Midlothian, VA. 804.378.2527

Lifelong Learning Chesterfield

Instructors & Facilitators

Lifelong Learning Institute in

Volunteer to teach a class. Here's how.

Lifelong Learning Institute
in Chesterfield

Mailing address:

P.O. Box 1090
Midlothian, VA  23113

Physical Location:
13801 Westfield Road
Midlothian, VA 23113
Office Hours 
Monday - Friday
8:00am - 4:00pm

are now available inside or outside in a bin at our office and under "classes" in the navigation bar at the top of this page.

Spring 2019

Jan 2 - May 3

You may register
at any time!

Open Registration

December 10-12
9:00am - 3:00pm

Spring: Jan-April
Summer: May-August
Fall: Sept-Dec


Gift certificates
are available for
LLI membership! 
Email info@llichesterfield.org
for details or call the office
at 804-378-2527.
LLI  follows the
Chesterfield County School
winter weather closings. 
If schools are cancelled due to inclement weather, LLI is also closed. If the schools have a delayed opening of any kind,
 LLI will open at 10 am.
Lifelong Learning Institute in Chesterfield is a registered IRS 501c3 non-profit. You can support its educational programs by donating online here.
Thank you!

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!

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. She has been an LLI member since 2007 and is known as one of LLI’s resident poets.

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.

Elnora Allen is a self-employed consultant for Community Change. She has been involved in various aspects of community leadership and initiatives designed to promote community transformation, reconciliation and cooperation.  She is a founding member and President of History Healing & Hope, a community organization dedicated to promoting healing history, reconciliation and transformation of persons of diverse backgrounds.  Elnora has facilitated dialogues on race and reconciliation, led workshops and conferences on transformation and change, served as a board member, consultant and team leader on several non-profits, and is a retreat leader.

Donald Amos is a musician who loves sharing musical hours with his LLI friends. He has been a member of LLI since 2015.

Cindy Arnold is a librarian at the Chesterfield County Public Library Midlothian branch. She has a Masters in Library Science from Louisiana State University and has worked as a librarian since 2001 both in public and school libraries. Cindy enjoys assisting people as they pursue their learning goals. She has lived in Midlothian since 2003 and likes exploring all that Virginia has to offer.

Brian Austin PhD, is a retired professor of psychology. 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. He has studied colored pencil with Gloria Callahan, Dawn Flores, and Teresa Pennington. He is a member of the Bon Air Artist Association. The joy of drawing is contagious, and Brian looks forward to sharing his passion for creative expression with others in the classroom.

Pam Bachman received her Master's Degree in Library Science from Syracuse University in 1969. As a public librarian for many years she has organized and led book groups for people of all ages. A devoted reader, Pam enjoys well-written historical novels, classics and mysteries. She believes that you haven't really read any book until you talk about it with someone else.

Guinn Baker is the Outreach Coordinator for Richmond Ballet, The State Ballet of Richmond. She enjoys coordinating trips for LLI to visit the Ballet's Canal Street studios for a sneak preview of upcoming productions and a behind the scenes tour of the facilities.

Karen Bell has spent most of her life in neuroscience research, with a current focus on the neurobiology of brain disorders. She has a M.S. from University of Pittsburgh and an MSW from VCU. She currently works with her husband in his neuroscience lab at VCU-MCV studying neurodegeneration in the hippocampus and associated structures as well as running day to day laboratory operations. She also serves as a Chesterfield Community Services Board member and as a data and research group member of the Virginia Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Commission.

Rich Bellows and his wife, Michelle, are instructors certified by the Tai Chi for Health Institute to teach selected Tai Chi forms.

Millie Bishop is the Revenue Recovery Manager with Chesterfield Fire and EMS.   She is responsible for coordinating all the billing and payment activity for the ambulance transports.  Millie has been with the Fire department since July 2011 and worked with the Chesterfield Treasurer's Office for 7 years prior as ACH payment and Credit Card Coordinator.   Millie has an Accounting degree and is a Medical Assistant.   Millie also is certified as NAAC and NACO with ambulance billing and is a Notary Public.

N. Douglas Boardman specializes in elbow and shoulder reconstruction (including total joint replacement, trauma and post-trauma reconstruction, arthritis, arthroscopy, tendon injuries and sports injuries) and arthroscopic knee surgery. Dr. Boardman is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, Virginia Orthopaedic Society, Medical Society of Virginia, Richmond Academy of Medicine, Mayo Elbow Club, Richmond Orthopaedic Club, Southern Orthopaedic Association, and the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons. He also is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Jean Bosch loves playing bridge, Pickleball and is an enrolled agent who has been doing taxes since 1978. She is a member of the Richmond James River Lions Club and is the club’s Treasurer. Jean joined LLI in 2013.

