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



 
SUMMER 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.

Summer 2019
Session

May 6 - Aug 30

You may register
ONLINE
at any time!


Open Registration
onsite:

April 15-17
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!



Robert Abbott has lived in Midlothian since 1993. Since 2014, Robert has hiked the Caminos de Santiago in Spain, France and Portugal covering five different Caminos and over 1,300 miles. He is interested in sharing the background and history of the Camino as well as the personal reasons that one goes on these hikes.

Ramzi Aboujaoude pronounced “Ah-boo-jah-dee,” is an OB/GYN who specializes in urogynecology, which means he has additional training and experience in the evaluation and the treatment of patients with urinary incontinence. Dr. Aboujaoude is passionate about improving women’s quality of life and helping guide them towards individualized treatment options, which may range from physical therapy to minimally-invasive surgery. Having continuous change and modernization is also a source of his love for his job, and he enjoys the variety of work each day brings. He also enjoys seeing advances as doctors are able to help their patients with less invasive procedures and with more efficiency. Dr. Aboujaoude, a native of Lebanon, is glad that he landed in RVA and says that it’s a great place to raise a family. His wife is a pharmacist, and they have two daughters. On the weekends, you may find Dr. Aboujaoude playing tennis or enjoying a day trip with his family.

Annette Alabaster was taught to knit by her mother around the age of 12.  Much later she learned about the now modern world of knitting by working in a local yarn shop.  After many years of not knitting, she took it up again when her first granddaughter was born in 1997.  She then returned to making sweaters, headbands, hats and slippers.  She believes that this ancient craft, going back to medieval times, is both addicting and relaxing.

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.

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

Daniel Arkin always wanted to fly. Around 50 years old, the search began to determine what and how. He started with a powered parachute, migrated to a home-built two seat airplane, and now enjoys flying a factory built aircraft stored at the Chesterfield Airport. Danny was also the founder and Executive Director of the Virginia Society for Technology in Education. He is passionate about all aspects of technology in our lives and spent his working career injecting humor while lecturing on the pros and cons of evolving technologies. Danny has been an LLI member since 2018.

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.

Rachel Bailey is a certified trauma nurse educator at CJW Medical Center.

Charles Barron is a retired US Army Officer, holds a BS in Business Administration from Jacksonville State University and an MS in Logistics Management from Florida Institution of Technology. He also holds a certificate for teaching English as a second language. Charles has 10 years of experience working with and training members of the Saudi Arabian military in logistics and cultural awareness. As a United States military contractor, working in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia, he taught American workers and third country nationals (TCNs) Cultural Awareness, simple Arabic script (Arabic letters, Arabic phonetics recognizing/reading English words written in Arabic Script) and most useful basic spoken Arabic words and phrases.

Edward Blackwell has taught a variety of subjects for over thirty years. Much of his time has been with CCPS, but he has also worked in RCPS, as well as with VCU and a local private school. Mr. Blackwell has a B.A. and M.A. in English, as well as a large concentration of courses in history and education. He has taught on middle, secondary, and collegiate levels, and his courses have included English, writing, history, civics and economics, as well as alternative education. He is keenly interested in the English Renaissance and writes sonnets, but he also enjoys helping others with prose writing techniques. Mr. Blackwell loves studying and lecturing about the American Civil War. When teaching social sciences, he believes it is essential to combine the development of U.S. government with its resulting historical effects.

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” and, From Cluttered to Clear in Just One Year: Your Room-by-Room Home Makeover”. 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.

Shona Bracco is a retired military wife, homeschool mom of five kids ages 14-28, including three beautiful, adopted daughters from China. She joined Stacey Jones as a professional organizer in summer of 2018. They bring experience from their combined 27 moves including state to state moves and major downsizing. They have the relocation process down to a science, from purging and staging to setting up systems in the new space. Their passion is to not only create order and workable systems but to help fashion homes into peaceful sanctuaries so people can focus on what’s most important!

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.

