Published on May 14, 2018

Scroll down to view the Trustees and Staff of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District for 2018.

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Board of Trustees

Officers (2019):

Mr. Nicholas P. Picerno, Chairman
His second term as Chairman of the SVBF Board of Trustees, Nick is a retired Chief of Police at Bridgewater College. A noted historian, especially on the 1864 Campaign in the Valley, Nick serves on the Federal Advisory Commission at the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historic Park. He also sits on the Boards of the Lee- Jackson Educational Foundation and is a previous trustee of the Museum of the Confederacy.

Col. Hugh Sproul, III, Vice Chairman
Hugh, a native of Augusta County and Staunton, received his undergraduate degree from Washington & Lee University in 1958, and followed with a master’s degree from the University of Tennessee in 1971.

He has served in the National Guard and Army for a total of 32 years, and he achieved the rank of Colonel. Hugh served 3 tours in Viet Nam and his awards include the Bronze Star for Valor, Purple Heart, Air Medal, and Viet Nam Cross of Gallantry.

Hugh is a former mayor of the City of Staunton and a former member of Staunton City Council. He is the Vice President of the 116th Infantry Regiment Foundation and Stonewall Brigade Museum, Ruling Elder at the First Presbyterian Church in Staunton, and the Treasurer of the local chapter Sons of the American Revolution.

Mr. Mark D. Perreault, Secretary
Mark Perreault is a resident of Norfolk and a retired in house counsel with Norfolk Southern Corporation. He has been active in many capacities in historic preservation and land conservation in the Commonwealth. He was formerly president of the Norfolk Preservation Alliance, served on the City of Norfolk’s Historical and Architectural Preservation Commission, and as a founder and president of Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park was instrumental in the establishment of Fort Monroe National Monument in 2011. He serves on the board of Petersburg Battlefields Foundation and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of the National Parks Conservation Association and he and his wife Karen have been long-time supporters of the Civil War Trust. Karen and Mark are currently engaged in restoration of a period house on the Second Deep Bottom Battlefield in Henrico County in partnership with the Richmond Battlefields Association.

Mr. Harry E. Ridgeway, Jr., Treasurer
Harry E Ridgeway is a retired CPA and chemical industry executive. His interest in the Civil War began at an early age. He dug relics in the 1960’s in the Shenandoah Valley; many of these sites have since become preserved battlefields under the direction of the Foundation. He and his wife, Trish, opened the Old Court House Civil War Museum in 2003. Recently, the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation took over operation of the Museum and the Ridgeways donated their extensive collection of artifacts to the SVBF.

Mr. Childs F. Burden
Childs is a founding member of The Mosby Heritage Area Association which was formed in 1995. He currently serves as Chairman Emeritus after having served as Chair and President for many years. He also serves on the board of Access National Corporation and Access National Bank and previously with Middleburg Financial Corporation before the merger with that company. He is a graduate of The University of Virginia and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. He has served on the boards of Oatlands as Trustee and Chair, on The Civil War Trust, The Virginia Outdoors Foundation, The Virginia Land Trust, The Loudoun County Historical Society as President and The Loudoun County Heritage Commission.

Mr. Roderick O. Graves
Rod is Vice President of Luray Caverns, as well as Curator of both museums on site, and active in historic preservation and Civil War commemoration.  He is Vice President of the Page County Heritage Association, serves on the Shenandoah Valley Folklife Society and Virginia’s Preservation Board, and is past Chairman of the Page County Sesquicentennial Committee.

Mrs. Julie V. Langan
Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed Julie Langan to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees to serve as his designee ex officio.  Mrs.Langan currently serves as the Executive Director of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

