We are a vital and successful organization that has worked in the Richmond community for over 35 years. Using a neighbor-helping-neighbor approach to address common challenges of growing older – lack of transportation, isolation, loneliness – TSCOR provides opportunities for meaning and purpose. Board leadership is integral to our success.
Hal Costley, Interim President, Treasurer
Hal is a Richmond native having lived here since fourth grade with extended times away for college and Air Force. He received a BS in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech and a MS in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas in Austin. He was Vice-President of Design for TDFB, Inc., a Richmond Engineering-Architectural firm and then Vice-President of Engineering for Carpenter Co., a Richmond manufacturing firm from which he is now retired. Over the past thirty years, he has been involved as a volunteer with numerous non-profit organizations with Henrico County Public Schools and other associations. He enjoys, traveling, downhill snow skiing, golf, reading, hiking, and spending time with his two grandsons.
Peter Pettit, Vice President, President Elect
Peter came to Richmond in 2006 from Dayton, Ohio when MeadWestvaco relocated its corporate headquarters here. A long-time Mead and MeadWestvaco IT professional, he retired at the end of 2012. Sometime after that, he found TSCOR’s Open University and saw it as a way to pursue his interest in the German language. At his first meeting, he picked up a brochure for TSCOR’s transportation program and thought it would be a great volunteer opportunity. An active participant in both programs, he is also serving on TSCOR’s client services committee. Born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, he is a graduate of The University of Michigan, with two degrees in Music and was for several years Principal Trombonist of the Toledo Symphony and Trombone Instructor at The University of Toledo. He also holds a MBA with an Information Systems specialization from The University of Toledo. It was in the Toledo Symphony that Peter met his wife of 42 years, Carol, a cellist. The pair have one son, Jeff, who currently lives in Los Angeles, California.
Bernie Henderson, Immediate Past President
I am President Emeritus and Funeral Celebrant at Woody Funeral Homes and Nelsen Funeral Homes in Richmond. I began my career in Virginia government as Administrator of the Bureau of Insurance, then Assistant to the Commissioners of the State Corporation Commission, Director of the Department of Commerce, and Director of the Department of Health Professions. I later joined the Loewen Group, the second largest operator of funeral homes and cemeteries in the United States, first negotiating acquisitions of firms and then managing the firm’s 17 locations in Virginia, Maryland and DC. I returned to Virginia government at the beginning of Governor Warner’s Administration as Senior Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth and was reappointed by Governor Kaine. At the conclusion of the Kaine Administration, I became Director for Family and Community Relations for Woody Funeral Home, became President of the firm in 2014, consolidated it with Nelsen Funeral Home in 2016 and was named President Emeritus in 2020. In addition to serving as President of the Board of The Shepherd’s Center of Richmond, I serve on the Board of Directors of the Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia, the Board of Directors of the Henrico County Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Directors of the Capital Area Agency on Aging and the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Holocaust Museum. I am serving my second term as the Governor’s appointee on the Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Council. I am former Moderator (presiding officer) of the Richmond Baptist Association and former President of Jewish Family Services of Richmond. Marie and I have been married since 1974 and we have two daughters and four grandchildren. I have been an active member of Grace (American) Baptist Church of Richmond since 1963.
Pam Atwood, Secretary
Born in Kokomo, Indiana in 1951 and raised in Michigan where my family had a long history, I was the quintessential baby boomer. In 1973 I graduated with a BA in Michigan. I married in the 1970s and started a family. In 1988 we moved to Virginia. I have been a school secretary, traveling librarian, professional development assistant for schools, business class instructor, performed educational presentations for High School students, and finally, became a realtor. In my 50’s I returned to VCU and completed all my classes toward a Master’s in Gerontology but left at that point to follow my husband in his career as a contract computer programmer. While he performed short and long-term contracts we lived in many areas on the east and west coasts. This was a highlight in my life as I was free to fill my days with a myriad of museums, sights, educational experiences, and new friends. We ended up in Northern Virginia but ultimately returned to the Richmond area, as it felt like home to us. My hobbies continue to be educational endeavors, theater, writing, walking, painting, Scrabble, and my secret pleasure…video games! My volunteer history includes union negotiations, visiting the homebound, United Way campaign speaker and promoter, food bank helper, Christmas gift distribution for those in need, political campaigning, and most Inspiringly, an end-of-life care volunteer.
