Lifelong Learning Institute in Chesterfield
Fraya Abrahamsen has studied ballet since the age of 6. She studied in Chicago and in NY with Ivstan Rabovsky and then danced with NY Dance Theatre under the direction of Frank Ohman. She has also danced in various ballets including the Nutcracker snow scene, Swan Lake, Peter and the Wolf. Fraya was even chosen for the leading role in The Little Match Girl. She realized after helping out teaching ballet at her niece's ballet school that she has a strong passion to teach ballet!
Ryan Ahlgrim is pastor of First Mennonite Church of Richmond. He holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. He is the author of two books, has taught several college and seminary courses, and presented a wide variety of seminars.
Lydia Aiken-Wilson is a retired teacher of French who taught for more than thirty years in areas such as Senegal, West Africa and Osaka, Japan.
Annette Alabaster received an Associate of Arts degree from Southern Seminary Jr. College, a certificate from Berkeley Secretarial School and has taken courses in floral design. She has been singing in church choirs and a choral group (even an all-black ensemble) since her 30's. A person with many interests and a member of LLI since 2010, her 2 children and 8 grandchildren live nearby.
Kenneth Alford is an LLI member, frequent historical consultant for television productions, and a contributor to news articles involving looted Nazi Treasures. He is the author of The Spoils of World War II, Great Treasure Stories of World War II, Allied Looting in World War II, Hermann Goering and the Nazi Art Collection, Sacking Aladdin's Cave, American Crimes and the Liberation of Paris, Monetary Men and co-authored, Nazi Millionaires.
Donald Amos is a musician who loves sharing musical hours with his LLI friends. He has been a member of LLI since 2015.
Brian Austin PhD, is a retired professor of psychology who, earlier in his career, practiced as a clinical psychologist. His passion for studio art blossomed upon becoming a member of LLI. He has studied watercolor painting with Marti Franks, Terry Shepherd, Ellie Cox, and Chris Wynn. In whatever medium, the joy of painting is contagious, and Brian looks forward to sharing his passion for creative expression with others in the classroom.
Rich Babbitt has gained business experience as a leader in sales, retail, restaurant, and entrepreneurial ventures over a span of nearly 40 years, which all began with his early jobs of Paper Routes and Lawn Mowing! Throughout his career, Rich has been recognized multiple times for exceptional management and sales performance. He is a businessman, husband, and father who lives in Midlothian. He is employed by SunTrust Merchant Services and also serves on the Board of Directors for Noble Warriors, a Christian Men's Ministry based in Virginia.
Allison Bailey is a Physical Therapist who has worked at Sheltering Arms Physical Rehab in Chester since 2008. She Graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia Campus with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy and in 2015 became a Board Certified Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy. She enjoys working with all ages of people who have orthopedic pain or balance concerns. She focuses on patients with back and neck conditions, post-operative rehab needs, shoulder and knee pain, women with pregnancy-related back pain, and those patients who speak Spanish as their primary language.
Charles Barron is a retired US Army Officer, holds a BS in Business Administration from Jacksonville State University and an MS in Logistics Management from Florida Institution of Technology. He also holds a certificate for teaching English as a second language. Charles has 10 years of experience working with and training members of the Saudi Arabian military in logistics and cultural awareness. As a United States military contractor, working in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia, he taught American workers and third country nationals (TCNs) Cultural Awareness, simple Arabic script (Arabic letters, Arabic phonetics recognizing/reading English words written in Arabic Script) and most useful basic spoken Arabic words and phrases.
Judith Bentley holds a Master's Degree in English and Speech from Georgia State University. For 11 years, she taught the poetry and literature of our language to high school students in Atlanta, Henrico County, and Richmond, Virginia and was an Adjunct English Instructor at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College. After leaving the teaching profession, she became a certified legal assistant, serving Richmond area attorneys for 32 years. She retired in 2012 at age 67 and joined LLI in 2016.
Pamela Biasca Losada MS Certified Health Coach (AADP), offers private coaching to eliminate stress and emotional eating, increase energy, regain and maintain health. Additional services: BEMER sessions to enhance the quality of life by improving circulation, in-home cooking sessions, Arbonne vegan and plant based skincare and cosmetics. Additionally, Pamela teaches health and wellness classes, and she is the co-author of EMPOWER: Women’s Stories of Breakthrough, Discovery and Triumph.
Lori Blair is a Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist. She is currently a Physical Therapist with Sheltering Arms. In 2013, she was named Employee of the Year! Her specialties include: Ankle Conditions/Injuries, Balance, Board Certified in Orthopedic, Foot Conditions/Injuries, Gait Analysis, General Debility, Hip Conditions/Injuries, Joint Replacement, Knee Conditions/Injuries, Manual Therapy, Neck Conditions/Injuries, Neurologic Conditions, Orthopedic Conditions, Running Injuries, Shoulder Conditions/Injuries, Spine Conditions/Injuries, Vestibular, Workers Comp . She also happens to be the daughter of members Jean and Jim Wills.
Mary Bradstock has been an LLI member since 2009. She has been facilitating the line dance practices as well as assisting with the line dance classes.
Larry Braja began his working life as a management analyst for the federal government, had a middle career as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and completed his working life as an emergency manager for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. He is certified in the personality typing system--the Enneagram Spectrum--by Jerome Wagner. Larry has been an officer and active participant in a local Enneagram group for over twenty years.
Tracey Brooks was honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps Reserves. She has various Aerobics and Fitness Association of America Group Exercise & Personal Trainer Certifications, including Kickboxing (IFTA), Zumba and Yoga. Tracey has been teaching and training since 2002. She is energetic and knowledgeable! She also has the ability to motivate and inspire clients regardless of physical fitness level and encourages habits that are life changing.
Gilpin Brown is a former high school mathematics teacher who has had a renewed interest in photography in his retirement. Having reentered the field and joined a photography club, his club has had several exhibits at Crossroads Art Center as well as Sun Trust Bank and the Richmond Public Library. Entering quite a few local and state contests, Gilpin's photos have been chosen for honors several times. He loves getting out in Richmond and the Skyline Drive to have fun with his camera.
Ginny Brown has a Home Economics Education degree from Drexel University and taught in the public school systems of Virginia and Pennsylvania for thirty years. Her expertise is foods and the culinary arts. Ginny now has her own business, The Urban Pantry, with which she caters small events and has a vender stall at Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church's Farmer's Market specializing in bakery items. She loves all forms of the culinary arts especially baking and enjoys opening the world of food and the joy of cooking to all those willing to dare to be their own chef.
Sherella Brown is a certified Jazzercise fitness instructor who specializes in working with active adults who combine dance with exercise.
Sheila Burris is a certified yoga instructor who has studied yoga since 1999. She began teaching with us in the spring of 2008.