Debbie Bowie established her business in 1998. She is a Certified Professional Organizer®, a Certified Organizer Coach® specializing in ADHD, a feng shui practitioner, a professional speaker, and the author of Rock Scissors Paper: Understanding How Environment Affects Your Performance on a Daily Basis. She provides hands-on organizing services, life coaching for women who are stuck and want support to accomplish their goals, and educational seminars on clutter clearing, organizing, feng shui and ADHD.

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.

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 still finds new dance moves to share with LLI members even after 30 collective years of social dancing and 8 years of sharing his accumulated dance knowledge. He welcomes new and old students into the dance room to learn the current offering or to refresh their dance experience.

Ed Butterworth is a former mathematics teacher and insurance brokerage actuary who enjoys playing bridge and other challenging games of logic.

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.

James Carter joined LLI in 2017 and is an Emeritus Professor of Geography with interests in weather, climate and cartography. In December 2003, Jim discovered attractive formations of ice on some plant stems. He had never seen anything like it. Since then he has learned much about such ice formations from his own observations and from emails and web pages.

Hal Cauthen retired from the Navy and then private industry (Defense Electronics). He enjoys traveling, drawing, sketching, painting, writing, dancing and interacting with others to share ideas and techniques. Hal and his wife joined LLI in 2016.

Kate Challis is the Trauma Program Manager at Johnston Willis Hospital and a Registered Nurse.

Peggy Chicklo is the sister of a member, Diana Donahue. She has been dancing for years and loves tap.

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!

Jennifer Collins has a Master of Divinity from Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond and a Master of Science in Patient Counseling from VCU Medical Center.  She is a Board Certified Chaplain through the Association of Professional Chaplains and is currently the Director of Pastoral Care at both Chippenham and Johnston Willis Hospitals. She is also a member of the executive committee for the Virginia Chaplains Association and a long-time member of Bon Air Baptist Church.

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!

Lorrie Curley educates and guides families and individuals to collect, curate and celebrate their photo memories for generations to come. She has been honored to do this important work for over 26 years. In that time, she has seen photography move from film to digital, bringing with it many new challenges for the family historian. Through her photo organizing classes, Lorrie helps people to organize their printed photos, slides, negatives and current digital images.

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.

Wanda Cutchins is an artist with over thirty years’ experience in oil painting. She is a retired teacher and completed her career as an educational technology director. Wanda enjoys being a master gardener as well as a Virginia Master Naturalist. She has been an LLI member since 2017.

James Davidson is a Vice President of Investments for Davenport & Company and Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner with more than 16 years of industry experience. He currently serves as an Ex-Officio member on the LLI Board of Directors and manages the LLI Endowment Fund.

John DeMajo is a retired engineer and contractor with fifty years’ experience in the electrical, mechanical and communications fields. John has been an active Ham radio operator since the age of 14 and an avid collector of antique communications equipment and historical artifacts. He is certified as an ARRL Registered License Instructor and is the founder of The Museum of Yesterday. Additionally, John enjoys performing recitals and accompanying silent movie recreations on the theatre pipe organ.

Jennifer DeRusha has been a member of LLI since 2015 and has 38 years of teaching experience including Chesterfield Adult Education, Allbrands, Collegiate Cougar after-school program for children, and the YMCA. She was past president, vice president, secretary and founding member of Hospitality Quilters Chapter, Richmond Quilters Guild. Jennifer is a member of and Membership Chairman of the Richmond Central VA Chapter of the American Sewing Guild. She has 50 years of sewing experience, including her own line of reversible clothing for children, has completed 100+ quilts and featured three quilt shows of her own work. Jennifer is also a juried watercolor artist and member of Bon Air Artist Association. She graduated from VCU in 1969.

Donna Doherty holds a Masters in Nursing (MSN) and is a Stroke Certified Registered Nurse (SCRN) with CJW Medical Center.

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.

Pauline Dufficy has been dancing for over 8 years.

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.

Gary Ellenberger is a member of the Lifelong Learning Institute, and he is a past member of the LLI Board of Directors. Mr. Ellenberger is retired from Dominion Virginia Power as Director of Material Support. He has also worked as Director of Operations (General Manager) for Ingram Book Company. He has experience in Materials Management, Operations, Accounting and several other financial areas including tax preparation.

Laura Evans has been practicing colored pencils art for over five years. She has taken classes online to perfect her skill and love of the medium. She has five cats, two dogs and two bunnies that are subject to being put in her artwork at will. Laura is married with two 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.