Lucy was born and raised in Warminster, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. She moved to Arizona and received her BA in Sociology from Arizona State University. She immediately was hired by the Internal Revenue Service and followed in her father’s footsteps with working in civil service. In 2010, her husband’s company relocated to Northern Virginia and Lucy transferred to IRS Headquarters in Washington, DC. She was accepted into the Frontline Management Program within the Taxpayer Advocate Service and in 2015, accepted a management position in Richmond, VA. She then went into the Senior Management Program and was the Local Taxpayer Advocate for the state of Virginia in 2018 and 2019. During 2020, Lucy decided (along with many federal employees) to retire, and officially became a retiree in November, 2020. She has two grown daughters, one granddaughter who just turned two and another grandbaby on the way. Lucy’s skills include community outreach, program management, policy analysis and public policy. Lucy is an avid hiker, as well as a runner who has participated in numerous 13.1 marathons. She is active with AFSP, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and has attended several Out of The Darkness Walks.
A graduate of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa (BA), and of the University of Iowa (MA, PhD), Gene taught in the Iowa public school system before moving to Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota, where he taught woodwinds and directed the jazz band. He later spent four years at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois teaching band, woodwinds, music theory and chairing the music department. He came to the University of Richmond in 1982 as the Director of Bands and instructor of music theory. At the University of Richmond he served many years as department chair and is presently Professor of Music. He has published numerous articles on early jazz and music analysis and has written a book on Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five recordings.
Betty Ann Dillon
I’ve been in Richmond since 1943, having come here from Caroline County and Warrenton, a small town in Northern Virginia. I graduated from TeeJay and Westhampton College & the University of Richmond for my BA & MA in psychology & sociology. A licensed psychologist, I have had a long & checkered career from banks to prisons to youth services to labor relations, until I retired (sort of) in 1990 and shrank my consulting business in human resources. Now I only work for money very occasionally, but still enjoy, on a volunteer basis, many of the same folks and organizations of my earlier professional life. I enjoy volunteer activities with the University of Richmond, especially Westhampton College alumnae matters, the chaplaincy, and the library & advancement projects. Reading, gardening, photography, and traveling are my favorite vocational interests. I believe The Shepherd’s Center of Richmond will be an increasingly important organization in a community with a growing aging population, and enjoy the concept of remaining intellectually active while contributing to the lives and independence of others.
For over 10 years, Lashunda Dotson has helped people and community organizations reach their fullest potential through empathy, compassion, and result-producing goals. Lashunda graduated from Old Dominion University with a degree in Human Services. She began her career as Vocational Counselor in the Richmond, VA area. Shortly thereafter, she obtained her Master’s Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Social Work. Following her graduation, Lashunda was offered a Program Manager position at a local nonprofit youth organization, Team Excel. After an interest grew in health care, Lashunda became a medical social worker at a local Physical Rehabilitation Hospital in Richmond, VA. During her journey as a medical social worker, Lashunda has co-facilitated the stroke survivor support group and helped Parham Doctors’ Hospital become nationally recognized as a stroke certified facility. For the last six years, Lashunda also works as a Program Coordinator, Pretty Purposed, a local nonprofit organization in Petersburg, VA. As the Program Coordinator she has helped the organization increase their community outreach by serving 25 new students in their school programs. Another passion of Lashunda’s is to facilitate authentic dialogue between community members through her creation of the Collaborative Truth. The Collaborative Truth was created in 2019 to help community members cultivate, empower, and grow together through difficult conversations. Born in Chesterfield, VA, Lashunda enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her 7-year-old Goddaughter. She also enjoys traveling and learning about various cultures. On a typical weekend, you can find Lashunda watering her collection of 20 plus house plants.
For twenty-four years I practiced general and forensic psychiatry in Washington, D.C., both in private practice and as director of both inpatient and outpatient programs, then did a stint for seven years in the VA system as director of several hospital based programs in North Carolina and Alabama, following which I came to Richmond in 1999 as Director of Health and Quality Services in the (now) Virginia Department of Behavioral Health Services. During those years I was actively involved in mentoring and supervising resident psychiatrists at George Washington University, Wake Forest and VCU medical schools departments of psychiatry as well as a focus on the effective delivery of mental health services. I am a Board certified psychiatrist and Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Since retiring I have been active on the Advisory Board of the Virginia Treatment Center for Children (VCU’s children’s psychiatric hospital), chaired that group in 2015-16 and was on the Board of SAFE (Substance Abuse Free Environment), a group in Chesterfield County working to educate youth about and reduce substance abuse in that age group. Activities at The Shepherd’s Center of Richmond include serving as a volunteer driver, and chairing a group that reviewed the TSCOR membership criteria and related considerations and made recommendations to the TSCOR Board. As a member of the TSCOR Travel Committee I set up the trip to see “Oliver” at the Arena Stage last year and am the lead in planning a trip to the Baltimore Aquarium this fall. I have given a talk at the Open University on forensic psychiatry. Currently I have organized a men’s group of retired men meeting monthly for lunch which was publicized by TSCOR and includes several men who came to the group through that notice.
