Midlothian, VA. 804.378.2527

Lifelong Learning Chesterfield

Instructors & Facilitators

Lifelong Learning Institute in

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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


Early Summer 2020
Online Session

May 4 - June 12


Gift certificates
are available for
LLI membership! 
Email info@llichesterfield.org
for details or call the office
at 804-378-2527.
Lifelong Learning Institute in Chesterfield is a registered IRS 501c3 non-profit. You can support its educational programs by donating online here.

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.

Muhammad Ahmad holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from Al-Imam Al-Ouzai University of Lebanon and a graduate certificate in Imam and Muslim Community Leadership from Hartford Seminary, Connecticut. He has spent more than twenty years of his life teaching Arabic and Islamic Studies in Ghana and the United States. He taught Arabic as a Foreign Language at the Community College of Philadelphia and Taqwa Seminary Arabic Institute, Plano, Texas. Dr. Ahmad is currently working as a Spiritual Guide for the Life Connection Program at Federal Bureau of Prisons-FCC in Petersburg and as Rector/Dean/Assistant Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Usman Dan Fodio Open College, Ghana. He holds memberships in several professional bodies, such as: Modern Language Association, NY, American Association of Teachers of Arabic, AL, and American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, VA.

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.

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, Deborah 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.

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.

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

Brian Austin PhD, is a retired professor of psychology. His passion for studio art blossomed upon becoming a member of LLI. He has studied watercolor painting with Marti Franks, Terry Shepherd, Ellie Cox and Chris Wynn. He is a member of the Bon Air Artist Association and has studied colored pencil with Gloria Callahan, Dawn Flores and Teresa Pennington. The joy of drawing is contagious, and Brian looks forward to sharing his passion for creative expression with others in the classroom.

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

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.

Millie Bishop has been the Revenue Recovery Manager with Chesterfield Fire and EMS for nine years. She was a prior medic and has an accounting degree. Millie has a passion to help people.

Edward Blackwell has taught a variety of subjects for over thirty years. Much of his time was with Chesterfield County Public Schools, but he has also worked with Richmond City Public Schools, 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 has been described as an “organizing angel” by clients. Through her speaking, hands-on clutter clearing, and coaching she has helped thousands of individuals clear clutter to make room for new opportunities and dreams to manifest in their lives. Debbie is a professional organizer who has been clearing clutter and organizing spaces for 21 years, a Certified Organizer Coach® specializing in ADHD, a feng shui practitioner, a professional speaker, and the author of two books, “From Cluttered to Clear in Just One Year: Your Room-by-Room Home Makeover” and “Rock Scissors Paper: Understanding How Environment Affects Your Performance on a Daily Basis.” Her passion is to help people claim their personal power by getting unstuck mentally, emotionally and physically so they can move forward to accomplish their goals. She does that by working side-by-side with clients to clear clutter and create organizing systems that work for them, ADHD coaching (women only), and giving educational seminars.

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.

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. 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 is an award-winning ventriloquist and has been performing as a ventriloquist in the Richmond area for the past 25 years. He 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.

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 is a Geographer with interests in cartography, weather and climate. He found an interesting growth of ice on plant stems in 2003, and trying to explain what he found has consumed much of his life since then. He has the license tag ICE FLWR and has been introduced to many interesting and attractive forms of ice thanks to the reach of the Internet. Jim has also learned to appreciate the power of Dora the Explorer to educate young viewers.

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

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

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

Anne Clendenin is a member of LLI who enjoys dancing and has been playing Spades for years. She wants to continue sharing her love for Spades with other members at LLI!

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.

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 with 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.

Norma Crutchfield has been a member of LLI since 2008 and loves playing games, especially with her friends at LLI. Norma also enjoys doing puzzles and volunteering for LLI!

Lorrie Curley educates and guides families and individuals to save, organize and share their photo memories for generations to come. She has been honored to do this important work for 28 years. In that time, she has seen photography move from film to digital, bringing with it many new challenges for the family historian. Lorrie has helped people organize their printed photos, slides, negatives and current digital images for many years.

