Midlothian, VA. 804.378.2527

Lifelong Learning Chesterfield

Instructors & Facilitators


Lifelong Learning Institute in
 Chesterfield

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



 
SPRING 2019 CATALOGS
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
Session

Jan 2 - May 3

You may register
ONLINE
at any time!


Open Registration
onsite:

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




Sessions
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.

Deborah Alsko is a native of the Chicago suburbs and has lived in Richmond since 1980. She began her career in the recreation field with Henrico County Parks and Recreation. In her early 30’s she returned to school at University of Richmond, earning her Masters of Teaching. She worked as a special education teacher for Chesterfield County for 26 years before retiring in June 2016.  Deborah is currently enjoying her next career as the Backpack Storyteller, presenting storytelling programs for audiences of all ages. She also enjoys many hobbies including gardening, creating things out of found objects and reading, especially children’s picture books. During the summers she teaches water aerobics at several area pools.

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

Melissa Andrews joined the LeadingAge Virginia staff as President & CEO in 2016 after 14 years with LeadingAge (national). Melissa is responsible for overall association management and for leading the membership and staff in formulating and implementing strategic goals, as well as communicating the Association’s vision to a broad range of audiences. Prior to joining the LeadingAge Virginia team, Melissa served as the Vice President, Board Development & Member Relations at LeadingAge (national), facilitating board development and strategic planning processes around the country.  She was a class of 2010 LeadingAge Leadership Academy fellow. In 2012, she received the BoardSource© Certificate of Nonprofit Board Education, and in 2013, Melissa received The Coalition for Leadership in Aging Services’ Certified Aging Services Professional national certification. Melissa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Boston College and lives in Richmond with her husband, daughter, step children and French bulldog.

Diane Applewhite is a self-taught musician who started at the age of 14 and played the trumpet through middle and high school. Today she plays the Guitar, Dobro, Mandolin, Ukulele, and Banjitar. She is now learning the Bass Guitar. You will see her on Thursdays playing with the Lifelong Musicians (a group she started at LLI a few years ago). This group is bursting with talented LLI members who just want to jam and have fun. Diane has been an LLI member since 2012.

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.

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

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

Scott Bennett is a Richmond native.  He grew up playing every sport he had time for and loves being active.  “Motion is lotion” is one of his favorite quotes.  Scott studied Recreation, Parks and Tourism Management at Radford University and graduated in 2008.  Before engaging with the amazing work that SwimRVA does, he worked as the Facility Coordinator for the Christiansburg Aquatic Center near Virginia Tech.  At SwimRVA, his role is to educate the community on the importance of water safety and aquatic fitness.

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.

John Byrd is a graduate of Virginia Military Institute. He received a Master of Science Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. He was licensed as a Professional Counselor for over 25 years. He retired from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services and from the Army Reserve with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In 2003, John donated a kidney to his brother-in-law. He won the title of Senior Idol of Greater Richmond in 2014. John began learning ventriloquism at the age of 10 and has thoroughly enjoyed performing in the Richmond area for over 25 years.  You may view videos of some of John’s characters at www.john-byrd.com.

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.

Susan Campbell has worked with seniors and their families during difficult transitions for 20 years. She is a pioneer in the senior move management industry and now uses her compassion and training to work with families and professionals during end-of-life celebrations and transitions.

Jim 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.

Joseph Casey has been the Chesterfield County Administrator since July 2016. He has unique RVA connections via his prior tenures as Deputy County Administrator roles with both Henrico and Hanover Counties dating back to his first roles in local government in 1990. Dr. Casey holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Richmond, a master’s degree in public administration and a doctorate in Public Policy and Public Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a certified public accountant who started his career with KPMG accounting firm. His current professional affiliations have included leadership roles as President-elect of the Virginia Local Government Management Association and past roles on executive board for the national Government Finance Officers Association and President of the Virginia Government Finance Officers’ Association.  In the region, Dr. Casey serves as the chair of the Greater Richmond Convention Center Authority and on the Capital Region Collaborative. While the role of County Administrator keeps him engaged with many community meetings and other engagement opportunities with Chesterfield and the region, he also participates in many community projects and mission-based work through his church. Dr. Casey and his wife, Suzanne, have three children.

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.

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!

Pamela Cooper is a motivational speaker and a leader in project management and marketing. Pamela is employed by Chesterfield County. She is an environmental educator and created and manages the county's Anti-Litter Program. Prior to her career with Chesterfield County, she was employed with Reynolds Metals Company. Pamela received three Outstanding Performance awards and the Golden Elite Circle award for increased sales growth and profits in industrial film. Pamela is a Chesterfield native and has two sons. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, worshipping, enjoying the beach and volunteering in the community. She is a published author of David's Hope.

