Scroll down to view the Trustees and Staff of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District for 2021.
Board of Trustees
Col. Hugh Sproul, III, 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, Vice Chairman
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. Nicholas P. Picerno, Secretary
Nicholas Picerno is Chairman-Emeritus of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. During his tenure on the board, Picerno has chaired the board twice and has also chaired the committees on Interpretation & Education and Property Management. A noted historian, especially on the 1864 Campaign in the Valley and Maine’s role in the Civil War, he also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Lee-Jackson Education Foundation of Charlottesville, the Federal Advisory Commission of the Cedar Creek-Belle Grove National Park and is Vice-President of the Lincoln Society of Virginia. He is a former member of the board of trustees of the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia. A frequent lecturer, he has contributed to scores of books including, Jeffry Wert’s “From Winchester to Cedar Creek” and “The Sword of Lincoln”, James McPherson’s “Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam”, and “The Last Battle of Winchester” by Scott Patchan. A career police chief, Picerno recently retired as chief of police at Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Virginia.
Mr. Craig Stevens, Treasurer
Craig Stevens is a retired CPA who has been involved with battlefield preservation for over 20 years and as a donor, Board Member or employee of SVBF since 2012. A lifelong student of the Civil War and fan of the Shenandoah Valley, Craig lives in Fairfax, Virginia.
Mr. Albert Alling
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.
Captain Don Jones, U.S. Army (Retired)
Governor Captain Jones was born and raised in Bristol, Virginia. He graduated from Georgia Military Academy in 1960 and entered the Virginia Military Institute that fall. He graduated from VMI in the spring of 1964 as a Distinguished Military Graduate, commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and immediately entered active duty assigned to the JS’ Battalion 22nd Inf. 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division at Ft. Lewis, Washington. While assigned to the 1122nd he served as a Platoon Leader, Section Commander, Motor Officer and finally as Battalion Adjutant. In June 1966, he was deployed with the 2nd Brigade to Vietnam, where his duties included being the Postal Officer, PX Officer and the Forward Brigade Adjutant serving with the Brigade’s field units in the forward base camp. His responsibilities included nightly briefings, troop health and welfare and more. The unit moved to the field in August 1966 and he remained in the field until reassigned to 4th ID Headquarters as Enlisted Personnel Management Officer in late January 1967. Don returned to the US in July 1967 and was assigned to the Defense Logistics Agency, a Joint Service assignment, as the Assistant Chief of Communications and Chief of the Postal Division for the Agency. He remained in this position until July 1969 when he was assigned to the USA Adjutant General’s Office as Manager of the Army’s Temporary Disability Retired List Office. In this role, he mechanized the management of the list that had grown to over 10,000 members. In late June 1970, Don resigned his Captain’s commission and returned to civilian life. He worked with the Sun Oil Company, successfully started a business of his own and retired from the Nationwide Insurance Company in 1996. Since 1996, Don has successfully founded another business eventually selling it to a leading firm in the field of career management and marketing. Don and his wife, Diana, have seven children and 16 grandchildren and reside in the Stonewall area of Appomattox County. He is actively involved with the American Civil War Museum, volunteers at the National Park and also is a member of the Appomattox 1865 Foundation. He also serves as National Vice President of the Studebaker Drivers Club and was recently appointed a member of the Board of Trustees at the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend IN.
Mr. Tom Mack
Prior to obtaining his Masters Degree in Education in 1995, at James Madison University, VA, Tom experienced numerous travel and work opportunities in 23 years. Tom, born in Pennsylvania, worked as a Pennsylvania state office clerk before moving to and living in Hawaii. In Hawaii, Tom’s jobs included farming, landscaping, janitor services and school bus driver. In 1979, Tom joined the US Army living in Kentucky, Germany, California, and North Carolina; while having such jobs as a mechanic and an Arabic interrogator/ translator. By 1988, after 15 years of marriage, both Tom and Lesley had their degrees in education; found elementary school teaching positions in Luray, Virginia, in the same school where they taught for 22 years. They both retired in 2010. Tom’s great love for history became the basis for the 20+member, all-volunteer, non-profit group – The Shenandoah Valley Civil War Era Dancers. Since 2012, the dancers have raised and donated over $56,000 to land preservation as they teach others the early American dances their ancestors once danced. Since 2016 Tom and Lesley have opened up their 3 acre landscaped garden to tours as part of the Page County Artisan Trail. Admission fees to Birdsong Pleasure Garden are donated to the SVBF.