Teresa Brockwell has been with Crater Community Hospice since 2011 and is currently the Coordinator of Outreach, Education and Volunteer Services. She helps recruit, direct, supervise and evaluate the work of volunteers as well as helps ensure that staff and families receive the support from volunteers that is needed. Teresa is also responsible for coordinating and participating in the various community outreach activities and services. She helps to educate the community about hospice care and available services.

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.

Ginny Brown has a Home Economics Education degree from Drexel University and taught in the public school systems of Virginia and Pennsylvania for 30 years. Her expertise is foods and the culinary arts. Ginny has her own business, The Urban Pantry, with which she caters small events. She loves all forms of the culinary arts especially baking and enjoys opening the world of food and the joy of cooking to all those willing to dare to be their own chef.

Sherella Brown is a certified Jazzercise fitness instructor who specializes in working with active adults who combine dance with exercise.

Jeffry Burden is a researcher and published author and editor with a longtime focus on Shockoe Hill Cemetery and the citizens buried there. He has served on the Board of the "Friends of Shockoe Hill Cemetery" since 2006 and has worked to restore existing markers, raise money, organize public events, and help place more than 200 new military and private stones for unmarked graves there. He also serves on the Board of the Rural Plains Foundation, assisting the National Park Service in maintaining and improving that historic Hanover County property. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri and of the University of Richmond School of Law.

Deb Burley is the Director of Neuroscience Program Development at Johnston Willis Hospital. She has over 10 years in the healthcare industry. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing at Carson Newman and her masters of biochemistry from the University of Wyoming.

Norie Burnet is a former teacher and the owner and landscaper of the Eden Woods Moss Gardens in Bon Air, VA. Her gardens have been documented by the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C., into the Archives of American Gardens. She feels mosses are nature's gift to filter toxins from the air, stop erosion, and create an atmosphere of serene beauty, which lightens the spirit and soothes the soul. Her moss gardens have been featured in many national magazines and have appeared on local and national TV. Her lectures, garden maintenance and tours keep her busy as well.

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. He has been teaching dance since 2007 in the community and since 2008 at LLI! Bill welcomes new and returning 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 graduated from the Virginia Military Institute and received a Master's Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. He retired from the Commonwealth of Virginia with 38 years of service. He also retired from the Army Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel. John has been performing as a ventriloquist in the Richmond area for over 25 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 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.  Dr. Casey serves on many regional boards for tourism, water, sewer, business and non-profits.  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.

Marlene Cauthen enjoys traveling, drawing, sketching, painting, writing, dancing and interacting with others to share ideas and techniques. Marlene and her husband joined LLI in 2016.

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!

John Countryman is a retired theatre professor, narrative gerontologist, story activist, resilience coach, and Irish Studies scholar. He is a certified Guided Autobiography facilitator and Life Story Theatre facilitator. Ireland is his second home. John has been an LLI member since 2018.

Patti Cox is a Certified Bereavement Counselor and has worked for Crater Community Hospice as the Bereavement Coordinator/Counselor since 2009. She coordinates bereavement follow up to patient families and also coordinates outreach and educational programs in the community. Patti is a long time member of the Bereavement Coalition of VA and served as Vice Chair for the Chesterfield Council on Aging from 2016-2018. She was also the Chairperson for the Council on Aging Caregiver Committee during that time period and recently served on the board of directors for the Alzheimer's Association, Richmond Chapter.

Elizabeth Crabtree is a First Vice President with Davenport & Company and also serves as Davenport’s Insurance Specialist. Lizzie is responsible for all life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability income protection insurance sales as well as all on-going service. She joined Davenport in 2006 and has more than 15 years of industry experience.  She spent five of those years as a field agent for the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. Lizzie is a Certified Financial Planner™ designee and earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Virginia.

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.

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. Diane is especially interested in early settlers and Indian crafts used in everyday living.

Craig Eckrich is a 16 year veteran of the Chesterfield County Police Department. He is currently assigned to the Crime Prevention section but spent the majority of his career as a patrol officer in the south end of the County. He is certified as a general instructor for the department with specialties awarded in firearms and defensive tactics. Corporal Eckrich is a former field training officer and patrol rifle operator and is currently a member of the Special Response Unit.