John Countryman is a retired theatre professor, personal historian, story coach, and Irish Studies scholar. He has directed numerous theatre productions, including “Reminiscence Theatre” for ElderHostel. John has directed and performed in plays about the Great War, taught courses on the topic of the war, and is a frequent visitor to the Imperial War Museum in London. He joined LLI in 2018 as a member and instructor.

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.

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 18 years of industry experience. He currently serves as an Ex-Officio member on the LLI Board of Directors and manages the LLI Endowment Fund.

Dean Decker was born and raised in Indiana.  He received a B.S. in 1959 and a M.S. in 1961 from Purdue University and a Ph.D. from NC State in 1966.  He taught at Butler University from 1961-62 and at the University of Richmond from 1966–1995.  Dr. Decker was the Commander of his American Legion Post for five years and the Commander of the Post 84 Honor Guard for 17 years.  He has participated in over 800 funerals for veterans and has been a volunteer at the Virginia War Memorial for over two years.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Scott Garka is President of CultureWorks, a 501(c)3 nonprofit driving a vibrant community through arts and culture. He joined CultureWorks in 2015. Scott’s career began in the private sector, working over 20 years for Capital One and Arthur Andersen, LLP. Before moving to CultureWorks, Scott was the Senior Director for Consulting Services with a nonprofit, Virginia Health Quality Center. Scott holds a B.S. in Commerce from the McIntire School of Commerce at University of Virginia, holds a certificate in Fundraising and Development through the University of Richmond Institute on Philanthropy, and is a CPA in Virginia. Scott is also deeply involved with the region’s arts and culture community as he previously served as a Board Member, Development Chair and Treasurer for the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen and performs locally with the Chamberlayne Actors’ Theater, Henrico Theater Company, and the Richmond Men’s Chorus.

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.

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.

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!

Thomas Hanson is a Professional Structural Engineer registered in 26 states. His firm, Hanson Associates, PC, began in Roanoke, Virginia, in 1958 and relocated to Richmond in 1960. Thomas has taught Advanced Structural Design in the UVA Graduate School of Architecture as a visiting professor for five years and lectured at numerous national conventions of the Prestressed Concrete Institute. He was Chairman of the International Committee that published the first English language book on Precast Concrete Connections which was translated into five other languages. Over the past 60 years, Thomas has been the structural engineer on several hundred buildings, including the Diamond Baseball Stadium in Richmond, which received both national and international awards.

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.

Scott Hershey grew up in Philadelphia and studied flute under the principal flute and associate principal flute of the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy. After graduating from William and Mary, he continued to perform with the flute in the Norfolk symphony (now the Virginia symphony) and was selected as principal flute under Russell Stanger. Scott performed numerous times at the Chrysler museum, William and Mary, and Old Dominion University. Later, he became Institutional Representative for the William S. Haynes flute company in Boston and obtained a license to develop an instructional video on the flute published by the Hal Leonard Corporation. Scott’s life work has revolved around teaching science, sports (tennis and running) and, of course, music.

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.

Hank Holland moved to Chesterfield County from Roanoke at age 7 in 1960. He graduated from Manchester High School 1971, served in the United States Air Force and the Virginia National Guard, and is a Veteran of the Vietnam and Cold War Era, 1972-1979. Hank graduated from John Tyler Community College with two Associates Degrees in Applied Science in Administration of Justice and Business Management 1981. He retired from the Chesterfield County Police Department where he served as a Police Officer from 1975-2003. He also graduated from Saint Leo College with a BA in Liberal Arts in 1983.

Wells Iles is a former Chesterfield County math teacher. He has sponsored several after-school activities for students including juggling, magic, chess, and Rubik’s Cube.

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.

Danita Jackson was born and raised in the Richmond area and has enjoyed seeing Richmond grow and flourish, especially the restoration of areas like Church Hill and Jackson Ward. Coming from a close-knit family, Danita understands the importance of relationships and believes strongly in education, protecting the environment and planning for the future. She has 29 years of experience in real estate, including more than 10 years of sales and customer service experience. Danita is an Associate Broker, a Certified Housing Counselor and a member of Virginia Housing Counselors Association. In 2011, she was the recipient of the VHDA Service to Virginia Award and has earned the Accredited Buyer Representation Designation.