Bob Ferguson has been an active member of LLI since 2008 and a member of the LLI Board of Directors since 2015.  He has a Ph.D. in Chemistry and was involved in technical research, management, and consulting for 38 years at Phillip Morris/Altria.  Bob has varied interests including history, economics, and literature.  He recently became interested in Readers Theater and has performed in Bifocals and Huguenot Community Players productions.

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.

Martha Frickert is retired and now serving as community advocate on several boards. She previously served as a member and president on the LLI Board of Directors.

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.

Sandra Fry has been a Master Gardener since 2005, a Richmond Tree Steward since 2010, a member of the Salisbury Garden Club since 2001 and a member of LLI since 2013. She has been an avid gardener all her adult life. Before retiring she was a professional trainer in the Information Technology Field.

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.

Tracey Gendron is an Associate Professor in the Department of Gerontology in the School of Allied Health Professions at Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Gendron has a Master of Science in Gerontology, a Master of Science in Psychology and a PhD in Developmental Psychology. She teaches several graduate and undergraduate service-based courses including grant writing, research methods and biology of aging. Tracey takes an all-inclusive approach to teaching about aging, particularly highlighting those understudied and underrepresented groups that are at increased risk of negative health outcomes based on discrimination.

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.

Reta Good is a retired nurse and joined LLI along with her husband, Bill, in 2007. They spent 19 summers on Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia where they attended a number of International Tattoos.

Christy Gray has been with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Division of Immunization for more than eight years. Prior to working at VDH, Christy worked for an advocacy agency where she handled key technical, regulatory, legislative, and business affairs, and spearheaded fundraising efforts. Christy has a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!) and a Master’s in Public Health from George Washington University. She lives in the Richmond area with her husband, son, and dog. Christy stays busy chasing her son, playing volleyball, and spending time with family and friends. Lewis and Juana Levi, LLI members and instructors, are Christy’s proud aunt and uncle!

Wenndy Green is an  AFAA certified group exercise instructor, ACSM certified Personal trainer and PCC certified Pilates Instructor. She also works part time at OrthoVirginia as a Medical Assistant. Fitness is Wenndy's passion and she absolutely loves working with any fitness enthusiast of any age.

Becky Griswold is a Genetic Genealogist and has been for 18 years. She is an administrator of nine DNA projects at Family Tree DNA, most of which were started by her. Becky has given Genetic Genealogy presentations to the Griswold Family Association, to her local high school, to the Swedish Colonial Society and, most recently, to the 17th Annual New Sweden History Conference. After a ten year search, thanks to Genetic Genealogy, she found her biological grandfather. She has also helped adoptees find one or both biological parents using these same techniques. She has a BS in Business Administration and a Post-Baccalaureate in Secondary Education Mathematics, both from Arizona State University.

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 has enjoyed teaching and tech coaching students at LLI. To his pleasant surprise, he recently had his favorite teacher from high school in a few of his classes. Mark is also now a Drone Operator.

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!

Carol Henderson received a major in teaching and a minor in art in college. Now retired, she enjoys painting as a past-time and is a displaying member of Bon Air Artists.

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.

LaVae Hoffman teaches basic and advanced paper craft techniques in the Charlottesville area. She hosts monthly card and scrapbook workshops and special craft events using Stampin’ Up© products.

Mimi Holt is the Real Estate Marketing Associate with Virginia Credit Union. Mimi is 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 reached more than 14,000 individuals last 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.

Jake Howson is a pharmacist and holds the title of Pharmacy Clinical Specialist at CJW Medical Center.

Jay Ipson is a Litvak-American Holocaust survivor and co-founder of the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond, Virginia. Jay graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School and attended the University of Richmond. He joined the United States Army Reserve in 1954, serving as an instructor in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He was honorably discharged at the rank of sergeant after eight years of service. A skilled aviator, Jay ascended to the rank of full colonel in the Virginia Defense Force Aviation Brigade, serving as its commander from 1988 to 1992. As owner of American Auto Parts in Hopewell, he was active in the Anti-Defamation League and frequently spent his mornings giving talks at local schools about the Holocaust. A friend suggested that he should establish a museum to let people learn more from him. After a discussion with leaders at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and with backing from financial and legislative leaders, the Virginia Holocaust Museum was born.

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 holds Master Craftsman certifications in the Counted Thread, Crewel, Color, and Design programs from the Embroiderers’ Guild of America (EGA). She is a past and current president of the EGA Gentle Pursuits of Richmond chapter. She is currently chair of the EGA Master Craftsman Design program and EGA Master Craftsman Coordinator. 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. Catherine teaches at local needlework chapters and regional, national, and international seminars. Her work can be seen at www.CatherinesDesigns.net.