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.

Megan Ferenczy attended the University at Buffalo and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in History and is now the Director of Education at the Virginia Holocaust Museum. She has taken coursework in Museum Studies and is also certified to teach middle and high school History in New York and Virginia. Megan has diverse experiences in education, museums, outreach and public programming. In 2008, Megan interned as a National Planning Assistant at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, which solidified her interest in Holocaust history education. In 2011 Megan accepted a teaching job with Richmond Public Schools and for two years she taught 6th grade United States History at a specialty school. When teaching the history of the Holocaust in the classroom she made it a priority to remember and honor the victims and continues that practice with the development of educational curriculum and programming at the Virginia Holocaust Museum.

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.

Martin Fisher has dual citizenship with two degrees from Cambridge University and a pair of masters degrees. He lectured three years at a UK Post Graduate school, lectured or briefed in 20 countries and at four Universities and various RVA organizations. Martin has a love of history from when he spent 10 years learning European History at school and really enjoys bringing a European perspective to an American audience.

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.

Jo Fletcher is a Karuna Reiki Master and Teacher and runs a Wellness Center in the Brandermill area. She started studying in Reiki in 2004 and has been working with and teaching Reiki in her private practice since 2009. She is currently a member of the International Association of Reiki Practitioners. Her clients come with issues that range from chronic stress to life-threatening illness. She tailors each session to the unique needs of the client which may include aromatherapy, guided imagery and crystals.

Marti Franks loves Watercolors! She has been painting for over 18 years, starting out with Ellie Cox and continuing with Sarah Hoyle, Chris Wynn, and Susan Stuller.  She has participated in many workshops with nationally known artists, including John Salamien, Mary Whyte, Ted Andrews, Alvaro Cassinett, Tony Van Hassett, Frank Webb, and Jean Spicer.  Marti is a past president of the Bon Air Artists Association and has served as a co-chair of its events, Art Affair and Artful Healing.  She exhibits at Crossroads Art Center and is a co-op owner of Uptown Gallery.

Marc Friedlander is a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) helping families navigate the difficult assisted living and memory care arenas. He has had personal experiences with both sides of his family and could have used an advocate during the difficult decision-making process. Marc is a member of the Health Community Resource Network, RVA Better Aging Forum, and the Richmond Senior Network. He has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from The George Washington University and an MBA from Montclair State University. Marc enjoys living in the beautiful Richmond area with his wife and two kids. In his spare time, he coaches his daughter's YMCA soccer team.

Edward Garrett is a retired United Methodist minister of the VA Conference of the United Methodist Church. He has served churches in VA for 42 years, leading Bible studies and teaching educational classes for various denominations. He holds a B.A. degree from the University of Richmond, a B.D. from Duke University, an M.A. degree in education from Union Theological Seminary and a doctorate from St. Mary’s University in Baltimore. He is the author of two books and various curriculum materials and articles.

Bill Good participated in Civil War reenactments for 10 years as an infantryman and ambulance corp. He has a wealth of knowledge about the Civil War.  He has been a member of LLI since 2007 and enjoys history, genealogy and woodcarving.

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.

Amanda Griffith is a certified dementia practitioner and currently works for Dunlop House Assisted Living and Memory Care in Colonial Heights, VA. She has been working with the senior population for over 5 years. Her mother recently passed away from Alzheimer's disease so Amanda knows the importance of keeping the brain active and healthy! Amanda has a musical background as well and enjoys using her vocal talent throughout the community. Join her to explore ways to put dementia at bay by keeping the brain active and healthy.

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.

Ashley Hall is the Executive Director at Communities in Schools of Chesterfield. She is passionate about the work they do to help kids who come to school hungry, homeless, lacking medical care, or needing academic or behavioral support.

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.

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.

Andrea Hess is a Professor Emeritus at VCU on the VCU Health campus. She has a great interest in languages, having studied French, Russian and Spanish. Andrea enjoys horticulture, ice skating and fitness. She joined LLI in 2014.

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 the age of seven in 1960. He graduated from Manchester High School in 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 in 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.