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.

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.

Suzanne Kelly is a retired Chesterfield County school teacher.  She holds degrees in Business Education and English and taught for 47 years in various county middle and high schools.  She began her teaching career in Chesterfield in the LLI building in 1969. Suzanne has been an LLI member since 2015.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Linda Massey is a Nutrition Professor Emeritus for Washington State University and has won awards for excellence in teaching. She holds a PhD in Nutrition and has taught older, non-traditional students in evening classes for over a decade. Linda loves students with an enthusiasm for learning!

Blake McDonald grew up on the campus of Sewanee: The University of the South, where he first developed a love for collegiate space. His award-winning undergraduate and master’s theses explored issues of race, class, and gender in 19th and 20th century campus design. As an architectural historian with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, Blake coordinates efforts to document and preserve the built environment across the Commonwealth.

Mary Pat McGeary has been a student of music since she was eight years old. As an adult, she has participated in ensembles, community bands and duets with her grandchildren. Mary Pat joined LLI in 2016 and enjoys 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.

Jordan Mock has been working at Pamplin Historical Park since March 2016. She was promoted to Membership and Volunteer Specialist in November 2016.  It is her responsibility to process memberships, book tours, manage facility booking, and coordinate volunteers.  She looks forward to welcoming LLI students to learn, explore and experience the Civil War history together!

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 four 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.

Wayne Moyer is a 2004 graduate of the University of Richmond School of Continuing Studies and holds a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts. He retired from Lowe's after 10 years as a kitchen designer and has been active in numerous volunteer organizations. He is currently active with the Brandermill Midlothian Woodlake Lions Club as a past president and current eyesight coordinator. Wayne has been an LLI member since 2017.

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.

Judith Onesty has been telling stories for over 20 years A Storyteller, Raconteur, and Liar, she delights in telling a wide variety of stories including: family stories, tall tales (lies) and scary stories. An experienced teacher, Judith also tandem-tells with Les Schaffer. Winner of the Virginia Tall Tale/Liars contest in 2013, she is also a founding member of the Tell Tale Hearts Storytellers Theater.

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. Since 2011, Hans has volunteered in Southern Arizona as a docent at the Mission San Xavier del Bac from the Spanish period.

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.

Kimberly 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.

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.

Francis Gary Powers, Jr. was born on June 5, 1965, in Burbank, California, and is the son of Francis Gary and Claudia “Sue” Powers. Gary holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy from California State University, Los Angeles, and a Master Degree in Public Administration / Certification in Non-profit Management from George Mason University (GMU), Fairfax, Virginia. Gary is the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of The Cold War Museum, a 501(c)3 charity located in Vint Hill, Virginia, 45 minutes west of Washington, DC. He founded the museum in 1996 to honor Cold War veterans, preserve Cold War history, and educate future generations about this time period. He also consulted for a Steven Spielberg Cold War thriller, Bridge of Spies about James Donovan who brokered the 1962 spy exchange between Rudolph Abel and U-2 pilot, Francis Gary Powers, Sr. Because of his efforts to establish The Cold War Museum, the Junior Chamber of Commerce selected him as one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Americans” for 2002. Gary lectures internationally and appears regularly on the History, Discovery, and A&E Channels. He is married and has one son.

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 for a nonprofit in Mechanicsville.  Before that she was an Assistant Branch Manager with First Market Bank in Richmond and a Store Manager at Starbucks Coffee Company.  Rachel has enjoyed attending and serving with Clover Hill Church for over 10 years and is grateful for the opportunities she has had to work with Give Hope 2 Kids, a children's home in the mountains of Honduras. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree from VCU in Public Administration and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management. Rachel and her husband, Luis, love spending time with family and friends, traveling, and are expecting their firstborn son in August!

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.

Katie Reynolds is the Manager of Tour Services at Agecroft Hall and Gardens and looks forward to welcoming LLI students to learn about their historic home and gardens this session.

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.

Jessica Robison is the Emergency Management Public Outreach Coordinator for Chesterfield County. In this capacity, she also serves as the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Coordinator which encompasses over 1,300 trained volunteers. Jessica’s background is in volunteer programs and management. In 2013, she became a certified Master Resiliency Trainer (MRT) through the University of Pennsylvania and the Department of the Army. As an MRT, she taught soldiers and family members how to build skills that would allow them to survive and then thrive in difficult situations. Jessica’s passion is to educate and empower residents to play an active role in the well-being of themselves and their communities. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Crime, Law and Justice from Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from Western Governors University with a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Management.