John Kaldy and his wife, Christine, own and operate First Flight Creations, which is a division of Kaldy Services, Inc. The focus of this company is to engage with the special needs community by exploring and developing their special talents through viable employment. Their employees provide a fun and creative work environment to foster the youth’s skills. Products are built with materials bought or discarded from the contracting company, Kaldy Services. These products are then sold for a profit with their employees being fairly compensated and 11% of sales going to charitable organizations. Visit their website, FirstFlightCreations.com or their Facebook page for more information.

Alice Kane is a retired special education teacher who relocated to Midlothian from Buffalo, New York, to be closer to her four grandchildren. She is a member of The Brandermill Woman's Club and is active in the Chesterfield community. Alice has been a card-maker for over 20 years and is always looking for new techniques to create one-of-a-kind cards. She also enjoys cooking and experimenting with different recipes and ingredients and sharing what she has learned with others. Alice joined LLI in 2014.

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.

Dorota Kawka E-RYT 200, took her first yoga class in 1996 while pregnant with her first child and instantly fell in love with it. She was certified to teach yoga in 2008 and has been teaching ever since. Dorota especially enjoys working with older adults, teaching a variety of Chair Yoga, Senior Yoga and Gentle Yoga classes at different locations in Richmond area. She is delighted to be able to share her practice with the LLI family.

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.

Delores Kimbrough is the Outreach Director for the Greater Richmond Age Wave, which is a collaboration of public and private organizations, businesses, and individuals including older adults working to prepare for the opportunities and challenges of our region’s growing aging population. Together, they are working hard to implement, monitor, and evaluate the Greater Richmond Regional Plan for Age Wave Readiness—a shared blueprint that prioritizes targeted actions to improve well-being in the counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent and Powhatan, and the City of Richmond.

Bette Kot MLIS, is a retired librarian from the California Genealogical Society. Her passion is genealogy!

Charles Koutnik has a variety of experience in several subject areas. An award winning photographer, he taught a "History of Photography" course for LLI in Fall 2016. Beside Photography, Chuck studied Comparative Religion and American History at Cleveland State University. As a Library Director at three Virginia public libraries, he has belonged to several local historical societies and has spoken to diverse organizations ranging from Rotary to the Daughters of the American Revolution. Chuck wrote several columns for the Hopewell News entitled, "Famous Forgotten Americans." He has been an LLI member since 2016.

Sherri Laffoon is the Deputy Coordinator of Emergency Management for Chesterfield County. She 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 secretary for the Central Virginia Emergency Management Alliance, a member of the Virginia Fire Chiefs Assoc. Administrative Professionals Section, and sits on many other regional committees. Sherri has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration and has earned the Professional Emergency Manager (PEM) designation.

Carol Anne Lajoie is the Director of Development and External Affairs for the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Prior to joining the ICA, she served as the Chief Development Officer for the YWCA of Richmond, where she led fund development and marketing efforts including major gifts, annual fund, grants, foundations, corporations, and special events. Carol has worked for Richmond area nonprofits for more than 15 years. She spent 11 years at the Virginia Historical Society before moving to the YWCA. In addition to fundraising, she also spends time as a patient advocate for the Regional Hospital Accompaniment Response Team (RHART) collaborative. Carol currently serves on the board of the Virginia Association of Fundraising Executives and volunteers with the Marketing Committee for Nonprofit Learning Point. She is a member of the leadership team of Impact 100, an all-female grantmaking collaborative that gives away as many as two $100,000 annual grants to transform area nonprofits.

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. 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.

Joe Lenzi retired as a Mechanical Engineer and Principal Engineer in 2015. He learned to build guitars from Charles Fox in 1976 while Joe was living in Alaska. For the next 10 years Joe built and repaired stringed instruments in Fairbanks and, through the community college, taught guitar building and music during the long winters. He now lives in Richmond, Virginia, where he and Cherie have raised two children, both of whom are grown and out of college. Since retiring from the engineering profession, Joe has been trying to perfect the art of retirement by building a few guitars and mandolins each year. Instruction and presentation have always been a significant part of his professional life. He has been an LLI member since 2017.

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 and 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’s Department as their Accreditation Manager.

June Leslie is a lifelong Christian. She has been an LLI member since 2008 and has also taught Bible classes in Chesterfield and Missouri.