Mr. Ben Marchi
Ben Marchi grew up in Albemarle County, Virginia and is the owner of a home healthcare company that he bought and has grown with his wife after a career in politics and government. In 2011, “Campaigns & Elections” magazine named him among the top political influencers in Virginia. An avid battlefield preservationist, enthusiast and collector of Civil War History, Ben has been a student of the Civil War since he was a child. His focus on the battlefields of the Shenandoah Valley was amplified by his education at the Virginia Military Institute, where he participated in the Civil War Roundtable as well as the Cadet Battery, whose original instructor was Colonel Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson. One of Ben’s proudest activities related to the battlefields in the Valley was his participation, along with other VMI cadets and Alumni, in the recreation of part of the march made by the VMI cadets to New Market for the 150th anniversary of the battle, in 2014. Ben, and his wife Jenna have two young boys who they raise on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Cdr. Craig Morin
Craig is a retired Naval Officer and environmental consultant who lives in Houston, Texas. He received a B.S. degree in biology with and minor in history from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1973 and a Master of Public Health degree in Environmental Science from the University of Oklahoma in 1975. He entered the US Navy as a Seaman Recruit in 1966 and was later trained as a Navy Hospital Corpsman. As a Corpsman, he served with various Navy and Marine Corps commands. He reentered the Navy as a commissioned officer in 1975. Following the conclusion of the First Gulf War he retired as a Commander, Medical Service Corps, in 1992. During his Navy career he served on active duty as well as in an active reserve capacity on both ashore and afloat commands for over 26 years. As a consultant to the energy, chemical, shipbuilding, and heavy manufacturing industries, he has managed projects and assignments in West Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, Scandinavia, North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.  A student of the Civil War since early childhood, Craig was introduced to the war by his great grandmother over 66 years ago. He has identified nine direct ancestors that served in the Confederate army. Three of his Alabama ancestors served with Army of Northern Virginia’s Second Corp, serving in campaigns in the Valley in 1863 and 1864. He is currently writing a book about his Alabama ancestors’ war time experiences while serving in the Army of Northern Virginia. He has written and printed one book about a fellow Navy Corpsman who was killed in Viet Nam; More Than a Name on a Wall. He is an avid baseball fan who follows both the Houston Astros and his grandson’s little league team with equal enthusiasm. He is also a fan of the University of Oklahoma’s football team.  

Mr. Brian K. Plum
Brian is a C.P.A. and Chief Financial Officer of Blue Ridge Bank. Brian’s ancestors have been in The Shenandoah Valley for over 200 years, and two of his ancestors fought for the Confederate States of America during the Civil War.

Dr. Kenneth R. Rutherford
Ken is a Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center of International Stabilization and Recovery at James Madison University. He served as Peace Corps Volunteer in Mauritania, a humanitarian aid worker in Kenya, Senegal, and Somalia, and as a Fulbright Professor at the University of Jordan, where he was appointed to its political science faculty. He has published four books on global security. His next book, America’s Buried History: Landmines in the Civil War will be published by Savas Beattie in spring 2019. He currently serves on the board of the directors of Friendship Industries and the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Roundtable. He holds a Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University, and B.A. and MBA degrees – University of Colorado, where he was inducted into its Hall for Distinguished alumni.

Dr. Philip C. Stone
Phil Stone is a graduate of Bridgewater College and the University of Virginia School of law. After a 25-year career as a lawyer, during which he served as President of the Virginia Bar Association, he was invited to be President of Bridgewater College, a position he held for 16 years. In 2010, he formed a law firm with 3 of his children, the Stone Law Group, in Harrisonburg, VA. In 2015, he was asked to serve as President of Sweet Briar College to prevent its closing. He holds four honorary doctorates. He is past Chair of the Board of Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson’s retreat, and Founder and President of the Lincoln Society of Virginia. For the past 43 years, he has conducted a ceremony to honor President Lincoln in the Lincoln Family Cemetery in Rockingham County. He is Past President of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society and served an earlier term on the Board of Directors of SVBF.

Mr. C.J. Steuart Thomas, III, Esq.
Steuart lives in Staunton and is a partner with the law firm of Timberlake, Smith, Thomas & Moses, P.C. He specializes in litigation, specifically medical malpractice defense. Steuart is also an Adjunct Faculty Member at Washington & Lee School of Law, a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, and is the current president of the Virginia Bar Association.  Steuart is a member of the St. Francis Church Parish Counsel.

Mr. James R. Wilkins, Jr.
Mr. James R. Wilkins, Jr., serves as Vice President of Silver Lake Properties, Inc. and JRW Properties and Rentals, Inc., and served as the President of Wilkins ShoeCenter, Inc., until May 2005.  He is heavily involved in community service and serves on numerous boards, including the Board of Trustees of Shenandoah University, the Bank of Clarke County, the Winchester Equipment Corporation, and the Frederick County-Winchester Law Enforcement Foundation; he also previously served on the Winchester Medical Center Board of Trustees, the Winchester City Council, and the Winchester-Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, among many others.  He has received numerous awards, including Citizen of the Year (from the Top of Virginia Chamber of Commerce), Virginia Retailer of the Year, and Tree Farmer of the Year.  Jim is married to the former Veronica “Roni” Flett, with whom he has two children and six grandchildren.