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.

Patricia Ryther is retired from a career in banking and insurance, where her jobs included writing user manuals and other nonfiction. She has a degree in English and has taught at the community college level. In retirement, Patricia is pursuing a lifelong interest in fiction writing and has been an LLI member since 2018.

Renee Samaha graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences and a concentration in Health Assessment and Promotion. She is currently the Senior Wellness Coordinator at SwimRVA where she continues to follow her passion of promoting health and fitness by helping others meet their wellness goals.

Les Schaffer listens to, teaches and tells original and traditional stories in theater, therapeutic, classroom, churches, libraries, corporate and conference settings throughout the country. He is a popular, long time LLI Instructor and leads and coaches the Richmond Story Warriors youth storytelling group. Les is co-founder of both The Tell Tale Hearts Storyteller’s Theater and the TwoTellersTelling Tandem Storytellers.

Robert Schmidt is a double board-certified surgeon specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive facial plastic surgery, as well as skin cancer surgery. A Delaware native, Dr. Schmidt received his undergraduate training in psychology at Duke University, graduating with honors. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and then completed a residency in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery followed by a fellowship in facial plastic surgery at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System.

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.

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.

Audrey Short has played taiko for about 10 years, starting with Manhattan Taiko in New York City. She currently performs with River City Taiko (as well as an Indonesian orchestra, Gamelan Raga Kusuma) in Richmond. During the week, she enjoys teaching international students English at VCU.

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!

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.

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

Altise Street is the Richmond/Southside Outreach Manager for 2-1-1 VIRIGNIA and a Certified Internet Research Specialist (CIRS). She is a native of Chesterfield, Virginia, studied Business at Virginia Commonwealth University and proceeded to obtain her Master Degree from the University of Phoenix. Passionate about helping her community, Altise forgot about working in the business world and started working with the United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg, which was a natural fit. In her free time, Altise loves to travel with her son, Duvan. She also volunteers at her church and loves to work with children. Grateful for an amazing group of family and friends, Altise makes sure that she stays in her community helping where she can.

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.

Regina Taggart received her bachelor’s degree from Christopher Newport University and her master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. She realized early on that she wanted a career where she would be able to assist underserved populations. Regina currently serves as the Outreach, Education, and Marketing Coordinator for CancerLINC. In this role, she works to raise awareness about CancerLINC and educate the community about the unique financial and legal challenges cancer survivors and their families face. Regina was born in Pennsylvania but has lived in Richmond for over 20 years. In her free time, she likes to travel and explore new places with her husband Khris. She also enjoys relaxing with her two dogs and spending time with family and friends.

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.

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.

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.

Bob Wadsworth has been a lifelong avocational musician, and over the course of his life, has received formal instruction in piano, cello, guitar, and organ. He has played hammered dulcimer since 1998, gives private lessons on the instrument, and has recorded several CDs. In addition to giving solo concerts, Bob plays hammered dulcimer in a string band and acoustic guitar in a guitar-mandolin duo, composes and plays fingerstyle guitar pieces, and plays acoustic bass guitar. He also has a Ph.D. in Psychology and enjoyed a long career as a clinical psychologist, culminating in private practice in central Chesterfield County, prior to his retirement in 2016. Bob has been an LLI member since that time.

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.  Hopefully, her screenplay, “The French Apartment Love Stories,” will be filmed by a local filmmaker sometime later this year. Helene enjoys the fun of sharing great movies and PBS series to view and to discuss with LLI students.

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.

La Donna Wheatley was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky.  She and her husband David moved to Richmond because of his job.  La Donna joined LLI in 2012 and feels very fortunate to have found this gem of a resource. The people and opportunities she has found at LLI have enriched her life in countless ways.

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.

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.

Russell Wiles became the youngest, paid, professional sports announcer in history for NASCAR. Raised in Midlothian, he is a local business owner and proud father. Russell is a volunteer firefighter in Powhatan and founder of the Red Box Foundation, supporting local volunteer firefighters. An advocate for lifelong learning, he is a product of the University of Richmond and Fork Union Military Academy.

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 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 is a long-time soccer coach and 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.

Paul Yoon first started playing taiko in 1996 with Soh Daiko in New York City.  He has worked with many celebrated taiko masters including Kenny Endo and Kaoru Watanabe.  After completing his Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at Columbia University in 2005, Paul went on to found four different taiko groups. He is currently an Assistant Professor at VCU in the Department of Focused Inquiry.