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 four.  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 present the fourth in the series, The Composer Series. Suzanne has an extensive background in Music Performance as a vocal soloist, specializes in Early Music and has broad study in the music of Mozart. She has performed opera, chamber music, oratory, choral music, and solo recitals as well as conducted orchestras and choral music, taught voice privately, and has been a music instructor at the high school and university level. Suzanne has a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from the Music School, Willamette University, Salem, Oregon; and a Master of Music in Musicology and has done doctoral work on the Early Music of the Golden Age of Spain: Ladino Music, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. Outside of music, she holds a Master of Library and Information Science, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., and a Master of Information Technology, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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.

Kathryn Lewis is a Virginia native and has been in Richmond since 2002. She began working at Virginia House soon after as a part-time docent, while earning graduate degrees in art history at VCU.

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. 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 from London, England. She is a certified Microsoft Computer Trainer (MCT) and author of a sci-fi/fantasy novel entitled “Glordayia” .

Jessica Lyon is the creative media communications specialist at the Virginia Center on Aging. She graduated from James Madison University in May 2016 and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in corporate communication, advertising and web development. Aside from her administrative duties, Jessica develops and maintains the Virginia Center on Aging website and is working on a brand refresh for the center.

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!

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.

Peter Mazure has a graduate degree in clinical psychology and has worked in clinical and residential settings with people diagnosed on the Autism spectrum. He is the proud parent of an adult son with Autism and joined LLI in 2017.

Bryan McChesney is a minister, chaplain, and educator. He has earned AA, BA, MRE, MDiv, and ThM degrees, culminating in a Doctoral Degree, from the University of Richmond, Campbell, Wake Forest, University of South Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Ruschlion.

Mary Pat McGeary has been a student of music since she was eight years old. In high school, an English teacher provided her with an Ithaca College catalogue because of the fantastic music program it offered; however, the college also offered a degree in Physical Therapy. The P.T. program looked more exciting, as the 12-month senior year was in New York City. So, Mary Pat became a physical therapist and kept up with music for fun. She has played with the Montgomery County Concert Band (outside of D.C.) and the Richmond Concert Band. She joined LLI in 2016 and looks forward to sharing her love for music with her fellow members.

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.

Stephen Moore is an active Red Cross Volunteer in Disaster Services and other areas for over three years.

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.

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.

Lorraine Nichol is an ongoing addition to our wonderful Great Books team.

Karen Novitzki has been an LLI member since 2008. She has taught several craft classes and is always a great help when it comes to decorating for events and new seasons!

Debra Ogilvie is with Richmond Hearing Doctors, is a Virginia native, and grew up in Hampton. She received her Bachelor's degree from James Madison University, her Master's degree from The George Washington University in Washington, DC, and her Doctorate of Audiology degree from Salus University in Pennsylvania. Debra has been practicing Audiology since 1995, coming to Richmond in 1999. She spent 12 years working in a local private practice until deciding to become an owner herself. She has always appreciated both the technical and personal sides to Audiology – finding the best hearing solution for each individual person. Debra is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology, a fellow of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology, and is a Board Member of the Virginia Board for Hearing Aid Specialists and Opticians. She and her husband enjoy spending time with their son, daughter, and extended family.

Mike Ostrander was trained in 1997 by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries as an Angling Instructor. He now runs the James River Fishing School and Discover the James.  Capt. Mike loves the James River.  If he's not guiding for catfish, he's probably fishing in his jon boat for smallmouth bass, eagle watching, fish watching, or just flipping rocks showing kids what's under them.

Timothy Pace received a Juris Doctorate degree from Creighton University in 1972, and was a senior adviser to the Board of Veterans Appeals from 1972 to 1990. Thereafter, Timothy served as Administrative Law Judge, after a presidential appointment, for the Social Security Administration from 1990 to 2014 handling primarily Medicare cases and Disability claims. In that capacity, he presided in various courtroom proceedings along the east coast at hearing sites in 8 states and in the District of Columbia. From time to time he was called upon to lecture to fellow judges and administrative personnel on the nuances of ever-changing laws governing the administration of Social Security benefits. Timothy lectured and taught classes on the use of the electronic file in the courtrooms, served as the Chief Judge in Pittsburgh and at the Richmond office from 2003-2014. He also briefly served as the Deputy Chief Administrative Judge in Falls Church, VA, in 2010. He has been a member of LLI since 2014.

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).

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 the University of Richmond, 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 Virginia, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois 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.

Robert Pica graduated from Millikin University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He received his Doctor of Podiatric Medicine from the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine in 2011. Dr. Pica completed his residency and chief residency in podiatric surgery at The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati. He has served as a medical staff physician at University of Cincinnati, Drake; Surburban Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland, and Inova Fairfax Hospital. He has also served as podiatric foot and ankle surgeon at The Christ Hospitals in Cincinnati and The Podiatry Center in Bethesda. A board-certified podiatric physician and wound specialist, Dr. Pica’s numerous credentials include diplomate, American Board of Podiatric Medicine; diplomate, American Board of Wound Management; member, American Board of Foot & Ankle Surgery; fellow, American College of Foot and Ankle Orthopaedics and Medicine and fellow, American College of Clinical Wound Specialists.

