and the Virginia Equity and Diversity Conference. She has participated in several leadership panels for the Future Women Leaders in Law Enforcement and the Police Leaders of Tomorrow programs. She is the recipient of numerous departmental awards and recognition, including Mt. Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce Detective of the Year award in 2010 and Police Officer of the Year in 2012.  

Captain Wright holds a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice. She is a graduate of the Leadership Fairfax Institute class of 2017, and the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police Professional Executive Leadership School 47th Session 2020.

Captain Wright's Pandemic Impact Statement

During the pandemic, I was the commander assigned to the Mason District Station. Patrol operations were altered by an Emergency Bureau stood up by the department. This bureau assisted with the reallocation of resources in order to protect our staff and allow us to continue operations. Patrol officers continued to work their normal shifts, but we had to make the following changes:

  • Temporarily reassign our Neighborhood Patrol Unit to patrol operations (separating the unit among various patrol squads)
  • Assign detectives to telework and answer Community Reporting System (CRS) calls in order to minimize the contacts patrol officers would have with community members on routine calls for service
  • Assign officers to a Prisoner Transport vehicle schedule to safely transport people under arrest and minimize risk to them and officers
  • Ensure there was enough PPE and sanitizing products available for our officers at the station
  • Engage crossing guards in various station assignments
  • Find new ways to engage the community-Zoom meetings! (Mason enjoys a great relationship with the community and has a strong Community Advisory Committee)
  • Support existing and new initiatives for food/personal supply drives to support families while kids are not at school (NARFE and Bailey’s Crossroads Rotary Club were instrumental partners)
  • Ensure officers were given continuous information regarding CDC recommendations
  • Coordinate remote assignments for quarantined employees while still ensuring we met staffing requirements
  • Support the community while we responded to an increase in calls for domestic violence, mental health crisis and various property crimes
  • Determine how to best conduct our holiday outreach to the community while still keeping everyone safe (toy and pajama distributions)
  • Work with our Incident Support Services to ensure our officers and civilian employees were supported as they dealt with fatigue, family issues (child care), etc.

Meet the Women Warriors

Sarah Allen

Sarah AllenSarah Allen, the acting director of the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, has been a leader in the County’s fight against COVID-19.

With Sarah at the helm, NCS has focused on tackling the all too often “hidden” impacts of COVID-19 – aiming to serve residents who are experiencing isolation, financial strain, and other threats to their quality of life as a result of the pandemic.

Sarah’s work led directly to the robust expansion of the Coordinated Services Planning (CSP) call center, which connects hundreds of residents each week to county- and community-based services and resources. This includes everything from emergency rental and food assistance to healthcare and other essential needs.

Sarah is also involved with community food distribution and has been a tremendous resource for our community and health safety net providers, always working to ensure residents in all parts of the County can get the assistance they need during these difficult times.

While doing this difficult but critical work, Sarah has always maintained her sense of humor and dedication to our most vulnerable residents. Her work on the front lines has been invaluable and her efforts have been nothing short of amazing.

Karla Bruce

Karla BruceKarla Bruce, Fairfax County’s Chief Equity Officer, has not only been a visionary leader for the County, but has paved the way for equity initiatives across the region.

Karla was appointed as the Chief Equity Officer for the County in 2018 at a time when no such position existed within the County or the region.

Since that time, she’s worked to advance the One Fairfax Policy, a joint social and racial equity policy that commits the County and schools to intentionally consider equity when making policies or delivering programs and services. As she has led the County in embracing this policy and guided its evolution, her position itself became the model in our region for centering equity in our governance.

Most recently, the County found itself amongst the convergence of a public health crisis and economic crisis, with the realities of injustice and systemic racism at the forefront of conversation and unrest throughout the nation. As a response, Karla helped lead the Chairman’s Task Force on Equity and Opportunity. Comprised of 42 members representing the diversity of Fairfax County, with a focus on understanding the County’s past and looking toward the future, the group made recommendations to the Board of Supervisors to accelerate the progress towards truly becoming One Fairfax.

In her more than 20 years of local government management, Karla’s work continues to be instrumental in driving innovation and bringing all voices to the table.

