Staff

Kathleen Wakefield

Founder, Executive Director

On July 25, 2001, in the space of a moment, Kathleen Wakefield’s life changed forever. Kathleen’s doorbell rang at midnight. A police Chaplain and police officer informed Kathleen that her 21 year-old son, Jake, had committed suicide. Jacob was a soft-spoken, handsome young man with a winning smile and a dry sense of humor that drew a large circle of friends. Jake hid his despair from those closest to him. Jake’s death was unfathomable, and totally unnecessary.

Jake’s suicide gave Kathleen a new life’s mission, “It is my deepest desire to honor Jake’s life by educating teens and young-adults about depression and suicide.” Kathleen believes depression is treatable and hopes to reduce lives lost to suicide. Using her 30+ years of experience as a teacher in Virginia Beach Public Schools Kathleen created I NEED A LIGHTHOUSE. Inc., (INAL). INAL Kathleen carries out her mission of education with the goal of prevention.

Kathleen has a B.A. from East Carolina University and a MS-ED from Old Dominion University. Kathleen’s rich background as a professional educator gave her the tools to translate her grief into action. Today she is a crusader for teen and young adults in South Hampton Roads: education and awareness equal prevention.

Through I Need a Lighthouse, Kathleen has affected the lives of numerous young people in our community. Perhaps the words of one educator best summarize Lighthouse’s impact. Andrea Bell, First Colonial High School Health and PE department chair, states, “I can attest to the fact Kathleen’s powerful presentation has saved lives. Her positive, ingenious presentation keeps students attention. She truly makes a difference.’

Kate Cardone, LCSW

Deputy Executive Director

Kate Cardone’s life was dramatically changed by the death of her younger sister, Rebecca, in October 1997. Rebecca, a vivacious, artistic, bright 20 year old, had struggled with manic depression for 8 years. Her decision to take her own life was a tragic and permanent solution to a treatable illness. Watching her sister’s struggles motivated Kate to pursue a career as a Social Worker, and led her to seek opportunities to educate young people about the important subjects of depression and suicide.

Upon moving to Virginia Beach in 2007 Kate was pleased to join I Need a Lighthouse, Inc. as a consultant, and then as Deputy Executive Director. Kate has a deep personal connection with Lighthouse’s mission and vision. According to Kate, “Informed and educated young people are the first line of defense against teen suicide and depression. When empowered to act, teens will rise to the challenge. Through education and prevention, lives can be saved.”

In 1995 Kate graduated from the College of William and Mary with a B.A. in Psychology. She then completed a Master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Michigan. Kate’s focus at U of M was clinical practice with children, youth and families. After graduation Kate worked at the Mental Health Association of Montgomery County, MD, Inc. as Director of the Bridges to Pals program (a mentoring program for children and youth in foster care and other at-risk children and youth) and then as Deputy Executive Director. Kate has also worked as a preschool teacher at Vienna Baptist Children’s Center, and as a Social Worker at Cradle of Hope, an international adoption agency.

Calvin Nunnally, Sr.

Suicide Prevention Educator

Calvin Nunnally, Sr. is the founder and chief executive officer of Know More Bullying Training and Consultation Services. He has been a public school teacher and administrator. He spent a number of years working in educational television producing programs and providing technology training to teachers and school administrators. In 2009 he retired from the Virginia Department of Health Division of Injury and Violence Prevention where he served as the Manager of Virginia’s Multi-Site Youth Suicide Prevention/Early Intervention Program which included, among other things, the coordination of statewide suicide and bullying prevention initiatives. He has conducted numerous suicide prevention trainings and related presentations at the local, state, and national level (including presentations to Congressional Committees, the President’s Commission on Mental Health Reform, and training for command personnel for the United States Navy). He currently serves as a consultant for the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). He is a certified Olweus Bullying Prevention Trainer and conducts anti-bullying sessions and suicide prevention trainings all across the United States.Calvin Nunnally, Sr. is the founder and chief executive officer of Know More Bullying Training and Consultation Services. He has been a public school teacher and administrator. He spent a number of years working in educational television producing programs and providing technology training to teachers and school administrators. In 2009 he retired from the Virginia Department of Health Division of Injury and Violence Prevention where he served as the Manager of Virginia’s Multi-Site Youth Suicide Prevention/Early Intervention Program which included, among other things, the coordination of statewide suicide and bullying prevention initiatives. He has conducted numerous suicide prevention trainings and related presentations at the local, state, and national level (including presentations to Congressional Committees, the President’s Commission on Mental Health Reform, and training for command personnel for the United States Navy). He currently serves as a consultant for the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). He is a certified Olweus Bullying Prevention Trainer and conducts anti-bullying sessions and suicide prevention trainings all across the United States.