Jenefer Hughes serves as Commissioner of the Revenue for Chesterfield County. Before her election in November 2017, she built a 30-year career as a finance and business professional in Fortune 500 companies, including HP and McKesson. She lives in Bon Air with her two teenage children and three dogs.

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.

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.

Peppy Jones was born and raised in Midlothian, Virginia and graduated from Midlothian High School.  Peppy is a graduate of University of Richmond and worked in the construction industry for 40 years.  Since 2011, he has been the Director of Mid-Lothian Mines and Railroads Foundation and is a member of the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia.

Stacey Jones is a wife and homeschool mom to four kids ages 16-22, Executive Director of Mercy Mall of VA, and founder of Mess to Success professional organizing. Stacey was certified in Client-Focused Organizing in 2011 and was joined by team member, Shona Bracco, when the business was restarted in summer of 2018. They bring experience from their combined 27 moves including state to state moves and major downsizing. They have the relocation process down to a science, from purging and staging to setting up systems in the new space. Their passion is to not only create order and workable systems but to help fashion homes into peaceful sanctuaries so people can focus on what’s most important!

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 has been 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.

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 the Richmond area. She is delighted to be able to share her practice with the LLI family.

Suzanne Kelly is a retired Chesterfield County teacher.  She holds degrees in Business Education and English and taught for 47 years in various county junior and high schools.  She began her teaching career in Chesterfield in the LLI building in 1969 and returned as a member in 2015.

Bette Kot MLIS, is a retired librarian from the California Genealogical Society. Her passion is genealogy! Bette welcomes others with the same interest to join her classes for adventures into the past.

Trupti Girish Kulkarni has been meditating for over 20 years and has been a certified instructor since 2006 with Heartfulness Institute. She was born and brought up in India and earned an MS in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Kansas. T worked in Pharmaceuticals as a project manager and is now retired to enjoy the real life. She is blessed with a husband and two kids. She loves self-development, Meditation, traveling, cooking, reading, painting, drawing, as well as teaching math, meditation and cooking. T has been an LLI member since 2015.

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.

Angie Lovero is a longtime volunteer with Mercy Mall of VA who also homeschools her children and manages a small business. She manages Mercy Mall's social media and website through her small business, By the Grace. Angie is a shift coordinator and helps with events and general public relations for Mercy Mall as a volunteer. She loves sharing her passion for helping people with others and encouraging new volunteers at Mercy Mall of VA.

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

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.

Terry Marr became an active interpreter in 1984 originally portraying a soldier of the third crusade. Within a year he updated to late Elizabethan portrayal and has held various offices. He founded Black Rose Creations in 1989 to produce accurate, durable and inexpensive items for use in this time frame. In 1999, he helped found the Kingdom of Lucerne, Inc., a NJ nonprofit educational group which provides an umbrella organization for groups with an interest in accurate recreation of the period and provides scholarships. After 25 years as a military police officer, Terry retired in 2006 and began working as an interpreter at the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. He held the position for two years before being hired by Henricus Historical Park as the Trades specialist in 2008. As an interpreter at Henricus he serves over 30,000 school children each year in addition to general visitation. Since joining Henricus, Terry has concentrated on researching the original location of the Citie of Henricus.

Anne McAneny taught herself how to publish a book on Amazon and other sites back in 2010. For her first book, she used a clip art cover and spent $0.00 marketing it, but it went on to sell several thousand copies through pure luck. When the industry exploded, she had to learn to do things the right way! Anne has now published eight books, including the Crime After Time Collection. In 2015, her mystery SKEWED was picked up and republished by Thomas & Mercer, an Amazon imprint. A member of James River Writers and a former screenwriter, she recently opened BooketyBop, a small editing business. In past incarnations, she’s been a sales manager, marketing manager, beer server, and aerobics instructor. When not tapping away on her laptop, she can be found walking her puggle, feeding her unusually large cat, or riding her bike.

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.