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.

Roy Dahlquist recently retired from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership in 2015. He was an economic advisor to Governors Kaine, McDonnell and McAuliffe on issues related to Asian business opportunities and challenges, serving as Managing Director, International Business Development - Asia. He met with high level government and business leaders throughout Asia.  Roy first retired from Alcoa/Reynolds Metals Company in 2006 with 30 years of global and domestic service. He was Managing Director of Food Packaging Operations in China and Director of International Business Development for the Food Packaging Division, overseeing operations worldwide. He traveled to over 60 different countries developing global business relationships and opportunities. He met with international, federal, state and local government officials including governors and federal agency heads.  Roy currently serves as Vice President of the Madison Village Homeowners Association located in Charter Colony and serves on the Board of Directors for the Salisbury Country Club Senior Men’s Association. He has a BS degree from Saint Joseph University in Philadelphia and has been an LLI member since 2016.

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.

Heather Davis RN, BSN, has worked in healthcare since 2004 and has been a Registered Nurse since 2007 with a specialty in Emergency, Critical Care, and Trauma Nursing.  The majority of her career has been with HCA, and she spent a small stint at VCU.  Heather is currently the Director of Trauma and EMS Services for Chippenham Hospital, serves on the regional ODEMSA Trauma PI Committee and is the chair for the Virginia OEMS Definitive Care Committee, as well as many other committees throughout HCA.  She has been teaching outreach in the community since 2013 specializing in injury prevention and safety.

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.

Margaret Edds is a retired, Richmond-based political and editorial writer for the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot. She is the author of five books, most recently "We Face the Dawn: Oliver Hill, Spottswood Robinson and the Legal Team that Dismantled Jim Crow.

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 Reader’s Theater and has performed in Bifocals and Huguenot Community Players productions.

Nancy Ford played clarinet through high school.  As an adult, she has played with multiple community bands and is currently a member of the Henrico Community Band and European Wind Ensemble.  Nancy has been a member of LLI since 2016.

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.

Scott Garka joined CultureWorks as its President in 2015 after over 20 years in the private sector. He served as the Senior Director for Consulting Services with VHQC (formerly Virginia Health Quality Center) and prior to that worked for Capital One and Arthur Andersen, LLP. 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 Certified Public Accountant in Virginia. In addition, Scott is deeply involved with the Richmond Region’s arts and culture community serving as ex-officio Board Member of the Richmond Performing Arts Alliance and previously serving as Board Member and Treasurer for the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. Scott has also performed 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.

Roger Gorey is married with five children and 14 grandchildren. He is a retired Construction Project Manager who completed a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2011 at the age of 67.

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 originally from Cleveland, Ohio. She currently works at The Crossings at Bon Air Independent Living. Amanda's mom had Alzheimer's so she understands the importance of keeping the aging brain active and engaged. Amanda majored in Music Education and is currently enrolled at John Tyler to complete her career studies certificate in Adult Home Administration. Amanda is also currently certified as a CDP (Certified Dementia Practitioner). Amanda loves working with older adults and has a passion for teaching.

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!

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.

Lillie Hinnant-Willis is currently the Outreach Coordinator for VCU Health at the Evans-Haynes Burn Center. Lillie has been a nurse in the burn Center for over 25 years, working in different capacities, and for the past 4 years, she has focused on burn prevention in the community. Lillie has a master’s degree in nursing education from the University of Phoenix and worked as interim faculty at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.

James Hodge is a research scientist (PhD in chemistry) who retired after 35 years of working in R&D with DuPont. He has an avid interest in history in general and scientific interpretations of biblical accounts such as creation, evolution, and miracles.

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.

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 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.