Bill Busch is a retiree who began dancing at the age of 17 and who now enjoys sharing his accumulated knowledge of the basic six ballroom social dances. Men learn how to lead and women how to follow in these semester long classes. All couples also learn styling differences of each dance, timing and some dance history. Lastly, couples who stay with the learning experience also have FUN. Ask one of LLI's returning students. Some have been coming back for years.
Ed Butterworth is a former mathematics teacher and insurance brokerage actuary who enjoys playing bridge and other challenging games of logic.
David Buxton MD, earned his bachelor’s degree from Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., and his medical degree from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond, VA. He completed his Adult Psychiatric Residency at Brown University Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior. He stayed on as faculty in their psychiatric emergency room while completing a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at Harvard University-Massachusetts General/McLean Hospitals. Dr. Buxton then completed a palliative care fellowship at Harvard University-Massachusetts General/Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Hospitals. He has lectured locally, nationally and internationally on the topic of integrating psychiatry and palliative care. He is the Palliative Care Medical Director at CJW Medical Center, Clinical Assistant Faculty at VCU in Psychiatry, CEO of The Center for Palliative Psychiatry and Chief Medical Officer of Behavior Health for My Ideal Doctor.
James Calpin is a Board Certified Industrial Hygienist and served as Laboratory Director of Analytics Corporation – an accredited environmental testing laboratory in Ashland, Virginia. He holds BS and MS degrees in Chemistry and has worked in environmental testing services for over thirty years.
Barton Campbell is a native of TN, but has spent the majority of his life in Virginia, where he has roots dating back to colonial times. He is an engineering graduate of Princeton University and has a Master's in Strategic Studies from the Army War College. He spent almost 30 years with Reynolds Metals Co. in engineering, sales and marketing, retiring from senior mgt. in 1996. Subsequently, he served on the staff of the Reserve Officers Assoc. in DC, and later held the position of Executive Director of the Museum of the Confederacy. He also spent 30 years with the Active Army, National Guard, and Reserves, retiring as a full colonel. He is a member of numerous veterans and heritage organizations He and his wife are active in Gideons International. They have 2 grown children and 5 granddaughters.
Valerie Campbell OTR, CLT, has been a practicing Occupational Therapist for 20 years and received her certification in lymphedema 7 years ago when she began the lymphedema program at CJW Medical Center. She has worked for HCA at CJW since 2005.
Margaret Carlini holds MA and BA degrees in Anthropology/Archaeology from the University of New Mexico and from Pennsylvania State University. Her Doctoral work in Museum Studies is through the University of New Mexico. Over more than 40 years in museum work, she has served as education director with Henricus Historical Park (Richmond, VA), the Virginia Air & Space Center (Hampton, VA) and the MacArthur Memorial (Norfolk, VA). She has also held education and museum management positions with the Children’s Museum of Richmond, the Andrew’s Art Gallery (College of William & Mary), Museum of International Folk Art (Santa Fe, NM) and the Los Alamos County Historical Museum (Los Alamos, NM).
Hal Cauthen retired from the Navy and then private industry (Defense Electronics). He enjoys travel, travel sketching, drawing with line and wash, and interacting with others to share ideas and techniques. Hal and his wife joined LLI in 2016.
John Clatterbaugh is a retired community college administrator/teacher. He holds degrees in forestry, horticulture, and college and university administration. He has been planning, developing and teaching active outdoor programs for youth and senior adults since 1963. He has also participated in the development task force for community college lifelong programs and Road Scholar (Elderhostel) programs. He is also a member of the Korean War Veterans Association Greater Richmond Chapter 143. John and his wife have been LLI members since 2007.
Anne Clendenin is a member of LLI who enjoys dancing and has been playing Spades for years. She wants to continue sharing her love for Spades with other members at LLI!
Ed Conley is a Spiritual writer and photographer in Blackstone, Virginia, where he also teaches Insight Meditation and offers Life Coaching on the internet and in personal dialogues.
J. James Cotter is an Associate Professor in the Department of Gerontology in the School of Allied Health Professions of Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Cotter has implemented, developed, managed and evaluated health and social services programs at the local and state levels for 40 years. He received his Ph.D. in Health Care Organization and Research from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1996. He has a Master's of Arts in History from the University of Buffalo (1975) and his B.A. (History, with Honors) is from Canisius College in Buffalo (1971). Dr. Cotter began teaching at Virginia Commonwealth University in 1997 in Gerontology and Health Services. He teaches courses in the sociology of aging, trends of an aging society, health systems, and health care theory. His current research interest focuses on the nutritional needs of the older adult population and also the innovative delivery of health care services to older adults.
Jayne Crowther is a Clinical Nurse Specialist and a Certified Diabetes Educator for Novo Nordisk Inc. in Central Virginia. She provides education in diabetes related topics for physicians, clinical staff and patients as well as public presentations for diabetes management and healthy living.
Norma Crutchfield has been a member of LLI since 2008 and loves playing games, especially with her friends at LLI. Norma also enjoys doing puzzles and volunteering for LLI!
Wade Curry Ph. D, for 27 years, taught English and theater courses and served as Dean of Arts and Sciences at the College of New Jersey. For 10 years, he was the Director of Advanced Placement at the College Board. He has been a member of LLI since 2009.
James Davidson is Series 7, 63 and 66 registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and obtained his license to sell insurance and annuity products. In 2006 Jamey completed all course work required to earn a Certified Financial Planner™ professional designation from The College for Financial Planning. Following the merger of Legg Mason with Smith Barney, Jamey decided to move his successful practice to Davenport in 2007. Jamey earned a BS degree with a major in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. While attending college, he was President of Psi Chi Honor Society and the TKE Fraternity. Jamey and his wife, Carolyn, were married in 1996 and have a son, Joshua; they attend North Star Community. He has served as Treasurer and is also an instructor for the Lifelong Learning Institute. Jamey enjoys spending time with his family, cycling, running, and playing his guitar.
Diana Donahue a member of LLI, is the sister of Peggy Chicklo and has been dancing for years. She loves tap dancing.
Diane Drummond has been an LLI member since 2009. She began making headbands, hair bows and jewelry for her beautiful granddaughter and has continued adding to her repertoire of craft skills, which she happily shares with her fellow LLI members in a variety of classes.
Tom Dunkum has been an LLI member since 2010 and enjoys helping with the weekly Bible Discussion. Tom is a retired United Methodist Minister (41 years) and is active at St. Marks United Methodist Church on Lucks Lane. He is also active in several mission projects including Meals on Wheels, Missions of Mercy (free dental mission statewide), Chaplain (volunteer) at Johnston Willis Hospital.
