Professional Team

Allyson England Drake, M.Ed., CT, Founder/Executive Director

804-912-2947 ext. 102

Allyson founded Full Circle Grief Center in 2008 and she serves as the President and Executive Director of the organization. She has worked one-on-one with grieving children, adults, and families for 18 years, has facilitated numerous grief support groups, led organizational debriefings after a loss, and has developed curriculum for bereavement groups and remembrance programs. Her passion revolves around community bereavement education and she has presented on grief and loss at numerous professional conferences and educational trainings. 

Allyson has a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Virginia, Master of Counselor Education degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, and completed post-graduate work in counseling psychology, bereavement, and traumatic grief. Allyson has a Certification in Thanatology (CT) through the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC), is a Compassionate Bereavement Care Certified Provider, holds a license in School Counseling, and has completed the Resolve Through Sharing Bereavement Training for Perinatal Death. She also is a trainer for the Trauma and Resilience Basics Training, an educational program designed to help build trauma informed communities.

Allyson enjoys working with children, teens, and adults who are anticipating the death of a loved one or who have experienced the death of someone significant to them. She uses writing/journaling, discussion, strengths-based work, and various forms of creative expression in her practice to help individuals explore feelings, learn healthy coping skills, discover meaning in their loss, find ways to remember or honor their loved one, and move forward in their “new normal.”

Elizabeth Bennett, BSW, Client Services Assistant

804-912-2947 ext, 130

Elizabeth graduated from Longwood University in 2018 with a Bachelor Degree in Social Work with a minor in Psychology.

Elizabeth has a passion for mental health and plans to pursue a Master Degree in Social Work. In the meantime, she is enjoying gaining experience in the field. When Elizabeth is not at Full Circle she is working with preschoolers. Personally, Elizabeth spends her free time camping and playing with her dog.


 Britt Cowart, LCSW, Grief Services Director 

804-912-2947 ext. 107

Britt has a Bachelor of Arts degree from James Madison University and a Master of Social Work degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) since 2000.

Since 2000, Britt has provided counseling and case management services to children, adults, and families in school settings as a school social worker, in the home, and in agency settings. She has also acted as Clinical Director for an In-home Services Program as well as developed new programs, collaborated and served on multiple interdisciplinary teams, and supervised other counselors in the mental health field.Britt has facilitated children and adult groups for over 25 years in various settings to include schools, courts, and agencies on a variety of  issues to include parenting, communication and values, grief and loss, siblings with disabilities, and other psychosocial topics and education.

Britt began facilitating groups for Full Circle in 2009 and joined the staff in 2012 as Clinical Case Manager. Britt currently acts as Full Circle’s Grief Services Director. She oversees the clinical services of Full Circle’s Individual Counseling Practice to include supervising licensed therapists, speaking with all those inquiring about grief counseling services, and consulting with community professionals. Britt provides individual grief counseling to clients as well at Full Circle. In addition to her work at Full Circle, Britt enjoys outdoor activities, running, yoga, reading, traveling, and spending time with her husband and three children.

Holly Hamilton, Program and Volunteer Coordinator

804-912-2947 ext, 109

Holly has a Bachelor of Science in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management degree from Virginia Tech.

Previously, Holly worked for Hyatt Corporation in rooms management and group sales before taking time off to grow her family. During that time, she kept busy working with preschoolers, coaching middle school tennis, and working part-time in conference planning. At home, Holly loves spending time with her husband, Dave, and their three children.  She also enjoys traveling, running, tennis and volunteering at school.

Dana Hennesey, Communications Manager


Dana received her Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing Management with a Minor in Communications Studies from Virginia Tech. She worked as a Project Manager with Circuit City Stores, Inc and Capital One before taking off time to grow her family.

During that time, she kept busy volunteering at Full Circle, the Children’s Museum of Richmond, the YMCA, her church and her children’s schools, as well as serving on various non-profit boards in the community. She received a certificate of Interior Design and began working with clients throughout the Richmond area. She also founded, RVA Living, a blog celebrating all things RVA.

In her free time, she enjoys decorating, reading, blogging, exploring local coffee shops, eating Mexican food, cheering on the Hokies and most of all, traveling with her husband and three children.

Stacia Macklin, LCSW, ACSW, Clinical Director  

804-912-2947 ext. 104

Stacia has a Bachelor of Arts degree from James Madison University and a Master of Social Work degree from University of Buffalo, the State University of New York. She has been licensed by the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW) since 1997 and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) since 1998.