Jan Meck obtained her Ph.D from the University of Texas and spent her career as a NASA scientist. Since retirement her avocation has been the study of the history of African Americans in Richmond. In her spare time, Dr. Meck operates a guided tour called "African American Heroes in Richmond", aimed primarily for African American boys (high school and junior high school) to make them aware of their heritage, but also available to others who are interested. She is an active docent at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture.

Bruce Miller served 37 years as Founding Artistic Director of Theatre IV, 11 years as Artistic Director of Barksdale Theatre, and 4 years as Founding Artistic Director of Virginia Repertory Theatre. In June he will begin his new job as Executive Director of the Chesterfield Cultural Arts Foundation and the soon-to-be-constructed Perkinson Center for the Arts in Chester. He is recipient of the Governor's Award for the Arts, the Excellence in Arts Instruction Award from the Virginia Board of Education, and the Theresa Pollak Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts. In 2000, STYLE Weekly named him one of the 100 Most Influential Richmonders of the Century.

DuBois Miller is a retired correctional educator who worked throughout the state juvenile and adult correctional facilities. He has been a black history resource for all prisons in Virginia and has given presentations to diverse audiences ranging from elementary school to college to the community. DuBois has been an LLI member since 2018.

Wendy Morgan RYT 500. 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.

Angie Morriss is a Certified Bereavement Counselor and former educator. She has worked for J.T. Morriss and Son Funeral Home and has volunteered with Crater Community Hospice as a grief support group counselor since 2013. Angie recently joined the team of Crater Community Hospice as an employee offering educational opportunities and support to the community as an Outreach Assistant. Angie is also a member of the Chesterfield Council on Aging and currently serves on the Chesterfield Caregiver Committee.

Dorothy Moses has been an LLI member since 2008. She’s an aspiring writer and has participated in several critique groups.

Alexander Mount DPM, specializes in reconstructive foot and ankle surgery and in treating foot and ankle deformities, providing complete podiatric care to adults and children at The Foot & Ankle Center, a division of Foot & Ankle Specialists of the Mid-Atlantic, LLC. Dr. Mount graduated Cum Laude from Muhlenberg College. He received his doctorate in Podiatric Medicine from Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine and completed his residency in reconstructive foot and ankle surgery at Morristown Memorial Hospital. He is affiliated with CJW Medical Center.

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.

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!

Mike Pagel has undergraduate degrees in Physics and Chemistry and a Master’s in Education. He retired in 2013 after teaching 40 years in public and private high schools.  He is active in his church where he has lead adult classes in topics such as the working of God’s covenants throughout the entire Bible, creative Bible teaching techniques, and the study of individual books of the Bible.  For the last two years he has enjoyed being part of the Bible Discussion class at LLI and has occasionally served as a substitute teacher. He has been an LLI member since 2017.

Todd "Parney" Parnell serves as the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Richmond Flying Squirrels, the Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. In that role, he oversees all aspects of the Flying Squirrels' day-to-day operations in Richmond. With his guidance, the franchise completed a 1.5 million dollar renovation of The Diamond, where they opened Eastern League play in 2010. During their inaugural season, the club quickly established itself as a leader in the community, while smashing corporate and ticket sales expectations. Parney also currently serves the Richmond Chapter of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation Board of Trustees, as well as the Richmond Police Athletic League Board of Directors. Due to his flamboyant nature and wealth of experience in professional sports, Parney has also become one of the most popular speakers and guest lecturers in the region. 2015 will mark Parnell's 26th season in minor league baseball. Parney began his minor league baseball career during the 1990 season when he joined the Eastern League's Reading Phillies as the club's Director of Sales and Marketing. He was later promoted to Assistant General Manager, a position he held through the 1996 season. The 48-year old graduated from Messiah College in 1988 with a degree in physical education and a minor in business. He has two daughters, Lindsay and Samantha.

Beverly Perdue has been creating in oils and watercolors for the past thirty years.  She has been recognized with several national and international awards in both mediums. Bev was recently awarded Best in Watercolor, for the second time, in the 2017 Virginia Watercolor Society Show.  Her style of teaching is to guide and encourage students to find their own individual art voice.