Murray Ellison retired in 2009 with over 30 years' experience in the field of education as a teacher, school principal, and VA state administrator of programs for prisoners. He has a Bachelor's and Master's in Special Education from Temple University, a Doctorate in Educational Administration from Virginia Tech, and a Master's in English Literature from VCU (2015). Murray serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors at our Lifelong Learning Institute. He is also a board member and volunteer tour guide at the Poe Museum in Richmond. Murray is the editor of www.Litchatte.com, a journal which discusses the literary classes he is teaching at LLI.
Laura Evans has been practicing colored pencils art for the last 5 years. She has taken classes online to perfect her skill and love of the medium. She has 5 cats, 2 dogs and 2 bunnies that are subject to being put in her artwork at will. Laura is married with 2 grown children. Her youngest daughter also follows in her mother's footsteps. Laura's mother was a professional artist and LLI member before she was afflicted with Alzheimer's.
Robert Ferguson has been an active member of LLI since 2008. He has a Ph.D. in Chemistry. He was involved in technical research, management, and consulting for 38 years at Phillip Morris/Altria. He has varied interests including history, economics, and literature. He recently became interested in readers theater and performed in a Bifocals production.
Patricia FitzPatrick is the Vice President of Corporate Outreach at UZURV LLC and manages UZURV business account marketing and sales. Trish has lived and worked internationally for most of her career, including in Singapore, Italy, and Russia. Prior to joining UZURV she was a founder and owner of Moscow Enterprises, Inc., an American Real Estate and Renovation company doing business in Russia exclusively. Before starting this business she served as a Senior Project Manager for ABB managing engineering projects in Taiwan, Russia, and North America. Ms. FitzPatrick is a graduate of Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and holds a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Pittsburgh.
Evamon Fleming is a Richmond native who retired from a career of teaching high school English students in Henrico County schools. She has been a long-time member of LLI and currently serves as a literature advisor on our curriculum committee. She is also a docent at the Virginia Historical Society.
Marti Franks loves Watercolors! She has been painting for over 18 years, starting out with Ellie Cox and continuing with Sarah Hoyle, Chris Wynn, and Susan Stuller. She has participated in many workshops with nationally known artists, including John Salamien, Mary Whyte, Ted Andrews, Alvaro Cassinett, Tony Van Hassett, Frank Webb, and Jean Spicer. Marti is a past president of the Bon Air Artists Association and has served as a co-chair of its events, Art Affair and Artful Healing. She exhibits at Crossroads Art Center and is a co-op owner of Uptown Gallery.
Marc Friedlander is a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) helping families navigate the difficult assisted living and memory care arenas. He has had personal experiences with both sides of his family and could have used an advocate during the difficult decision-making process. Marc is a member of the Health Community Resource Network, RVA Better Aging Forum, and the Richmond Senior Network. He has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from The George Washington University and an MBA from Montclair State University. Marc enjoys living in the beautiful Richmond area with his wife and two kids. In his spare time, he coaches his daughter's YMCA soccer team.
Edward Garrett is a retired United Methodist minister of the VA Conference of the United Methodist Church. He has served churches in VA for 42 years, leading Bible studies and teaching educational classes for various denominations. He holds a B.A. degree from the University of Richmond, a B.D. from Duke University, an M.A. degree in education from Union Theological Seminary and a doctorate from St. Mary’s University in Baltimore. He is the author of two books and various curriculum materials and articles.
Bill Good participated in Civil War reenactments for 10 years as an infantryman and ambulance corp. He has a wealth of knowledge about the Civil War. He has been a member of LLI since 2007 and enjoys history, genealogy and woodcarving.
Sherry Graves is a registered nurse and certified health coach. She provides solutions to people who wish to avoid or manage the physical, emotional, and financial impact of chronic illness.
Mark Grubbs has a B.S. in Aerospace and Ocean Engineering from Virginia Tech, and an M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. He has worked as an engineer, a pilot, in vocational ministry, a professor abroad, and has worked with computers of many kinds through all of these occupations (for at least 20 years). Mark is originally from and grew up in Richmond, VA. Since college, he has lived in Philadelphia, PA, Murfreesboro, TN, Grand Rapids, MI, Los Angeles, CA, and then spent 15 years in Seoul, South Korea teaching in Korean universities as a professor of English as a Foreign Language (EFL). Mark returned to Richmond in September 2015 and is eager to teach and help students at LLI.
Carol Halbert is a former Chesterfield County Theatre teacher who in her retirement discovered the power of essential oils. As an educator, she is eager to share her knowledge for the uses of these powerful oils.
Greg Hall holds a B.A. from Emory University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Georgia with concentrations in American Literature, Shakespeare, and Film. He has taught courses in The American Novel into Film, Shakespeare into Film, Detective Fiction and Film Noir, Drama and Comedy into Film, and Film as Literature---to name a few. He has served on the faculties of North Carolina Wesleyan, Erskine, Clemson, VCU, Virginia Union, VSU, and several other schools. After retiring from full time teaching at VSU, he continued teaching part time at Fort Lee for three years and currently teaches such courses as The Films of Frank Capra and Hitch in the Forties at The Shepherd Center in Chester. At 75 he still feels that he has a lot to say, and he enjoys saying it!
Kelly Hancock coordinates the research, development, and implementation of interpretive programs for public audiences both on- and off- site; supporting the work of the Education Department by leading projects focused on the heritage traveler audience; and collaborating on offerings for the teacher audience. A native of New Mexico, Kelly received her B. A. in History along with her teaching certification from Eastern New Mexico University. She taught 7th grade social studies before moving to Richmond. Kelly began work at The Museum of the Confederacy in 1998 and served as Manager of Programs and Education from 2002-2013. With the creation of the American Civil War Museum, Kelly assumed her current position. Kelly enjoys spending time with her husband, Robert, playing with her two cats, Cordelia and Ophelia, supporting the work of her church, and feeding her new found passion for the 1920s.
Carol Henderson received a major in teaching and a minor in art in college. Now retired, she enjoys painting as a past-time.
Pat Herman having initially learned how to knit from her mother, has been knitting all of her life. She volunteers her time and talents for a knitting healing ministry with her church. She also enjoys participating in knitting workshops and conferences.
Jim Hodge is a retired DuPont research scientist with a PhD in Chemistry. He is also an "amateur" Biblical Scholar who has given PowerPoint presentations on creation and evolution on a number of occasions. Jim has been an LLI member since 2010.
Mimi Holt is the Real Estate Marketing Associate for Virginia Credit Union. Mimi has offered to coordinate classes offered at LLI by her and her peers from VACU. Virginia Credit Union representatives are pleased to lead financial education topics throughout the year for Lifelong Learning Institute. With more than 245,000 member-owners, Virginia Credit Union is the largest state-chartered credit union in Virginia. A regional leader in financial education for members and the public, Virginia Credit Union’s classes, workshops and seminars reach more than 12,000 individuals each year. Virginia Credit Union provides a variety of affordable banking services, loans, mortgages, and free financial education resources with a focus on helping people feel more confident about their finances. Real estate services are offered by Virginia CU Realty, LLC, an affiliate of Virginia Credit Union. Virginia CU Realty, LLC, is a separate and distinct legal entity from Virginia Credit Union, Inc.