Dr. John L. Gordon, Jr., Professor of History and International Studies, Emeritus, joined the University of Richmond faculty in 1967. A native of Kentucky, he earned an A.B. in History and Mathematics at Western Kentucky University and M.A. and Ph.D. in History at Vanderbilt University. Specializing in the domestic and imperial history of modern Britain, he has developed and taught courses on Georgian Britain, Modern Britain, British Empire and Commonwealth, Modern Ireland, Canada, South Asia, The Victorians, Churchill, Britain and the World since 1800, and Imperialism and Post-imperialism, among others. He has presented and published in British, Irish, and Canadian history and recently has been studying the preservationist activities in both India and Britain of Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India and British Foreign Secretary in the early twentieth century, and the diaries (1840-70) of Katherine, Countess of Clarendon, wife of the fourth Earl of Clarendon, a mid-nineteenth statesman. Dr. Gordon filled numerous administrative and service roles at the University, including Dean of the Graduate School and Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences (1980-87), Interim Dean of Arts and Sciences (1981-82), Interim Vice President and Provost (1983), Chair of the Department of History (1989-98), and Coordinator of the International Studies Program (2007-13). Dr. Gordon retired in June 2013 after forty-six years at the University. In retirement, he has, among various volunteer activities, become involved in The Shepherd’s Center of Richmond, serving on its Education Committee, offering individual lectures in topics courses, and teaching eight-week courses on The Anglo-Irish Relationship, The Victorians, Winston S. Churchill, and The Raj: British Imperialism in India.
Ralph H. Graner
Ralph grew up in seven cities in New York, Massachusetts, and Ohio. He graduated cum laude from Harvard College and spent two years as an active-duty Army lieutenant, mostly in and around Milwaukee. His primary career was 32 years in the U.S. Foreign Service – the youngest officer when he entered – serving five different times at the Department of State in Washington, D.C., in San Francisco, and successively in India, Burma (now Myanmar), Hong Kong (then a British crown colony), Algeria, Ghana, Mali, Germany, and Chad, with temporary duty stations in Switzerland and Cameroon. He finished that career as Consul General and as Deputy Chief of Mission (i.e., deputy ambassador). Then he worked in Wisconsin and finally Virginia state governments as state export promotion director, and at his third retirement in 1994 he and wife Jocelyne decided they really liked Richmond – and haven’t looked back. They have a son and daughter-in-law in Chesterfield, one grandson in the Los Angeles area, and two grandkids in Omaha. Ralph is active in his church and several other volunteer organizations, and served on the board and was treasurer of a small foundation dealing with education in Myanmar. He has been on The Shepherd’s Center of Richmond’s Board since July 2009 and was president 2014-2016.
Art was born and raised in Nebraska (buffalo Bill’s hometown!) and received his BA from the University of Denver in 1958. He then studied a year at the University of Freiburg, Germany, where he met his wife, Regine. After two years’ service as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, he entered graduate school at Georgetown University from which he received his Ph.D. While in graduate school, Regine and he were married in Germany, where Art wrote his dissertation. In 1966 they returned to the United States. They have two grown sons, both of whom live in Richmond. Art retired in 2005 from the University of Richmond with a focus on European politics, including the EU. His research focused on German politics, especially political parties, campaign and party finance, and federalism. He served three terms as chairman of the department of political science and three years as associate dean of faculty and dean of the graduate school.
Carol is a Richmond native. As a child she loved to read, sing, go to the theater, travel and volunteer, and those are still her favorite pastimes today. She has two sons who both share those same interests. As a stay-at-home mom, she volunteered in her children’s schools, for their sports teams and in scouts. She returned to work in marketing and on the sales vice president’s staff at AT&T for nine years then left and returned to college. With an undergraduate degree in English and a Masters in Education, both from Virginia Commonwealth University, she taught English at the secondary level in Chesterfield County. Volunteering at Maymont Mansion led to a career change when she accepted a position there as manager of historical programs where she developed adult and children’s programming and managed the tour and business aspects of the mansion. After twelve years at Maymont, she “retired” in March 2010 and came to The Shepherd’s Center of Richmond as the Open University Coordinator that same month. She remained in the position for eight years and retired in May 2018.
Melissa B. Jackson is a public administrator who has served the citizens of Virginia for over 15 years.
Her career began in the nonprofit sector with Richmond Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
as the organization’s business manager and a volunteer CASA advocating for underserved children
in Richmond. Later, she transitioned to local government, providing oversight and guidance for
various administrative and financial functions within the City of Richmond. Melissa presently serves
the Commonwealth of Virginia as a Financial Manager and has a passion for continuous learning
and development, cultivating interpersonal relationships, and creating and managing highly
effective teams dedicated to serving with integrity. She was born, raised, and educated in the
Tri-Cities area, where she resides with her husband, Walt.