Kim Pinna holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and is a Stroke Certified Registered Nurse (SCRN). She is a Comprehensive Stroke Compliance Coordinator at CJW Medical Center.

Gary Porter is a retired USAF fighter pilot with a passion for enhancing America's understanding of our "supreme law of the land," i.e., the Constitution. Gary is Executive Director of Constitution Leadership Initiative, Inc., an organization devoted to providing seminars on the Constitution and related topics.

Robin Poulton and his wife raised their children in West Africa, and he is the Vice-President of Virginia Friends of Mali, a 501(c)3 association supporting women’s health and education in Ségou and elsewhere. He has also recently (end of 2016) published a book about drugs and terrorism in the Sahara, and the way in which they have undermined the Malian State. You can ask your local library to order a copy of his book: Poulton, Robin Edward and Rafaella Greco Tonegutti. "The Limits of Democracy and the Postcolonial Nation State: Mali's democratic experiment falters, while jihad and terrorism grow in the Sahara." Lewiston NY: Mellen Press, 2016.

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.

Carol Pritchard is a French teacher who taught beginning, intermediate, advanced and adult education classes for forty years. She taught in the school systems of Baltimore City and County, Maryland; Pittsford, New York; and Chesterfield County, Virginia.  Locally, she taught at Monacan High School (until 1994) and James River High School (until 2008).  She retired from CCPS in July 2008 and has been a member of LLI since 2009.

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 serving with Clover Hill Church for over 10 years and is grateful for the opportunities she has had to travel to Honduras to work with Give Hope 2 Kids, a children's home in the mountains. Rachel is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree from VCU in Public Administration and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management. She loves learning!

Harry Rast is a graduate of Kings College in Charlotte, North Carolina, with a degree in accounting. He retired after 45 Years in sales for a national manufacturer and distributor in the building materials industry. He joined LLI in 2008 and serves on the Board of Directors as Treasurer. Harry began writing in 2009 and has been published numerous times in Nostalgia, Good Old Days and Reminisce magazines. He enjoys writing and has a desire to encourage others in this discipline.

Waite Rawls currently serves as the President of the American Civil War Museum Foundation. He received a B.A. at Virginia Military Institute and was awarded an M.B.A. and J. D. by the University of Virginia. Among the positions he held in the banking, investment, and money markets fields were:  Managing Director, Chemical Bank, New York; Vice Chairman, Continental Bank, Chicago; Executive Vice President, The Chicago Corporation; and Chief Operating Officer of Ferrell Capital Management, Greenwich, Conn. He also led a start-up technology company and has been a visiting or adjunct professor at University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business Administration and Illinois Institute of Technology.

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.

Linda Rubin was born in Philadelphia, raised in Petersburg, and began her art education in the 3rd grade. Attending the Fashion Institute of Technology and New York School of Interior Design in NYC, Linda also received her bachelor’s degree from VCU with honors, majoring in ceramics. She works in many mediums to include clay, metals, oil pastels, and the list goes on. Linda’s work has been recognized from the Corning and Mint Museums, 92nd St Y, to locally at the Crossroads Art Center, Penland and Haystack Schools of Crafts and galleries in between. Linda enjoys exploring materials, and the jewelry she creates attracts positive attention everywhere she goes. Linda lives in Brandermill with her Ragdoll mix kitty named Lulu. She also enjoys history, theater, kayaking, travel, and the lifelong learning adventure.

Les Schaffer listens to, teaches and tells original and traditional stories in theater, therapeutic, classroom, churches, libraries, and conference settings throughout the country. A popular, long time LLI Instructor, Les leads and coaches the Story Warriors, a youth storytelling group in Church Hill. He is a co-founder of both The Tell Tale Hearts Storyteller’s Theater and the TwoTellersTelling Tandem Storytellers. Les is an experienced story-slammer, participating in slams from Maryland to South Carolina. Among other new projects, Les is in preparation of a full-length dance/story/music performance piece.

Tom Seabrook Is the Education and Programs Manager at the Hanover Tavern Foundation. He graduated from the College of William and Mary with majors in history and English in 2012 and received his Master’s degree in history from Virginia Tech in 2015. When he’s not busy immersing himself in the Tavern’s history and working on projects, he might be found exploring one of his interests: local history, Civil War memory, and exploring his adopted state.