Marie Ireland teaches basic and advanced paper craft techniques in the Midlothian area. She hosts monthly card and scrapbook workshops and special craft events using Stampin’ Up© products.
Catherine Jordan is a certified Zentangle instructor and teaches a variety of Zentangle, color, design, and embroidery classes locally, nationally, and internationally. She holds Master Craftsman certifications in the Counted Thread, Crewel, Color, and Design programs from the Embroiderer's Guild of America (EGA). She is currently the chair of the EGA Master Craftsman Design program and EGA Master Craftsman Coordinator. She is past president of the EGA Gentle Pursuits of Richmond chapter and The Virginia Guild of Needlewomen. She is a juried member of EGA’s artist’s group, Fiber Forum. Catherine is a five time recipient of Woodlawn’s Frank Lloyd Wright award for best original design and was awarded Best-in-Show in 2008 for an original fabric painted design. Her work can be seen at www.CatherinesDesigns.net.
Terry Karselis is a sculptor whose work ranges from wildlife of the American West to historical figurines of the French and Indian War and WWI and WWII military figures. His works in bronze, silver, pewter and wood. Terry’s interest in historical subject matter and his ability to project a sense of life and action into his work has resulted in commissions from such organizations as the American Historical Foundation, The United States Historical Society, The Virginia State Museum, The Franklin Mint and the Museum of the Confederacy.
Mel Kauffman spent 35 years with the CIA dealing with communications, networking, and security. He holds ISCET certifications in Electronics/Radio/Computers and NRI certification in computers. Mel has been using computers since 1984.
Kristen Kern is a Registered Nurse with a BSN from James Madison University. She has worked in both the acute setting at MCV and HCA Hospitals as well as in the home setting for the last 20 years. She chose nursing because of her desire to help others, and she enjoys being able to educate others about the wonderful services available to support recovery and wellness after and during an illness.
Charles Koutnik is a retired library director and has been creating photographs since 1978. He completed several graduate courses in Art as part of his Master in Library Science degree from Kent State University. His photography has won several awards. History has always been extremely important in all his endeavors. Photography is an art form that developed alongside the growth of our country, so the remembrance of American 20th century master photographers is especially important to Chuck.
Steve Kunnmann grew up on Long Island, NY, graduated Georgia Tech (B.E.E.) and Rutgers (MBA) and has been an LLI member, along with his wife Nancy, since 2013.
Sherri Laffoon is the Emergency Management Planner with Chesterfield Fire & EMS-Emergency Management Division, responsible for the public education and outreach program. She is also the Coordinator for Chesterfield’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program. Sherri has been with Emergency Management since October 2009 and worked in the Chesterfield Emergency Communications Center for three years prior, where she was involved in the hiring and CALEA Accreditation processes. She is a member of the Central Virginia Emergency Management Alliance and the Virginia Fire Chiefs Assoc. Administrative Professionals Section. Sherri has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration and has earned the Professional Emergency Manager (PEM) designation.
John Lemza is a 1976 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He served over 20 years in the Army with more than eight years abroad in Asia and Europe. His last assignment was at the Pentagon. He graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2005 with an MA in History and in December 2014 with a PhD in History from George Mason University. His research interests are post-1945 America, the Cold War, the history of immigration, modern intellectual history, consumerism, military history, and trans-national history. John also teaches history at Virginia Commonwealth University and John Tyler Community College. He taught at the Elderhostel Chautauqua at Natural Bridge, VA from 2009-2011. He has been a member of the LLI teaching faculty since 2005. His recently released book, "American Military Communities in West Germany: Life in the Cold War Badlands, 1945-1990," is now available. John is a member of the LLI and is currently serving as President on the Board of Directors. He is also an Eagle Scout.
Russ Lescault graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BA in Political Science in 1981 and a Master's Degree in Public Administration in 1999. He had a 32+ year law enforcement career with the Chesterfield County Police Department. His law enforcement assignments included: Forensic Detective/Leader, Police Sergeant, Commander of the Violent Crimes Unit, Inspector for Internal Affairs, Captain of Special Operations and Executive Staff Officer for the Chief of Police. Additionally Russ was a Hostage Negotiator, a Search and Rescue Coordinator, an adjunct professor and a resident historian. Russ authored two books about the police department’s history after extensive research, including interviews of former department members and community leaders. Additionally, he has assisted the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office in re-discovering its long and illustrious heritage. Currently Russ is with the Chesterfield County Sheriff Department as a part-time sworn officer assisting with their Seniors In-Touch program with the Community Relations Office.
Juana Levi is a retired registered nurse who studied Art History at the University of Maryland. She is a mother of two daughters who are both teachers, and a grandmother of three with a fourth on the way. She and her husband have been LLI members since 2013.
Lewis Levi graduated from the University of Maryland College Park with a BS in Computer Science. He worked with computers for Signet, AT&T and IBM. He and his wife have been LLI members since 2013.
Suzanne Levitas is excited to further guide you on your LLI music journey into Western (European) Art Music. Suzanne has an extensive background in music performance as a vocal soloist, choral conductor, and ensemble and madrigal singer. She has performed opera, chamber music, oratory, choral music, and solo recitals as well as conducted orchestras and choral music, taught voice privately and a music instructor at the high school and university level. Suzanne has a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Willamette University, Salem, OR; a Master of Music in Musicology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, where her thesis and doctoral studies were on Ladino music in the Golden Age of Spain with noted musicologist, Miloš Velimirović. In addition to music, Suzanne received, a Master of Library and Information Science, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, and a Master of Information Technology, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, and worked over 30 years in Special Libraries and Information Technology where she did database management, business research and analysis, and writing in the science and financial industries.
Annebel Lewis is a Socio-Cultural Anthropologist whose primary research is in ritual, belief systems, and mythology. She is retired from California State University Fullerton and from Southern California Kaiser Permanente Medical Group. She appeared in Who's Who in American Women in 91-92 and has been published in various professional journals. Annebel has been a faculty member of LLI since 2007 and serves on the Board of Directors.
Bill Lohmann is an award-winning reporter and columnist and a Richmond native. He has worked for The Times-Dispatch and, previously The Richmond News Leader, since 1988. Bill also has reported for United Press International in Richmond, Orlando and Atlanta, and began his career as a sports writer for The Charlottesville Daily Progress.
Joanna Lurie has a M.S. in Health Administration, a B.S. in Medical biology and is a certified Medical Technologist (MT) by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) at a Masters Level (MASCP, MT (ASCP)). She is also certified in data base designs. She was the chemistry laboratory supervisor for 20 years in a major Long Island hospital. In addition, she worked as the Laboratory Information Systems Coordinator for six years, and she and her team developed, installed and taught the hospitals’ laboratory computer system for a seven-hospital system on Long Island, New York. She has been on the LLI faculty since 2006.