Terry Karselis is a sculptor whose work ranges from wildlife of the American West to historical figurines of the French and Indian War, WWI and WWII military figures. He works in bronze, silver, pewter and wood.  Terry’s interest in historical subject matter and his ability to project a sense of life and action into his work has resulted in commissions from such organizations as the American Historical Foundation, the United States Historical Society, the Virginia State Museum, the Franklin Mint and the Museum of the Confederacy. Terry's research into historical sculpture along with his childhood experiences in England during WWII has also led him to becoming an avid History Buff.  He has developed programs in both British and American history subjects.

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.

Kristen Kern is a Registered Nurse with a BSN from James Madison University.  She has worked in both the acute setting at MCV and HCA Hospitals as well as in the home setting for the last 20 years. She chose nursing because of her desire to help others, and she enjoys being able to educate others about the wonderful services available to support recovery and wellness after and during an illness.

Rick Kinnaird has been interested in ancient places since the fourth grade, maybe earlier. He has travelled the world investigating ancient places and sometimes flying kites (another passion.) He follows oftentimes in the footsteps of his childhood hero, Richard Halliburton, who along with Amelia Earhardt and Charles Lindburgh, were the most famous people in America in the 1930s. Halliburton called his travels and adventures “Romance.” Fascinated by ancient places and cultures, Mr. Kinnaird has gone to see for himself and to learn what has been discovered since Halliburton ventured out into the world.

Shelby Kinnaird is the author of “The Pocket Carbohydrate Counter Guide for Diabetes” and co-author of “The Diabetes Cookbook for Electric Pressure Cookers.” She shares recipes and tips for managing diabetes on her website, www.diabeticfoodie.com. Shelby leads two DiabetesSisters peer support groups in the Richmond area and currently serves on their Board of Directors. A passionate diabetes advocate, Shelby also volunteers with the American Diabetes Association and attends their annual Call to Congress. She is not a medical professional, but she has been thriving with Type 2 diabetes for 20 years.

Christopher Kolakowski is Director of the MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk. He is the author of several books on the American Civil War and World War II and has written and spoken on various aspects of military history, 1775-present.

Bette Kot MLIS, is a retired librarian. 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 the 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.

Bill Kump is retired military and has been a collector of various United States currencies for over 30 years. He has a deep interest in history and gold panning. Bill joined LLI in 2011 and enjoys woodcarving.

Steve Kunnmann has been an LLI member since 2013. He also serves as Treasurer on the LLI Board of Directors. Steve has degrees in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech and an MBA from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

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.

Suzanne Levitas has an extensive background in music performance as a vocal soloist, and specializes  in  early  music  performance  and  performance  standards.      She  has performed opera (Gianni Schicchi, Betly, The Telephone, Dido and Aeneas), musical theater (Princess and the Pea, Camelot), madrigal/motet ensembles, oratorio, recitals, and choral and orchestral conducting, taught voice privately, and has been a music instructor at high school and university levels.  Suzanne’s real passions are transcription from early music notation to modern notation and early music performance standards. Today, Suzanne teaches classical music history seminars (history, theory, music appreciation, Baroque music, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Music of Scandinavia and Iberia) to adult learners.  In 2013, Suzanne founded, and is the current Artistic Director for the early music ensemble, CANTUS CANTORES Madrigal Singers (CCMS).   The CCMS vision is to study and to perform early, a cappella music for audiences new to the art form. Suzanne has a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance and a Master of Arts, Musicology.  Her doctoral studies concentrated on the Early Music of the Golden Age of Spain: Ladino Music (Miloš Velimirović [Yugoslavia] University of Virginia).  Outside of music, she holds a MLIS and a Master of Information Technology.   She lives in Midlothian, VA, with her 3 cats and her baby grand piano!

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 master’s degree in health administration, a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Biology and is a certified Medical Technologist by the American Society for Clinical Pathology at a master’s level. She is also certified in database designs. Joanna 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 taught Clinical Chemistry as an adjunct professor for the State University of NY at Farmingdale, New York. At St. Gabriel’s Parish, Joanna is a lector, serves on the Adult Faith Formation ministry, teaches in the Children’s Faith Formation ministry, is a member of Women in God’s Spirit (WINGS) group, a member of the book club, and a member of a Bible study group since 2007. She has served on the LLI faculty since 2006.