Stephen Peterson holds B.A and M.A degrees in philosophy from the University of Utah and has completed the classwork required for a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.  He has taught on middle, secondary, and collegiate levels.  He retired as a computer programmer and analyst from the Research Center at Philip Morris and also served as a computer consultant for numerous firms in Richmond.  He has always been active in sports: skiing, scuba diving, kayaking, biking, running, basketball and martial arts.  He has traveled internationally including extensive skiing in Europe and a four-month circumnavigation that included scuba diving across the Pacific.

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.

Barbara Powers has been teaching Sign Language for over 40 years. She studied for 3 years at the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youth and Adults in Sands Point, New York. She has taught both privately and corporately for many years. Barbara joined LLI in 2016 and invites her fellow LLI members to come and learn a type of communication that is beautiful, rewarding and practical.

Rachel Ramirez has been the Executive Director at LLI in Chesterfield since March 2014.  She previously worked for four years in IT and as a Financial Team Manager 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 15 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. Rachel earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and Management from Regent University in 2006, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from VCU in 2018. Rachel and her husband, Luis, love spending time with family and friends, traveling, and excitedly welcomed their firstborn son in August 2018!

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.

Virginia Refo is a graduate of Hollins College and formerly an Adoption Specialist for Chesterfield County Department of Social Services. She is a member of the Genealogical Research Institute of Virginia (GRIVA), the Virginia Genealogical Society, the Friends of the Library of Virginia State Archives and has extensive experience in genealogical research. Virginia is an active docent at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture.

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.

Les Schaffer is a long time LLI Instructor, a seasoned storyteller, teacher and storytelling coach. Les presents original and traditional stories in a variety of settings, including concerts, schools, churches, theaters, senior living facilities, libraries, classes, workshops, story-slams and conferences. His current passions involve coaching "The Story Warriors”, a Church Hill-based group of youth storytellers; and hosting LLI's monthly Senior Story Slam. In Spring 2018, Les was first runner-up in the State Liars and Tall Tales contest. He maintains that a good story will get you out of just about anything and that all of his stories are true, especially the made-up ones.

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 over 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, Audrey enjoys her role as Interim Assistant Director of Academic Programming, VCU Globe.

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.

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.

Mike Spriegel is a retired human resources and safety manager who is an inventor, free-lance writer, and owner of Life Bucket LLC, an emergency preparedness and home safety supply company.

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 VIRGINIA 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’s 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 and 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.

Tim Talbott is the Director of Education, Interpretation, Visitor Services and Collections at Pamplin Historical Park.

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.

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 20 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.

Hilliary Turner is a history instructor at Rappahannock Community College and online for Southern New Hampshire University.

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.

Robert Wadsworth retired in 2016 after enjoying a 37-year career as a clinical psychologist. He received a Bachelor's degree with a major in psychology from University of Virginia and went on to earn M.S and Ph.D. degrees in Professional-Scientific Psychology (a blend of clinical, counseling, and school psychology) at Utah State University. Bob worked in state and private psychiatric hospitals as well as a headache clinic, and he taught Testing and Measurement as an adjunct instructor at VCU. For the last 22 years of his career, he worked in private practice in central Chesterfield County. Bob has also been a life-long 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, he plays hammered dulcimer in a string band, composes and plays fingerstyle guitar pieces, and plays bass guitar.

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.   As her time allowed, she taught Introduction to Screenwriting classes at the University of Richmond for a number of semesters. She joined LLI when it first opened. They only had 30 students, and she did a class on how to write a screenplay which was great fun. She enjoys teaching Film Appreciation and loves the LLI Students. Right now, she's rewriting a play and looking into E-books for some of her stories.

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.

Rebecca Whalen has been with Virginia State Parks since 2009. After graduating from Western Carolina University with a degree in Parks and Recreation Management in 2007, she moved to Virginia Beach and began working at First Landing State Park as a seasonal environmental educator. She has also worked at False Cape and Twin Lakes State Parks before coming to Pocahontas as Chief Ranger Visitor Experience, overseeing the environmental education programs. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors with her family, collecting Pyrex and all things vintage, and talking about North Carolina.

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.

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.