For 35 years, we have been a vital and successful organization that works in the Richmond community. We are a group of caring people utilizing a neighbor-helping-neighbor approach to address common challenges of growing older – lack of transportation, isolation and loneliness – while also providing opportunities to find meaning and purpose. The leadership of our board is integral to our success. “Read More” to learn about the July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021 Board of Directors.
Bernie Henderson, 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.
Stephanie Churchill, Vice President
Stephanie Churchill joined Morgan Stanley in 2016. She previously worked with Wells Fargo in downtown Richmond where she began her career as an Online Specialist, before being promoted to Personal Banker and finally Licensed Banker. As a Licensed Banker, Stephanie was responsible for assessing client’s needs and helping make appropriate investment, retirement and insurance recommendations. Stephanie also served as a district Business Champion, working with many local business owners to uncover credit solutions and build plans based upon their client’s financial, estate and retirement needs. Her deep knowledge of financial products and love of working with her clients led to Stephanie’s focus on bringing product awareness to local communities. Stephanie led local monthly seminars on topics such as financial planning, the pros and cons of credit, retirement and the importance of an effective budget. A Hampton native, Stephanie graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelors of Science in Mass Communications and a minor in English writing. She has written and published three romance novels. Outside of work, she is a sports fanatic and battles every morning between watching ESPN and Squawk Box. Her favorite teams are the Dallas Cowboys, LA Dodgers and the New York Knicks. Stephanie and her husband currently reside in the West End of Richmond with her teenage son, A.J.
Hal Costley, Immediate Past President
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.
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.
Sally Youngs, Treasurer
Sally moved to Richmond in 1965 from upstate New York. She has a BA with a major in Psychology from Harpur College, the liberal arts college of the State University of New York at Binghamton. She also studied accounting at the University of Richmond before earning her CPA certificate. She retired from Reynolds Metals Company in December 2000 and now enjoys spending her time reading, traveling, playing cards, and serving as Treasurer of The Shepherd’s Center of Richmond. She has a daughter and a granddaughter in Easton MD, and a son in Merrimack, NH.
Education: College of William and Mary, B. A.; Phi Beta Kappa. Professional Experience: 35 years at Dominion Virginia Power performing various Information Technology management and technical positions related to software programming, analysis and development, project and program management and cyber security policy development and corporate adherence. Responsible for implementing the NERC (North America Electric Reliability Corporation) critical infrastructure protection (CIP) requirements corporate-wide for the Distribution, Transmission, Fossil & Hydro and Corporate Support business areas, to secure assets vital to reliable operation of the North American bulk electric system. Current Community Activities: Active member of the Bellevue Civic Association, Ginter Park United Methodist Church and the University of Richmond Osher Lifelong Learning Institute; membership chairman for The Ginter Park Garden Club; Vice-President /Board of Governors for The Woman’s Club of Richmond; Development Chairman/Board of Directors for the Bolling Haxall House Foundation; volunteer at both The Hermitage of Richmond and The Shepherd Center of Richmond.
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 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.
Peter is a retired gastroenterologist who thoroughly enjoyed the practice of medicine in Richmond for 40 years. He attended the University of Virginia having majored in English and graduating with Distinction. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia, internship at Sinai Hospital, residency at MCV and was a Gastroenterology Fellow at Georgetown. He is presently on the Advisory Council at the University of Richmond Osher Program and serves as a Board Member of the Torch Club and the 5400 Club. An enthusiastic gardener, he grows medicinal plants at his home for enjoyment and collects antique medicines and instruments.
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.
I came to Richmond in 1966 to attend the graduate school of social work at RPI (VCU). I met Fred that year and we were married in 1967. I started my social work career at the Children’s Home Society. I have also worked at Chesterfield Department of Social Services and Commonwealth Catholic Charities. I was an adoption worker at Commonwealth Catholic Charities for twenty-five years and retired in 2013. Now I enjoy aerobics classes at ACAC and volunteering for the Shepherd Center and Chippenham Hospital. I attend Open University; enjoy quilting and taking my two Westhighland Terriers for walks every day.
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.
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.