Linda Lyles is a certified Microsoft Computer Trainer (MCT) and enjoys being a Tech Coach at LLI.
Marilyn Mare is a retired Chesterfield County teacher who taught at J B Watkins Elementary School. She joined LLI in 2007 and is an active member who volunteers whenever needed. She also enjoys teaching Mah Jongg to fellow LLI students!
Michael Mariscalco MD, did his medical school training at Wright State University in Dayton, OH. He then went on to complete an orthopedic surgery residency at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. He finished his training by doing a sports medicine fellowship at The Ohio State University. Dr. Mariscalco has been with the OrthoVirginia group since completing his training in 2013 and specializes in knee and shoulder surgery and general orthopedics. His office locations are at Johnston-Willis and their new office in the Colonial Heights/Prince George area.
Glenn Markus holds degrees in philosophy (epistemology) and in Greek and Roman studies, both from The Johns Hopkins University. He has been an instructor at LLI since its founding and is also an instructor at other education programs for seniors in Virginia.
Edgar Martindale worked for the Federal Reserve System for 40 plus years. He worked 36 years at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and he spent 5 years at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington D.C. The majority of Bud's career at The Federal Reserve was in the areas of Accounting and Auditing. In his retirement, for the last 6 years, Bud facilitated numerous Junior Achievement programs at the high school level in the areas of Personal Finance, Economics and Ethics. Bud has a B.S. degree in Accounting and Finance from University of Baltimore and he has a M.A.S. degree in management from Johns Hopkins University. He has been an LLI member since 2015.
Robert Maxwell is a licensed speech and language pathologist currently serving the geriatric population as a Regional Clinical Director for Genesis Rehab Services. Robert has a degree in Biological Psychology, a Master's degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and additional post graduate degrees. One of Robert's primary passions is education and advocacy related to cognitive health. He has presented on the state, regional and national level on topics related to dementia and intervention strategies.
Bryan McChesney is a minister, chaplain and educator. He received his associate’s degrees through the following terminal colleges: University of Richmond, Campbell, Wake Forest, University of South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Ruschlion.
Juli McKenney is the Wellness Coordinator and coordinates the Flu Shot classes and clinics for LLI members. IVNA began in 1900 with a small group of nurses who were concerned about the lack of access to health care. These nurses volunteered during their off-duty hours to provide care and instruction to the poor and sick of Richmond. They continue today with flu clinics, and all profits of the clinics go towards charity care.
Mark Mikuta is a principal with Estate Settlement Solutions, LLC. He has worked in internal audit, corporate finance and real estate management and development. Mark received his BS in accounting from the University of Richmond. He is a member of many professional organizations and is also a Certified Financial Planner.
Curtis Monk is President and Chief Executive Officer of Commonwealth Public Broadcasting, the parent company the Community Idea Stations. Previously, Monk served as the Chief Financial Officer of the corporation and Vice President for Finance and Treasurer. Before his tenure at Commonwealth Public Broadcasting, he served Crestar Bank for nearly 20 years, most recently as Executive Vice President for Retail Banking-Headquarters Region. He received his MBA from the Colgate Darden School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia, and earned his BS from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia.
Wendy Morgan RYT 200. She began her exploration of yoga after her youngest of three children was born in 2005, and she was certified to teach in 2011. It is her great pleasure to share her love of yoga so that others may enjoy the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of a regular practice. Wendy believes that yoga is a wellspring of goodness, encouraging us to practice mindfulness and gratitude in every moment. It is a path that leads to confidence and contentment and allows us all to let our bright inner light shine! When she is not cheering from the sidelines on the soccer field, Wendy enjoys reading and making stained glass windows.
Sara Morris is the Program Coordinator of CATCH Healthy Habits and the Greater Richmond Age Wave. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences with a concentration in Public Health Education from James Madison University in 2014. She served as an intern for Senior Connections, The Capital Area Agency on Aging in their Transportation Department before graduation.
Dorothy Moses has been an LLI member since 2008. She’s an aspiring writer and has participated in several critique groups.
Mary Jane Murphy has a B.S. in Home Economics Education and a B.A. in Studio Art. She brings 25 years teaching experience to LLI and has been a member at Chesterfield LLI since 2010.
Fred Nelson is a retired Air Force major general who served as a fighter pilot for most of his 36 years of duty. He also served at the Pentagon, in NATO Headquarters and has lived in Europe, Asia, the Pacific region and the Middle East.
Cathy Notzelman resides in Eastern Hanover County (Virginia) where she divides her time between software development and painting. She has taken numerous classes at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Visual Arts Center of Richmond including black and white photography and watercolor, which has been her primary focus since 2001. Her work has been exhibited in juried shows held by the Virginia Watercolor Society and the Central Virginia Watercolor Guild.
Robert Oliver is a retired professor and business owner who has lived and worked in the Richmond area for 34 years. He was a professor at VCU (both full and part time) in the Department of Public Administration for 20 years. He is currently the Chairman of Oliver Properties, a Richmond multifamily housing development company. His studies have focused on human behavior throughout his academic career. He is versed in education, psychology, sociology, organizational theory and behavior. His current interest is in examining aging and helping others (and himself) discover their own concepts or philosophies of aging. Dr. Oliver holds an undergraduate degree from Barrington College and graduate degrees from Columbia University and the University of Virginia.
Hans Oppe Ph.D, is a graduate of the Technical University Aachen in Germany. He is a retired corporate officer who worked for companies in Germany and the USA.
Lise Orth has been teaching group exercise classes for almost 35 years. She teaches strength/cardio classes, cycling and yoga. She enjoys working with all levels of students, and is especially thrilled to teach at LLI, where students are so motivated and happy. Lise feels the most important part of fitness is to have fun while you learn and get stronger - if it's not fun, why do it? With that thought in mind, Lise strives to make each class enjoyable as well as informative.
Ian Patrick is a Financial Advisor and Senior Portfolio Advisor at Merrill Lynch in Richmond with over 20 years of experience in financial services. He holds a degree in economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder, a MBA from the University of North Carolina and has earned the designation of Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor. Ian has been quoted in several publications, including Entrepreneur and Research magazines and helps clients achieve their retirement income goals by assisting them with Social Security decisions and distribution options for their employer-sponsored retirement plans, constructing a customized income-generating investment portfolio. He can be found at http://fa.ml.com/ian_patrick.
Mary Lou Paulett has been active with LLI since 2008, has been quilting for over 20 years and teaching it at LLI since she joined. She is proficient in many needle arts, is familiar with many forms of quilting, and enjoys sharing her love of fabric, color, design, and knowledge with others. She has also bought and sold quite a bit on eBay over the last 20 years and looks forward to assisting others in doing the same. Her classes incorporate a very relaxed atmosphere of fun, knowledge, and friendship. Emphasis is on enjoyment, not perfection, which matches her preferred approach to life.