Stacia has experience providing counseling services to children, adults, and families who have experienced loss, trauma, crises, or adversity. She has experience providing clinical supervision and training to other social work and counseling professionals and experience in program administration including quality improvement, new program development, and collaboration with community agencies and providers. She began working at Full Circle in 2011 as a Hands on Healing group leader and became the Clinical Director in 2012.  She previously managed Full Circle’s Hands on Healing program, now manages the Overdose Loss Program, provides case management to adults and families, and supervises group leaders and managers.

Stacia enjoys photography, gardening, and cheering on her favorite college sports teams. Stacia also dedicates time to raising awareness of childhood brain injuries.

Rachel Melhorn, LCSW, Family Bereavement Services Manager

804-912-2947 ext. 121

Rachel is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Registered Play Therapist who specializes in working with children, adolescents and families. Rachel works from a holistic, strengths-based perspective and believes in the transformative power of the supportive therapeutic relationship. With extensive training and experience in play therapy, sand tray, and trauma-focused treatment Rachel is passionate about partnering with young people to build resilience. Rachel is also a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) and enjoys incorporating elements of mindfulness into her work with children and teens. She believes in the healing power of the creative process and incorporates the use of expressive arts interventions to support growth and healing. Rachel utilizes these therapeutic elements to support youth in exploring feelings surrounding trauma, grief and loss, anxiety, depression, and self esteem. 

Rachel began running groups for Full Circle in 2016 and joined the clinical team in 2019 as the Family Bereavement Services Manager. In this role, Rachel oversees the Hands on Healing program, a support group for children ages 3-17 and their adult caregiver(s). 

Rachel has a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from Skidmore College as well as a Master of Science in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis.  She has been working with children, adolescents, and families since 2013. In her free time, Rachel enjoys practicing yoga, taking walks with her dogs, and spending time with her family.

Carrie Schaeffer, LCSW, Perinatal Bereavement Services Manager


Carrie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who works from a strengths-based perspective with adults in the areas of general loss, maternal and perinatal loss, anticipatory loss and life-threatening illness. With a warm and compassionate style she works collaboratively with clients helping them explore their emotions, set goals for themselves, identify their own inherent gifts, and look toward the future.  Depending on the best fit for a client, Carrie uses a variety of techniques to help them move through their ever-changing landscape of grief.

Carrie began facilitating adult groups for Full Circle in 2015 and joined the Full Circle staff in 2017 as the Perinatal Bereavement Services Manager working with parents who have lost an infant or late-term pregnancy. 

Before coming to Full Circle Carrie spent 12 years in Oncology Social Work working with adults with a cancer diagnosis.  In this setting she counseled individuals who were newly diagnosed with cancer as well as patients and family members who were coping with the anticipatory grief of a terminal illness.  She specialized in the area of breast cancer and ran groups for women with metastatic disease and family caregivers.

Carrie has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia as well as. Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University.  She has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 2011.  In her free time, she loves to cook, read, laugh with friends and most of all spend time with her husband, three children and dog.

Nikki Shaw, Development and Events Manager


Nikki has a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Virginia and an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte. Over the course of her career, Nikki has crafted and executed fundraising and event strategy in the nonprofit sector, designed and developed robust training programs for Fortune 500 companies, led creative Learning and Development project teams and client accounts from proposal through final delivery, and managed the marketing and sales operations for a technology startup.

When she isn’t handling development and event-related projects for Full Circle, Nikki stays busy hiking and rafting with her husband and two daughters, trying new recipes that her kids may or may not eat, and sneaking in a neighborhood jog whenever she can find time.

Allison Schooley, Individual Counseling Practice Manager  

804-912-2947 ext. 108

Allison has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies with an emphasis in public relations and non-profit organization management from Virginia Tech. She has twelve years of experience working for the American Cancer Society in staff and leadership volunteer roles associated with special event fundraising and volunteer relationship development. She also has three years of office management experience.

Allison joined the Full Circle team in 2014. She currently leads our Individual Counseling Program. She also provides assistance to many of our office staff as well as manages aspects of office operations, our community resource library, and supply drives.

Allison enjoys traveling, swimming, baking, craft projects, and spending time with her family and friends, especially her husband and two daughters.