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. James Pearman
Jim co-founded Partners in Financial Planning, LLC in 2009. He has authored the book entitled “Financial Planning for the Older Client” as well as quoted on financial planning topics in a variety of local and national publications. He is active with National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and NAPFA Consumer Education Foundation (NCEF). Jim has served as an industry expert for the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) Exams Advisory Project Group that develops and reviews questions for the Series 63, 65 and 66 securities exams. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Virginia Tech and has served in the financial services industry for 50+ years. Jim enjoys being involved with his community. He chairs the boards of Feeding America Southwest Virginia, Alta Mons Inc., and serves as Treasurer of the Roanoke District of the United Methodist Church to name a few. Jim and his wife Brenda live in Salem with their cats and enjoys going to Virginia Tech sporting events, especially Hokie basketball and football.
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.
Dr. Kenneth R. Rutherford
Ken is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at James Madison University. He served as Director of the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery at JMU, Peace Corps Volunteer in Mauritania, UNHCR Emergency Refugee Coordinator in Senegal, humanitarian emergency relief officer in northern Kenya and Somalia, and as Fulbright Scholar in Jordan. He was a prominent leader in the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which won the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize. He co-founded the Landmine Survivors Network and escorted Princess Diana on her last humanitarian mission to visit landmine survivors in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He participated at the UN in New York City for the adoption of the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and in 2008 played a key role in the drafting of the Convention on Cluster Munitions that forever banned that category of weapons. Rutherford has published in numerous academic journals, and five books, including America’s Buried History: Landmines in the Civil War. He holds a Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University, and B.A. and MBA degrees from the University of Colorado, where he lettered in football and 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.
Ms. Kirsten Talken-Spaulding
Kirsten Talken-Spaulding is currently serving as superintendent at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park. She comes to this position with over twenty five years of experience in the National Park Service including leadership positions in parks across the country and the national office. Talken-Spaulding began her career in public service with the Virginia State Park system. After graduating with a BS from the College of William and Mary, she completed her Master’s degree (MDiv), and served in the U.S. Navy reserves.
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.
Keven M. Walker, Chief Executive Officer (email@example.com) 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.
Dan Reinhart, Director of Operations and Resource Management (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
Terry Heder, Director of Interpretation, Education & History (email@example.com) 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.
Tammy Presgraves, Comptroller (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 (email@example.com) ext. 109
Although an Army brat who started out in Arizona, Kirsten has lived in the South since she was 11 and considers herself a Southron who came home. She graduated high school in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and in 2006 earned an AA in History at Durham Technical Community College. Since then she has engaged in numerous ventures that center around service to people: serving up crepes at a German-owned crepery, catering for a former Corporate Executive Chef of NASCAR, and co-managing an independent bicycle shop. Besides building relationships, Kirsten aspires to be an author of fiction and science fiction.
Jack Owens, Resource Management Associate (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jack began working the the SVBF as a young volunteeer in 2013, beginning with stewardship of Star Fort, which lies near his home, and expanding to include support of SVBF events, programs, and operations. In 2016, he began to work part-time for the SVBF at the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum in Winchester. In 2019, his work expanded to include battlefield stewardship, interpretation, and archives work, working in tandem with SVBF senior staff to broaden his work experience and knowledge. Jack is a student at Lord Fairfax Community College, and plans to transfer to Shenandoah University to study History.
Brittney Hebermehl, Executive Assistant (email@example.com)
Brittney joined the SVBF staff in September 2020. She assists with battlefield preservation projects and as an executive assistant. Brittney earned an associate degree in Information Systems Technology at Blue Ridge Community College and brings over 10 years of office management experience to the staff. Brittney is a lifelong resident of the Shenandoah Valley and lives in Page County.