SVBF Staff

Keven M. Walker, Chief Executive Officer ( ext. 102
Keven is the Chief Executive Officer of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation (SVBF) and came to the Foundation from Antietam National Battlefield, where he served for 11 years as a Ranger, a Cultural Resources Specialist, and the Acting Cultural Resource Program Manager.

During that time, Walker served as a member of the National Park Service’s national advisory team on cultural resources and historic preservation and was selected for the GOAL academy, the National Park Service’s highly competitive leadership program. Says Edwin C. Bearss, Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service, “Keven Walker’s work has been exemplary; ranking him with the best historic preservation professionals I have known since I began my career.”

Walker was formerly the Executive Director of The Walker Foundation for Historic Preservation in Charles Town, West Virginia. He has appeared on several Maryland Public Television documentaries focusing on the Antietam battlefield as well as historic homes in Washington County, Maryland. He is the author of “Antietam: A Guide to the Landscape and Farmsteads.” Published in 2010.

Walker came to the Foundation in June of 2014. Since then, under Walker’s leadership, the Battlefields Foundation has tackled some of the largest preservation projects in its history; preserved over 600 acres of battlefield land; opened two visitor centers and a 600 acre full service battlefield park; more than tripled its youth development involvement; assumed management of the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum; started an annual National Conference; launched new initiatives such as the Shenandoah At War magazine; and strengthened the SVBF’s partnerships both in the Valley and nationwide.

Terry Heder, Director of Interpretation, Education & History ( ext. 106
Terry, who joined the SVBF in July 2008, coordinates the Battlefields Foundation’s interpretive, education, Sesquicentennial, visitor services, and communications programs. He oversees the SVBF’s historical work and works closely with partners throughout the region and the state to help visitors explore the Valley’s Civil War story and promote the region as a premier Civil War visitor destination.

Dan ReinhartDirector of Operations and Resource Management ( ext. 113
Dan joined the National Historic District in 2014 to assist with the protection and management of the over 4,600 acres of battlefield land the Foundation has preserved. Since then, Dan has overseen the restoration and development of the Third Winchester Battlefield Park, including the addition of historic fencing, cannons, and new trails. He’s also responsible for the care and upkeep of the the Foundation’s other battlefields and sites which include Fisher’s Hill, Cedar Creek, Tom’s Brook, the Bell House, and the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum in Winchester.

Dan grew up in the small town of Ringtown, Pennsylvania where he was a 2004 graduate of the North Schuylkill Jr/Sr High School. He attended Penn State University Schuylkill Campus for 2 years, where he studied History, before leaving school to join the Foundation. Dan has been a Civil War re-enactor for almost 20 years and has toured numerous battlefields throughout the country. It was his visits to the Gettysburg and Antietam Battlefields that sparked his interest in battlefield restoration and preservation.

Tammy Presgraves, Comptroller ( ext. 109
Tammy started at SVBF part-time in 2010 to assist with bookkeeping. In 2012 she was asked to become the full-time Operations Assistant and to manager SVBF’s grant programs. Tammy is great at helping to keep the SVBF staff organized and working efficiently and enjoys working with all the

Kirsten Kauling, Member Relations Associate ( ext. 109
Although an Army brat who grew up in the West, Kirsten has lived in the South since she was 11 and considers herself a Southerner who came home. She graduated high school in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and in 2006 she earned an AA in History at Durham Technical Community College.  Since then she has engaged in numerous ventures that centered around service to people. Besides building relationships, Kirsten aspires to be an author; among her ideas is the story of the First Battle of Manassas in 1861 as told by the gentlemen and ladies who traveled to witness what they thought would be the deciding battle of the Civil War. Her other hobbies include cycling and Civil War reenacting.

Jeff Felton, Resource Protection Associate (
A lifelong student of the Civil War and history, Jeff received his B.A. in history from Bridgewater College and his M.A. in history from Virginia Tech. Jeff has had published an article and book review in scholarly journals and is currently working on several projects including a history of Stephen Ramseur’s North Carolina Brigade. Jeff has extensive experience in public history as well. He has been a tour guide in the Shenandoah Valley at Grand Caverns as well as Lee Chapel at Washington & Lee University. Jeff has also been a senior team member for a recent exhibition at the American Civil War Museum at Appomattox. Jeff was also a living historian for 18 years helping to interpret the Civil War at both National and State Battlefield parks. A true native of North Carolina, Jeff has called the Shenandoah Valley home since 2011.