Paula Peaden practices in the areas of Trust and Estate Planning, Trusts and Estates Administration, Elder Law, Long Term Care & Disability Planning, Special Needs Trusts, and Guardianships. She was named the Best Elder Care Lawyer in Richmond in the 2014 edition of Best Lawyers in America®. Her knowledge and professionalism are evidenced by a number of other accolades, including her appointment to the 2014 Virginia Business Legal Elite, the 2013 Class of Leaders in the Law, Best Lawyers in America® for Trusts and Estate, Virginia Super Lawyers for Trusts and Estates and Elder Law and AV-rated Martindale Hubbell Preeminent Women Lawyers. She began her professional career as a registered nurse after receiving her Bachelor of Science degree from Mount St. Mary’s College. She received her legal education from George Mason University. She is a member of the Trust & Estate Section and a past chairperson of the Board of Governors of the Elder Law Section of the Virginia State Bar. She also is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Special Needs Alliance and Estate Planning Council of Richmond. Her published works include: Popular Types of Trusts and Considerations for Their Use, chapter written for Aspatore Law Books Inside the Minds series, “Best Practice For Structuring Trusts and Estates” (January 2015) and Specials Needs Trusts, Virginia Lawyers Weekly (May 2014).
Marshall Pearman is a lifelong resident of Virginia. He attended Hampden-Sydney College and the University of Richmond. He taught high school Social Studies for 32 years in Chesterfield and has been an LLI member since 2013.
Beverly Perdue is a nationally and internationally recognized watercolor artist who has won numerous awards for her work. She has been published in Artist Magazine, America Artist Magazine, and “Best of Watercolor Painting Texture” by Rockport publications.
Sandi Phillips has been teaching Group Exercise in the Richmond area for 20+ years. She is certified in Group Exercise, STEP, Slide, Weight Room Resistance, Pilates, 200 hour Yoga certification (on the way to 500), Barre, Personal Training, and more! She enjoys people, and particularly helping people discover that they are capable of far more than they thought. Sandi is a lifelong resident of Richmond, except for four years in Charlottesville. She is looking forward to meeting many new friends at LLI.
Sandy Phillips has a degree in Music and Music Education. She continued her studies at UR, VCU, and Westminster Choir College. Her performance majors were piano and organ, with a minor in vocal production. She taught public and private school music in VA,CT, NY, NJ, and IL, and has also been a church organist and choral director. She has performed in Musicals, and other theatrical productions, and has been an instructor at LLI since 2013.
Barbara Powers has been teaching Sign Language for over 40 years. She studied for 3 years at the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youth and Adults in Sands Point, New York. She has taught both privately and corporately for many years. Barbara joined LLI in 2016 and invites her fellow LLI members to come and learn a type of communication that is beautiful, rewarding and practical.
Rachel Ramirez has been the Executive Director at LLI in Chesterfield since March 2014. She previously worked for four years in IT and as a Financial Team Manager with a nonprofit in Mechanicsville, Caring Voice Coalition. Before that, she was an Assistant Branch Manager with First Market Bank in Richmond and a Store Manager at Starbucks Coffee Company. She has enjoyed attending and volunteering for her church, Clover Hill Assembly of God for over 10 years and is grateful for the opportunity she has to travel to Honduras each summer to work with Give Hope 2 Kids, a children's home in the mountains.
Harry Rast has been an LLI member since 2008 and currently serves on the Board of Directors as Treasurer. He enjoys writing and has a desire to encourage others in this discipline.
Patrice Reese is a graduate of East Carolina University's School of Art with a degree in Art Education. She has exhibited throughout the United State and studied with several master artists. She believes anyone can become an artist with an open mind, enough practice, and a strong concept. She has been featured in PALETTE magazine and is represented by Uptown Gallery in Richmond.
Kimberly Rideout is currently a Fire and Life Safety Educator for Chesterfield Fire and EMS in Virginia. She has more than 19 years of experience in public safety, serving in career and volunteer roles. She volunteers her time with the Tidewater Critical Incident Stress Management Team in Hampton Roads, Virginia and has most recently become an authorized volunteer for Operation Lifesaver. Kimberly is a graduate of the Southside Regional Fire Academy, has attended the National Fire Academy, and holds multiple degrees from Radford University.
Caroline Roessler has a Master's in Nutrition and Dietetics from Kent State University and is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist. It is her passion to provide nutrition education and quality care to empower individuals to make positive lifestyle changes that work for them. Some special interests include nutrition for cancer and diabetes and working with children. Caroline is the in-store nutritionist for the Charter Colony Martin's in Midlothian. In her free time she enjoys being outdoors with her dog, and trying new recipes in the kitchen.
Sarah Rohrer MSW, earned her Bachelor's Degree in Corporate Communication from James Madison University. After several years of National Community Service with City Year and work with HIV/AIDS patients at the Max Robinson Center in Washington, DC, she entered graduate school at Columbia University in the City of New York. Sarah completed her Masters of Science in Social Work concentrating in Advanced Clinical Practice with a focus on mental health and a minor in International Social Welfare. She spent several years working in intensive care in hospitals in New York City and Richmond, VA, and moved into her role at CJW Medical Center's Palliative Care Social Worker earlier this year. Sarah is a Richmond native, is a loving wife to her husband, Jon, and lucky mother to her 19-month-old son, Jackson. Sarah has a passion for working in healthcare, specifically palliative and end-of-life care.
George Saunders is a Visitor Services Associate at the American Civil War Museum and graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University. A lifelong student of railroad history, he has been an active member of the Old Dominion Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society for more than 40 years. Contributing in countless capacities, including serving on the board of directors, he currently serves as the facilities rental manager for the chapter’s museum in Richmond, Virginia. In the past year, George has done PowerPoint presentations on “The Development of Trains in the South and their Use in 1864” and “Railroad Communications in 1864” at the American Civil War Museum, the Richmond Railroad Museum, and LLI as part of the Sesquicentennial lecture series on the war.
Les Schaffer is a long time LLI Instructor, storyteller, retired counselor and grand and great-grandfather. A founding member of the Tell Tale Hearts Storytellers Theater Company and the Two Tellers Telling Tandem Storytelling Group, Les presents original and traditional stories in a variety of settings, including festivals, story concerts, schools, churches, classes, workshops and conferences. A popular speaker and workshop leader, Les has offered keynote speeches, workshops and storytelling demonstrations for many local, statewide and national organizations. His current passions involve coaching the “The Story Warriors”, a youth storytelling group based in Church Hill and preparing two new original full-length story/music pieces for theatrical presentation.