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, has written several books on Edgar Allan Poe and appeared on BBC 4’s Edgar Allan Poe: Love, Death, and Women and the Military Channel’s History: Facts vs. Fiction. He has spoken about Poe to groups around the country and next year will lecture in Japan. An internationally exhibited fine artist, Semtner’s paintings have entered numerous public collections including the Virginia Historical Society and the University of Maryland. He has exhibited paintings at Viktor Wynd Fine Art, London; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; and Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond.

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!

Ken Smith is the Emergency Management Coordinator at CJW Medical Center.

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 Founder and Director  of Pelvic Health Systems and creator of PFT Pelvic Health Coaching.  Pelvic Health Systems’ mission is to raise awareness, provide education and teach common sense solutions for those that live with the complaints of pelvic floor dysfunction.

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, and profiles for publications ranging from Fine Books & Collections Magazine to AAA magazines and Boomer, Richmond and Virginia Business magazines.

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 (LTC) 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

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.

Chris Sullivan has been meditating for seven years and would like to share his passion of meditation and mindfulness practice with others to reduce daily stresses. He has been a CT/X-ray tech for 22 years, enjoys yoga, going to the gym and playing musical instruments.

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.

Jay Swedenborg is the Administrator and Executive Director for Communities In Schools (CIS) of Chesterfield. Jay has served with Chesterfield County Public Schools (CCPS) and CIS of Chesterfield since March of 1994. The CIS program is a dropout prevention nonprofit organization within CCPS that seeks to provide kids and families with the supports they need to be successful in school and in life. They provide a full-time CIS Site Coordinator for six Chesterfield schools.

Tina Thomas is a native of Michigan; she has lived in Virginia since 2010 and currently resides in Williamsburg. Tina holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration and a Master of Science in Hospice and Palliative Studies. She also holds certifications in Gerontology, Addictions Specialist, Pastoral Care, Nursing Home Administration, and Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia Care. Tina is the Director of Programs and Services for the Greater Richmond Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Prior to joining the Alzheimer’s Association, Tina worked as a Home Health and Hospice Administrator and a Dementia Education Specialist. Tina is a Licensed Elder and Board Certified Chaplain who enjoys spending time at the beach with her husband and three grandchildren.

Nicole Thomas-Jackson Ed.D., has been in the fitness industry for over 15 years.  A certified fitness instructor since 2001, Nicole has taught group fitness classes in a variety of settings.  Classes have included high impact aerobics, low impact aerobics, lite physical fitness and senior fitness.  Nicole has also taught elementary physical fitness and currently holds an elementary teaching certificate.

Sharon Thompson grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and graduated from Middle Tennessee State College with a BS in Elementary Education. She taught Professional Development, 1st and 2nd grades, and then her last ten years she taught K-6th grades Computer Assisted Language Arts. Sharon has always been interested in gardening, sewing, technology and woodworking. She and her husband, Vic, moved to Woodlake in 2011 and love it here. They joined LLI in 2013.

Victor Thompson earned a BA in English Literature from Middlebury College (1963), an MA in English Literature from Rutgers University (1966), and a PhD in English and American Literature from Rutgers University (1972). He has published the following books: Eudora Welty: A Reference Guide (1976); The Trumpets of Jericho: A Romantic Novel about Bands and Musicians in the American Civil War (2004); Safe at Home: Baseball and Other Forms of Life in a Small New Jersey Town (2007). Vic has also appeared in numerous articles and book reviews.  He taught at the University of Cincinnati (1966-1970) and Thomas Nelson Community College (1970-present), where he is now a Professor Emeritus and Adjunct Professor. He is married with three children and four grandchildren and enjoys music (trumpet and singing), wood carving, swimming, dog walking, and more! Vic and his wife, Sharon, have been LLI members since 2013.

Thomas Tokarz is the seventh son of a Polish immigrant to graduate from Virginia Tech and the seventh son to proudly serve with the armed forces…six in World War II. He was a USAF officer during the Korean War with a combat support squadron.  Thomas is a founding force behind the World War II Round Table of Central Virginia, committed to preserving the accomplishments of the Greatest Generation who are passing away at an average of 1000 to 2000 a day.

James Triesler has been the Director of Education at the Virginia War Memorial since October 2015. He has served on the Board of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge and the Genealogical Research Institute of Virginia. He has a degree in Political Science from East Carolina and a Master’s Degree in Education from VCU. Currently he’s working on a Certificate in Public History at the University of Richmond. For twenty years, James taught Social Studies at Clover Hill High School in Chesterfield and was the recipient of a Save Our History Award from the History Channel for his class project on WWII. He won an R.E.B. Award for $10,000 that took him to Europe to conduct interviews and explore WWII sites. He was the Chesterfield County Teacher of the Year and the Virginia State Region I Teacher of the Year. James is passionate about the study of WWII.