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.

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

Juli McKenney is the Wellness Coordinator and coordinates the Flu Shot classes and clinics for LLI members. IVNA began in 1900 with a small group of nurses who were concerned about the lack of access to health care. These nurses volunteered during their off-duty hours to provide care and instruction to the poor and sick of Richmond. They continue today with flu clinics, and all profits of the clinics go towards charity care.

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.

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.

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.

John Moeser is an emeritus professor of Urban Studies and Planning at VCU and a former senior fellow at the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement at University of Richmond.

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.

Tracie Morin is the Production Manager for Richmond Ballet. She has been with the company for eight seasons, starting as a Company Manager. Tracie has been working in the technical field for over 10 years both nationally and internationally.

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.

Ryan Nord is an Otolaryngologist (ENT) for VCU Health who received his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University, New York. He is now offering a breakthrough treatment option for obstructive sleep apnea called Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation therapy for patients unable to use or get benefit from CPAP.

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 making jewelry for over 20 years. She has taken classes from some of the most well-respected jewelry instructors in the country. She loves hammering the metal and changing the shape. She works in a variety of techniques and enjoys introducing others to the fun and sense of accomplishment that making jewelry can bring.

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.

Timothy Pace received a Juris Doctorate degree from Creighton University in 1972, and was a senior adviser to the Board of Veterans Appeals from 1972 to 1990. After presidential appointment, Timothy served as Administrative Law judge for the Social Security Administration from 1990 to 2014 handling primarily Medicare cases and Disability claims. In that capacity, he presided in various courtroom proceedings along the east coast at hearing sites in eight states and in the District of Columbia. From time to time, he was called upon to lecture to fellow judges and administrative personnel on the nuances of ever-changing laws governing the administration on Social Security benefits. He has been a member of LLI since 2014.

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.

Carri Pandolfe has lived in every major city on the west coast and is originally from Canada. She moved to RVA in 2001 and has loved it ever since. She’s a mentor, creative and an adventurer who currently works in the LLI Office. Carri resides here in Midlothian with her husband and two children.

Aparna Patil is a practicing Architect in the Richmond region and the Principal of Mansara Architecture. She is engaged in independent research on Temple Architecture and Vaastushastra.

Rob Paylor is an everyday scientist and not an engineer, PhD, or career research person. He likes to focus on making the idea of "physics" understandable to people: those who like science, and those who have mostly avoided it. Rob is a retired US Navy helicopter pilot and has also taught Math, Chemistry, and Physics at the high-school level.

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.

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.

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, a master’s degree in Public Administration, a Certification in Nonprofit Management, and a master’s in U.S. History. 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. In 2002, the Junior Chamber of Commerce selected him as one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Americans.” In 2015 he 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. He is a board member of the SAC and Aerospace Museum and an Honorary Board Member of the International Spy Museum. Gary lectures internationally and appears regularly on CSPAN, the History, Discovery, and A&E Channels. He is married and has one son.

Jimmy Price is the Director of Education for the US Army Women's Museum at Fort Lee, Virginia. Jimmy is a passionate educator who has taught at the high school and college levels. He received his M.A. from Norwich University in 2009, and his first book, “The Battle of New Market Heights: Freedom Will Be Theirs by the Sword,” was nominated in the nonfiction category for the 15th annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards. The Journal of Southern History claims "this slim volume offers considerable insight regarding the black military experience." He lives in Fredericksburg with his wife and three children.

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

Rachel Ramirez has been the Executive Director at LLI in Chesterfield since March 2014.  She previously worked for four years in IT and as a Financial Team Manager 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.

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 States and studied with several master artists. She believes anyone can become an artist with an open mind, enough practice, and a strong concept. She has been featured in PALETTE magazine and is represented by Uptown Gallery in Richmond.