Bonnie Scimone serves as the Community Outreach and Marketing Specialist for SeniorNavigator. Bonnie has been with SeniorNavigator for over 10 years and has over 30 years of experience in sales, training, and relationship development. She graduated from Longwood University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics and received her Elementary Education Teaching Certificate from Virginia Commonwealth University. Bonnie has one son in Georgia and one daughter in Chesterfield, VA and 5 grandchildren. She resides in the tri-city area with her husband while also calling Yale, VA (Sussex County) home.
William Seay is a professor in the Economics department at VCU and the History department at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College. He was previously an affiliated professor of History and Geography at John Tyler Community College. He is also a visiting summer lecturer on call at Concordia and McGill Universities in Montreal as well as at Bishop's University in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada and for the School of Continuing Education at Oxford and Cambridge Universities in Great Britain. In November 2014, William was invested as a KM (Knight Member) in The Most Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem (the oldest British Crusader order that dates back to 1109 AD).
Chris Semtner is the Curator of the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia, and is the author, co-author, or editor of eight books on Edgar Allan Poe. He has even appeared in the BBC 4 documentary Edgar Allan Poe: Love, Death, and Women and the Military Channel program History: Facts vs. Fiction. His most recent book is about the artwork of James Carling.
Terry Shepherd has been involved in creative pursuits throughout her life and Watercolor has been her choice of medium since 2000. Her love of painting in this medium brings her immense joy that is hard not to share. It is her hope to awaken this joy in others. Terry is a signature member of The Virginia Watercolor Society, a member of the Central Virginia Watercolor Guild and The Colorado Watercolor Society. Her work has been selected into state juried exhibitions and publications throughout the years.
Alan Sikora has been playing racquet sports since he was a teenager. He discovered pickleball recently and has been playing regularly ever since. He has found that pickleball offers great camaraderie and as much competition as you desire. He also loves playing bridge with his friends at LLI and beyond!
Joanne Simmelink is a Senior Planner for the Chesterfield County Midlothian Special Area Plan. She and the Comprehensive Planning & Research (CPR) Team are planning professionals who value community involvement and data-driven decision making in support of elected and appointed officials. They help guide future growth and development through effective research, data creation and analysis, providing a strong foundation for the Comprehensive Plan.
Shep Smith is a native of Richmond. He holds a Bachelor's degree from RPI, now VCU, and a Master's degree from the University of Richmond. He taught American history at Thomas Dale High School in Chesterfield County for over 30 years.
Mary Anne Snavely is the Co-Founder and CEO of Pelvic Health Systems (PHS) and creator of Pelvic Floor Training (PFT), a comprehensive corrective rehabilitation program unique in the industry of pelvic floor rehabilitation and healing. Mary Anne’s mission is to spread awareness to women of all ages and educate them about the early complaints and warning signs of pelvic floor dysfunction.
Sara Sommers teaches the Alexander Technique, a method of self-care which helps to prevent and manage neck and back pain and relieve stress. Certified in Ergonomics, Mindfulness and Pastoral Care and Counseling, Sara is fascinated by the body's capacity to heal itself and maintain wellness.
Martha Steger has worked on both sides of the media, having been senior editor of Richmond Lifestyle Magazine before being public relations director for the Virginia Tourism Corporation for over 25 years. She's presently a freelance writer covering travel, business, the arts and other subjects for media as diverse as Mid-Atlantic Recreation News, Fine Books & Collections Magazine, Richmond Family Magazine, Virginia Business, Boomer, and the Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg's daily).
Joanie Steil MSN, RN, is the Trauma Education Injury Prevention Coordinator at Chippenham Hospital.
Peggy Stevens is a retired math and science teacher from Chesterfield County Public Schools. Since she retired, she has worked with three grants at Virginia Commonwealth University involving teaching English Language Learners and Inquiry in Science teaching. Currently Peggy is adjunct at VCU where she supervises student teachers during the spring semester. In her spare time, Peggy volunteers at Johnston Willis Hospital, works with her garden club and creates floral arrangements for her church. In addition she is a judge for the Virginia Romance Writers annual Holt Medallion Award contest. Peggy has been an LLI member since 2008.
Kendalle Stock has been in the field of insurance in Chesterfield since 1985. A graduate of High Point University, Kendalle also earned her CLU designation in 1999. She has owned her own multi-line insurance agency, worked in the Long Term Care insurance field, and in group benefits. In 2013, she decided to make Medicare her primary focus, realizing how so many people were overwhelmed and confused by this program. Her passion is to help educate her clients so they understand the options well enough to make informed decisions about this important part of retirement. More information can be found on her website: CommonwealthMedicareAdvisors.com
Lillie Stratton served as corporate secretary and assistant to the president of the Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc. for 25 years. She has been an LLI member since 2009 and is currently serving on the Board of Directors.
Damir Strmel is an investment analyst for a privately held wealth management company in Midlothian. He began tai chi play 13 years ago. He studied Yang-style tai chi for four years with Nate Mohler, D.O.M. Damir has also studied Yang sword form and Chen and Sun styles of tai chi. His journey through tai chi has brought him many interesting perspectives. Damir is also an avid golfer and enjoys the arts, hiking, and creating music.
Ben Strohm is a Librarian who has been with Chesterfield County Public Library since 2006, working in reference, program development, and helping to make the library’s MakerSpace a success with the community. He enjoys tinkering with machines, gardening, and making stuff out of other stuff.
Mark Swearengen is a veteran and retired civil servant with experience in military planning, field artillery, and public affairs. In the 1980s he was also a columnist for the European Edition of The Stars and Stripes. He has been an LLI member since 2015.
Elizabeth Thomas serves as the Development Director for the Richmond Animal League, the area’s oldest “no-kill” organization.
Bryan Truzzie is an Historic Sites Specialist for the Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation Department and a member of the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia.
Hilliary Turner is a tour guide at Shirley Plantation and adjunct history instructor at Rappahannock Community College.
Preeti Verma is from the Richmond area and currently lives in Glen Allen. She has been working as a physical therapist since 1992, attended MCV/VCU for graduate school and GS Medical College in Bombay, India for her undergraduate. Preeti has a certification in Vestibular Rehabilitation through Emory University and specializes in vestibular disorders and balance problems. She currently works at Sheltering Arms' outpatient therapy office in their Hanover and Bon Air locations. Preeti always enjoys giving presentations in the community!
Kristine von Ruffer was born, raised, and educated in Germany and is therefore fluent in German. She utilized this skill as a teacher with the Berlitz School in New Jersey for many years. Kristine is tri-lingual, also being fluent in Italian after living in Milan, Italy for four years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from Handels & Wirtschaftschule Kaemmerer, Germany. Prior to moving to Richmond, Virginia in 1993 with her husband, Kristine lived in New Jersey for over twenty years with their two daughters. She has extensive international corporate experience, as she was the office manager for an import/export business, Tex Inc., for over 10 years, and also held other office manager positions prior/post her tenure at Tex Inc. In her free time she enjoys tennis, golf, hiking and classical music. She also volunteers with Richmond Symphony Orchestra League.