A native of Connecticut and educated there (Connecticut College) and in NYC (Columbia), I’ve lived and worked over the years in Manhattan (NY Public Library), New Haven, CT (Yale), Richmond (VCU), Chapel Hill (UNC), Delaware and upstate NY before retiring from Syracuse University, where I was the library’s Associate University Librarian for Public Services for the last fifteen years of my career. I retired to Richmond because of a daughter and her family living in the Museum District, and the opportunity to see my two younger grandsons (now lawn-mowers-in chief) grow up. I’m happy to have returned to old haunts and friends, having retained my appreciation of Virginia – especially after Syracuse’s average snowfall of 90+ inches/year. My older daughter and family live near Knoxville, with two TN grandsons now grown and flown. In addition to driving for The Shepherd’s Center and serving on the Board, I am active at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church downtown, with the Richmond Hill and Westover Hills Libraries, and on social justice issues, with RISC. I take immense pleasure in yoga, reading, the environment, politics, the VMFA, Chamber Music, and the James River, and have managed, over the years, to acquire a few modest gardening skills.
Cindie has been a registered nurse for over 30 years. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from St. Josephs College of Maine and her Master’s in nursing from the University of Virginia. She is passionate about community, population health, prevention, holistic care and motivating healthy behaviors. Her career includes Veterans Administration, Department of Defense, hospital, and long term care nursing, cardiopulmonary rehab, heart failure and kidney transplant. Cindie has been a member of several professional nursing associations and served on the boards of Healthy Androscoggin, Tri County Mental Health, secretary for ANA-Maine, a participant on the Maine SHNAPP (State Health Needs Assessment and Planning Process) committee, and on the executive planning committee for the Central Maine Heart Walk. In Virginia her community activities have included such things as Virginia Special Olympics, St. Edwards Church and the American Heart Association. She is a graduate of the Hanley Health Leadership program in Maine, and the Androscoggin County Leadership Development Group. Cindie likes to walk (especially with her dog), bike, kayak, hike and read in her spare time.
Janet S. Simmons (Jan)
I was born and raised in Chicago, where I began a 35-year accounting & finance career working in private industry for a variety of businesses. For 10 years I had my own accounting service in the Chicago Metro area providing accounting and consulting services to CPAs and small businesses. I moved to Richmond in 1999. I worked with Land America, Lennar Home Builders and 9 ½ years with kalèo, a privately owned pharmaceutical company from which I retired in 2017. We were a small startup of 8 employees when I began at kalèo. I was very fortunate and proud to be a part of their phenomenal growth into a company with over 200 employees, and to participate in the launching of their FDA-approved products on the market. On the personal side, I love the theatre and the arts, enjoy reading and walk every day. The Altria, local theaters and VMFA are favorite places. In some other universe I’m dancing on Broadway but in this one, I tap dance at Regency Dance Academy and sing in two volunteer groups, Good Vibrations and Henrico Pops Chorus. Everyone always said, “She’s not your typical accountant.” I love The Shepherd’s Center of Richmond and its mission. Besides serving as a Board member, I enjoy attending Open University classes and meeting fellow students, compiling OU attendance statistics for strategic planning, driving clients to their medical appointments, and serving on the Governance and Client Services Committees. I look forward to my 2nd term on the Board.
Susie was born in Danville, VA, but has spent most of her adult life in Richmond. She majored in French and German at Westhampton College of the University of Richmond and also received her masters in French from U. R. Her former Spanish teacher at the University introduced her to Charles Wiltshire at a foreign language conference in 1958. She and Charley were married for 57 years before his death in November 2016. They have one daughter, Beth. Before her retirement, Susie was an educator for 44 years, serving as an elementary school principal, director of studies, and teacher of French, German, and English. She spent 38 of those years at St. Catherine’s School, but also taught in the Richmond Public Schools, Hampton High School, the Collegiate Schools, and as an adjunct teacher at the University of Richmond. In the Community she has served as president of the Richmond Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, president and treasurer of NAMI-CVA (Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Central VA), president of the Friends of the Boatwright Library of the University of Richmond, president of the Alpha Epsilon chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma (an honorary education association), and as the founding president of the choral group CAFUR. She was a charter member of the Richmond Symphony Chorus and sang with it for 30 years. Along the way, she participated in La Comédie Richmondaine, which presented plays in French for the community. She enjoys travel, movies, plays, art, theology, and cats, and she is an avid puzzle fan. Since her retirement, Susie has relished her participation in Shepherd’s Center activities. Upon her election to the board in 2008, Susie became chairman of the Public Relations Committee and a member of the Education Committee, for which she formerly served as chairman of the lunch speaker subcommittee. She continues currently as a member of the Education Steering Committee. Since the fall of 2008, she has been teaching a French course for her peers in the Shepherd’s Center. Each year her class makes a donation to the Wiltshire Scholarship Fund, which the class established to help older students with tuition costs. She also helps TSCOR with proofreading and editing and previously served as Vice President and as a member of the nominating committee.