Kimberly Rideout is currently a Fire and Life Safety Educator for Chesterfield Fire and EMS in Virginia. She has more than 19 years of experience in public safety, serving in career and volunteer roles. She volunteers her time with the Tidewater Critical Incident Stress Management Team in Hampton Roads, Virginia and has most recently become an authorized volunteer for Operation Lifesaver. Kimberly is a graduate of the Southside Regional Fire Academy, has attended the National Fire Academy, and holds multiple degrees from Radford University.

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.

Audrey Ross was born and raised in the Village of Midlothian, Virginia, attended Midlothian Elementary School, and graduated from Carver High School in Chester, Virginia in 1968. Audrey earned a B.S. degree in Professional Biology from N.C. A &T State University in Greensboro, N.C. in 1972, and a Master of Public Health degree from VCU/MCV in Richmond, VA., in 1998.  A retired Senior Scientist from the Commonwealth of Virginia, she serves as Historian at First Baptist Church of Midlothian, and is a member of the African American History Committee of the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia (CHSV).

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.

Maryalice Schaub attended the University of North Carolina Greensboro and conferred her BA degree in Speech Communication and Theater Teacher Certification. For a short time, she taught high school, 9-12th grade level Drama, Public Speaking, Forensics, and Debate. During her time as a student and educator, she worked in the spaces of Reader’s Theater, Theater Production, Acting, Debate, and Public Speaking. Now that MA has “aged into” the LLI, she is interested in furthering her interests in the aforementioned areas. MA currently works in the Information Technology field as a Senior Business Analyst. She has two kitties, and she enjoys creative activities, as well as attending music concerts, riding roller coasters, and spending time with her friends in North Carolina.

Bonnie Scimone serves as the Community Outreach and Marketing Specialist for SeniorNavigator. Bonnie has been with SeniorNavigator for over 10 years and has over 30 years of experience in sales, training, and relationship development. She graduated from Longwood University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics and received her Elementary Education Teaching Certificate from Virginia Commonwealth University. Bonnie has one son in Georgia and one daughter in Chesterfield, VA and 5 grandchildren. She resides in the tri-city area with her husband while also calling Yale, VA (Sussex County) home.

William Seay is a professor in the Economics department at VCU and the History department at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College. He was previously an affiliated professor of History and Geography at John Tyler Community College. He is also a visiting summer lecturer on call at Concordia and McGill Universities in Montreal as well as at Bishop's University in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, and for the School of Continuing Education at Oxford and Cambridge Universities in Great Britain. In November 2014, William was invested as a KM (Knight Member) in The Most Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem (the oldest British Crusader order that dates back to 1109 AD). Presently, William serves as a supply minister for the Presbyterian Church USA. He is completing commissioned pastor training between Union Presbyterian and Princeton Seminaries with graduation from Princeton in 2020.

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.

Suzanne Sherry is a librarian, currently serving as the Library Director at John Tyler Community College. She has a background in web and digital information, but still remembers the world before the internet.

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 CEO of the MAC Wellness and Fitness and creator of the PFT Pelvic Health Coaching and Corrective Movement training program. Mary Anne is passionate about providing education that increases awareness to help individuals understand that prevention and self-help programming can positively impact their lives. Mary Anne wants more people to understand that they have more control of their personal health. She believes that knowing and understanding their skeletal system and gut health will lead to improved personal decisions that will positively impact their health leading to a longer healthier life.

Martha Steger has worked on both sides of the media, having been senior editor of Richmond Lifestyle Magazine before being public relations director for the Virginia Tourism Corporation for over 25 years.  She's presently a freelance writer covering travel, business, and profiles for publications ranging from Fine Books & Collections Magazine to AAA magazines and Boomer, Richmond and Virginia Business magazines.