Helene Wagner is an award winning screenwriter and playwright. She's had six screenplays optioned by production companies with one cast for CBS. She worked as a Writers Guild Literary Agent for a number of years and was the Founder of the Virginia Screenwriters’ Forum and recently retired as its Director after 25 years. One of Helene's thriller screenplays, Lady Justice, is currently under consideration with an L.A. Production Company. She is in the process of marketing her newest full-length stage play, The French Apartment, to publishers. As her writing schedule permits, she teaches screenwriting classes at the University of Richmond. Helene enjoys sharing great movies and PBS Mystery Series to view and to discuss with LLI students.
Mervin Warner has been carving since the mid 1980's and started carving to learn to represent objects in three dimensions versus the two dimensions of drawing. He has been a member of the James River Wood Carvers since the mid 80's. Carving interests are, and have been, carving in the round and include faces, whales, dolphins and stylized birds.
Jim Warns is a HECM Specialist with Retirement Funding Solutions, Inc., one of the largest reverse mortgage direct lenders in the country. In that capacity he deals exclusively with the federally insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) loan program, and focuses on the proactive use of that program in retirement planning. Jim has been in the mortgage industry for more than 20 years, and owned his own mortgage brokerage company for 10 years before making the decision to focus on reverse mortgages in 2008. He is certified to give CE presentations on reverse mortgages for CFPs, Realtors and attorneys (CLE). He has also presented on the subject to various community organizations and teaches two recurring classes for consumers at LLI. He is a founding board member and Education Director of the RVA Better Aging Forum, a board member of the Central Virginia Financial Planning Association, past Vice-Chair and Chairperson of the Chesterfield Council on Aging and an active member of several other senior service-oriented organizations. Jim holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees in business from The College of William & Mary and lives in Richmond.
La Donna Wheatley was born and raised in Louisville, KY. She attended the University of Louisville, and has been married to her husband, David, for 38 years. They have three sons, and as of last fall, have three daughters but no grandchildren…yet. La Donna's husband works for DuPont, which is what brought them to the Richmond area. She believes LLI is a wonderful resource and a blessing to her and the whole Richmond community and has been an LLI member since 2012, although she took a 2 year break when they moved to Delaware. She's so happy to be back!
Robert White MD, is board certified in neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology as well as the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia where he also completed a residency in neurology. Dr. White completed a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology-EMG at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. In addition to general neurology, Dr. White's interests include electromyography and nerve conduction studies, single fiber EMG and diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the neuromuscular system.
Donna Whitfield is a current member of LLI. She is a former English teacher with Chesterfield County. She started beading over five years ago and specializes in bead weaving.
Maha Whitfield is a native of Cairo, Egypt, and a graduate of Cairo University, majoring in Egyptian History, Monuments and Art. She worked for ten years as an Egyptologist and professional guide, leading French, British and American groups to historical and cultural sites in Egypt. Since moving to Midlothian in 1989, she has been involved in the enrichment program with Chesterfield County Public Schools. Maha has lectured at Women's clubs as well as the Science Museum.
Nicole Williams has been practicing as an Occupational Therapist since graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2001 with her Master's in Occupational Therapy. Over the past 16 years, she has practiced in a variety of settings and has found her passion working with older adults in a rehab setting. In addition to working with older adults in a clinic setting, she has spent over 10 years working as a volunteer for Rebuilding Together Richmond, helping older adults remain in their home and age in place safely. Nicole has independently earned her Certification as an Aging in Place Specialist through the National Association of Homebuilders and is currently completing coursework to earn a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. Nicole has focused her career on and remains dedicated to helping older adults remain safely and successfully in their homes and in their communities through feasible and affordable aging in place strategies.
Glenn Winters has been Virginia Opera's Community Outreach Music Director since 2003. He holds the Doctor of Music in piano performance from Northwestern University. As an operatic baritone, he has sung leading roles in this country and Italy. As a composer, his nine commissioned operas have all toured successfully. His book "The Opera Zoo: Singers, Composers and Other Primates" is available from Kendall Hunt Publishing. He lives in Newport News.
Nena Woods has a BA in French and Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and has taught all levels of Spanish since 1981. Her latest experience was teaching K-8th grade at the Sabot at Stony Point private school here in Richmond. She has traveled many times to Spain especially the Canary Islands where her mother's family lives.
Sharee Wright MD, received her bachelor degree from North Carolina State University. She then returned to Charleston to complete her medical education. After obtaining her medical degree from The Medical University of South Carolina, she remained to complete her general surgery internship (2008) and residency (2013). She was named the administrative chief resident of the MUSC General Surgery Residency for the 2012 – 2013 academic year. During her residency, she was nominated for several teaching awards. Dr. Wright successfully completed two years of additional training in Vascular and Endovascular Surgery in June 2015 at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. She is board eligible for the American Board of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery.
Michael Wriston has been an adjunct member of the faculty (full professor) at the University of Richmond for over 25 years and is the founder and president of The Reinvention Factory and The Competitive Edge. An established, and published, expert on leadership development and the creation of 'high-performance' teams and 'cultures', Dr. Wriston has, most recently, developed broad - and practical - expertise on the development of talent, nurturing (personal) resiliency and enabling people to discover their 'gifts', their 'story' and their 'life's purpose' to ensure that they're able to fulfill their 'destiny'. A (native) Vermonter, and guardian of the 'environment', Dr. Wriston - a long-time soccer coach, is the proud father of four (remarkable) sons.
Howard Wynn is a retired recreational supervisor for the Va Department of Juvenile Justice. When this former paratrooper and VIETNAM veteran isn't glued to an art project, he enjoys Phase 10, backgammon, corn hole, and any other sports related activity. His mother's experience with Alzheimer's was a pivotal moment in his life that has inspired and encouraged him to share his creative talents.
Michael Zohab is a lifelong resident of Henrico County and has been a Richmond Police Officer for 28 years. The majority of his law enforcement career has been in investigations with a primary focus in all levels of drug enforcement. These include working in an undercover capacity, supervision of narcotic and violent crime investigations, asset forfeiture and money laundering investigations, and currently as the Commander in charge of the Special Investigation Division. In 2013, Mike saw a need for the renovation of how law enforcement addressed opiate addicts. The drastic increase in over-dose victims, coupled with years of professional and personal contact with individuals struggling with addiction, fueled a passion to be a change agent in this opiate epidemic. Mike instituted policy changes and educational programs to better serve the victims of the disease of addiction and in the spring of 2016 founded the Virginia Recovery Foundation. In his downtime, Mike loves all aspects of outdoor life (in particular fishing) and considers himself to be an expert chef.