Stacey Brumbaugh

Stacey BrumbaughDuring the pandemic, Stacey Brumbaugh, Springfield District, is using her home as a collection point for food and items, such as milk, juice, fresh fruit, and prepackaged items from FCPS lunches.

Mrs. Brumbaugh delivers weekly collections to the Lorton Community Action Center (LCAC), which enhances quality of life for our residents by providing food, basic needs, and self-sufficiency programs through the generous support of our community. The LCAC redistributes the food she collects to residents in southeast Fairfax County.

Deborah Claire

Deborah ClaireDeborah Claire is the Director of Equity and Community Outreach in the Lee District Supervisor’s office.

During the pandemic, she has coordinated over 35 food distributions, which have put 1.3 million pounds of food on the tables of families who have struggled with food insecurity. She has spent hundreds of hours coordinating with community members, county agencies, nonprofits, and businesses to make these distributions happen smoothly and equitably for those in need. Nearly every Thursday, you can find Deborah at area food distributions organizing and solving problems.

She has also worked with partners to put on their second annual “Eggstravaganza,” where they have given away 50,000 free eggs to those in need. Both programs have been widely noticed and received significant praise. Additionally, Deborah has spearheaded efforts to assist county residents in getting information about COVID-19 testing and vaccines, especially in areas hardest hit in the Lee District.

Deanna Heier

Deanna HeierDeanna Heier is a Providence District community member who dedicates her time to helping families with young children by providing items they need. From food to various supplies, she connects on a personal level with the children and their families to help them during the pandemic. Deanna describes her commitment of helping with her own family background, “When I help these families with kids, I see in them my mom, my uncle and all the opportunities they will now have simply because their parents came to the United States.”

Deanna es una miembro de la comunidad que dedica su tiempo ayudando a familias con niños pequeños y proveyendo artículos que necesitan. Desde comida a varios artículos, ella se integra a un nivel personal con los niños y sus familias durante la pandemia. Deanna describe como ayudar a la comunidad la recuerda a su propia historia, “cuando yo estoy ayudando a familias con niños yo veo en ellos mi mama, y mi.

Media Release

Fairfax County to Recognize Women on the Front Lines of the Pandemic*

*Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. To request reasonable accommodations or to receive this information in an alternate format, call 571-765-0234 or email

2021 Women’s History Month Proclamation

WHEREAS, women of every race, class, and ethnic background have become “Women Warriors on the Front Lines of the Pandemic” making historic contributions and serving as leaders to support the strength of our communities in countless recognized and unrecognized ways; 

WHEREAS, Fairfax County government and citizens have been greatly impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic in every aspect of life; 

WHEREAS, the women of Fairfax County government have been warriors on the forefront of the pandemic within the county and have demonstrated commitment beyond the call of duty to serve our citizens in a multitude of ways;   

WHEREAS, the women of Fairfax County have played numerous roles, engaged in numerous necessary and unprecedented activities, such as assisting those in need through the distribution of food; providing financial aid, housing, and virus testing; and responding to medical emergencies and crises of all kinds;  

WHEREAS, women have enabled County residents to mitigate the effects of the pandemic in their roles as First Responders, EMTs, Police, Fire Department, Health Department, and other essential workers; 

WHEREAS, individual women and women’s organizations have risked their lives each day to care for others, putting their own lives on the line.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, on behalf of all citizens of Fairfax County and its Commission for Women, hereby proclaim March, as 

Women’s History Month 2021

to honor the many brave women who have sacrificed their time, resources, and risked their lives to relieve the impacts of the pandemic on Fairfax County citizens. Their skills, fortitude perseverance, and dedication should be recognized, honored, and celebrated. 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT we honor all women and girls in Fairfax County for their various roles in addressing the Coronavirus pandemic, and we continue recognizing the contributions and critical roles women have played in shaping American history.

Fairfax County Channel 16 Video - Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association

Commission for Women's FY 2013 - FY 2014 Biennial Report*
*Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. To request reasonable accommodations or to receive this information in an alternate format, call 703-324-9498 or TTY 711.

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