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.

Lenard Tuck is a native of Richmond and lives in Bon Air where he maintains his law practice.   Mr. Tuck received his BA in history from the University of Richmond and JD from the University of Richmond School of Law.  He served for 10 years as President of the Bon Air Historical Society and restored the James K. Hazen house, Perrows store building, the Hazen Memorial Library and the Mercer-Fraker House, c. 1893, currently in progress.

Sara Unetic holds two Masters Degrees in English, one from The University of London in British Literature and one from The University of Arkansas in American Literature and Grammar.

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 major production companies with one cast for CBS. She worked as a Writers Guild Literary Agent for a number of years, was the Founder of the Virginia Screenwriters’ Forum and recently retired as its Director after 25 years.   She is in the process of marketing her two full-length stage plays to theatres and publishers.  This spring her full length screenplay, The French Apartment Love Stories, is scheduled to be filmed in Richmond by a local filmmaker. Helene enjoys the fun of sharing great movies and PBS 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 gives CE presentations on reverse mortgages to Financial Advisors, Realtors and attorneys. He has also presented on the subject to various community organizations and teaches three recurring classes for consumers at LLI. He is a founding board member and past Education Director of the RVA Better Aging Forum, a board member of the Central Virginia Financial Planning Association, past Vice-Chair and Chair 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.

Mitchell Waskin attended Albright College and Temple University. He received his doctorate in Podiatric Medicine in 1983 from the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine. During his senior year of medical school he received the American College of Podopediatrics Award for Outstanding Achievement. Dr. Waskin completed his residency in foot and ankle surgery at Metropolitan Hospital in Philadelphia. His post graduate education includes training in Laser Surgery, Foot & Ankle Arthroscopy, Rigid Internal Fixation and Cryosurgery. He is board certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery, has participated in multiple peer review committees and has been involved in developing criteria for credentialing foot surgeons at several Virginia hospitals. A past president of the Richmond Academy of Podiatric Medicine, Dr. Waskin has lectured to doctors on a variety of topics and is published in the Journal of Foot Surgery. He is affiliated with CJW Medical Center (Chippenham and Johnston-Willis Medical Centers).

Sylvia Watford is the Senior Financial Education Specialist with Virginia Credit Union. Sylvia is pleased to lead financial education topics throughout the year for the 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 reached more than 14,000 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.

E. Ayn Welleford is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Gerontology in the School of Allied Health Professions at Virginia Commonwealth University. She currently works to #DisruptAgeism while promoting optimal aging for individuals and communities through her teaching, scholarship, and community engagement. Outside of the classroom, Dr. Welleford provides community education and serves on several boards and committees. She enjoys gardening and spending time with her husband and adorable grandchildren.

Ron West is a farm boy from Western Nebraska. He served in the US Army for 23 years and retired as Sergeant Major. He moved to Virginia in 1989 to be closer to his grandkids. Ron loves spending with family and friends and loves making people smile. He joined LLI in 2016 and can often be found working on puzzles in the lounge!

La Donna Wheatley was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky.  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. La Donna joined LLI in 2012, took a few years off when they moved to Delaware, and is so happy to be back!

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.

Pat Whitmer began a more gently paced and flexible “second career” as an exercise instructor after she retired from a career as a U.S. Navy civilian. She is a certified Group Exercise Instructor and yoga instructor.  Over the past 10 years, Pat has completed training and taught a variety of exercise formats from Zumba to Enhance Fitness.  She is committed to teaching diverse and adaptive classes to “be in and move with” your body, supporting both physical and mental health. Pat is a Westhampton College graduate, lives in Midlothian with her family and has been an LLI member since 2016.

Glenn Winters has been Community Outreach Musical Director for Virginia Opera since 2004.. His background includes teaching college-level piano, arts administration at two universities, and extensive performing experience as solo pianist and accompanist. As an operatic baritone, Dr. Winters has sung over a dozen principal roles; he made his Virginia Opera debut in the 2004 production of The Merry Widow. His compositions include several children’s operas commissioned by Virginia Opera’s Education Department. During the current season three of his operas will be produced in touring productions with Virginia Opera and the Piedmont Opera of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His one-act opera Katie Luther has been performed in Albuquerque, St. Louis, Baltimore and Newport News. Dr. Winters’ book, “The Opera Zoo: Singers, Composer and Other Primates,” is available from Kendall Hunt Publishing.

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.

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.