Kendalle Stock has been in the field of insurance in Chesterfield since 1985. A graduate of High Point University, Kendalle also earned her CLU designation in 1999. She has owned her own multi-line insurance agency, worked in the long-term care (LTC) insurance field, and in group benefits. In 2013, she decided to make Medicare her primary focus, realizing how so many people were overwhelmed and confused by this program. Her passion is to help educate her clients so they understand the options well enough to make informed decisions about this important part of retirement. More information can be found on her website: CommonwealthMedicareAdvisors.com

Lillie Stratton served as corporate secretary and assistant to the president of the Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc. for 25 years. She has been an LLI member since 2009 and is currently serving on the Board of Directors.

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’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 the Director of Quantitative Development for a privately held Investment Advisor in Midlothian. He began Tai Chi play 18 years ago. He studied Yang style Tai Chi Chuan (open hand) and Jian (straight sword) forms with Sensei Nate Mohler, D.O.M., Chen style Tai Chi Chuan with David Christophy, and Qi Gong with Alena Nikos in Sarasota FL. He has continued his Tai Chi play in Richmond by taking classes in Yang, Sun and Wu styles of Tai Chi Chuan, which gives him a knowledge of all four of the major styles of Tai Chi. Damir’s  other interests include creating art, playing and recording music, and enjoying the outdoors through hiking and golfing.

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.

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

Bryan Truzzie is an Historic Sites Specialist for the Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation Department and a member of the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia.

Linda Tyler has been with Amazon for 6 years.  She started in operations and now conducts the Fulfillment Center Tours and does community engagement events in the area.  Linda's favorite hobby is to kayak, and she has kayaked in five different states while working at Amazon.

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.

Richard Verlander and his wife, Kathy, are retired and spend much of their time traveling and doing volunteer work within their community. In addition to being authors and speakers they are passionate advocates for teachers, coaches and all the people who work tirelessly to support our youth. They love biking, hiking, and all things outdoors.

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 enjoyed 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.

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.

Mervin Warner has been carving since the mid 1980's and started carving to learn to represent objects in three dimensions versus the two dimensions of drawing. He has been a member of the James River Wood Carvers since the mid 80's. He prefers to carve objects in the round and enjoys carving sea mammals, masks and projects that provide a challenge.

Jim Warns is a HECM Specialist with Retirement Funding Solutions, Inc., one of the largest reverse mortgage direct lenders in the country. In that capacity he deals exclusively with the federally insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) loan program and focuses on the proactive use of that program in retirement planning. Jim has been in the mortgage industry for more than 20 years and owned his own mortgage brokerage company for 10 years before making the decision to focus on reverse mortgages in 2008. He gives Continuing Education presentations on reverse mortgages to financial advisors, realtors and attorneys. He has also presented on the subject to various community organizations and teaches three recurring classes for members at LLI. He is a founding board member and past Education Director of the RVA Better Aging Forum, a board member of the Central Virginia Financial Planning Association, past Vice-Chair and Chair of the Chesterfield Council on Aging and an active member of several other senior service-oriented organizations. Jim holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees in business from William & Mary and lives in Richmond.

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.

Randal Wendell is a long-time hiker and hike leader and enjoys outdoor photography. Randy also has a BS and MS in mathematics.

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.

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.

Glenn Winters is in his sixteenth season as Community Outreach Musical Director for Virginia Opera. As an operatic baritone, Dr. Winters has appeared as guest artist with the Operafestival di Roma, Virginia Opera, and other venues. He is the composer of twelve operas for children and adults. His works have been staged by Virginia Opera, the Cimarron Opera Company and Piedmont Opera, among other venues. Winters is the author of The Opera Zoo: Singers, Composers and Other Primates, published in 2012 by Kendall Hunt Publishing.

Nena Woods has a BA in French and Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and has taught all levels of Spanish since 1981. Her latest experience was teaching K-8th grade at the Sabot at Stony Point private school here in Richmond. She has traveled many times to Spain especially the Canary Islands where her mother's family lives.

Michael Wriston has been an adjunct member of the faculty 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.