We are pleased to welcome two new board members for 2020: Joan Chapman and Gael Shaffer Learn more about them below.
Frank Cihlar, Chair
A long-time Friends member and angler, Frank retired as Chief, Criminal Appeals & Tax Enforcement Policy Section at the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division. He has also worked in private law practice.
Over a 25-year career with the Justice Department, Frank was recognized with three John Marshall Awards for his exceptional accomplishments. Frank received his undergraduate degree from Loyola University (Chicago), his law degree from Notre Dame Law School and went on to get an LL.M. degree from Yale Law School.
Frank lives on the river near Woodstock. He is involved with community theater and music and enjoys woodworking and many other pursuits.
David Kaeuper, Vice-Chair
David and his wife, Brenda Bowman, have been upstream members of Friends for decades after purchasing a historic home on the river near Timberville. David recently retired from a career in foreign service, including an appointment as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Congo and most recently serving as Head of Mission to Somolia. His environmental experience includes serving as international facilitator for the Congo Basin Forest Partnership, a multi-national conservation effort.
Some of his other positions include serving as Director of the Office for African Analysis, Bureau of Intelligence and Research; Political Counselor in Nigeria, and Deputy Director for East African Affairs, Political Officer on the U.S. Delegation to UNESCO, and tours in Burundi and the Philippines. He holds a B.A. from DePauw University, a Master’s Degree from the University of Hawaii, and undertook further graduate studies at the University of Michigan and the Ecole Nationale d’Administration in France.
Bill Buechner, Treasurer
Bill and his wife Judith recently took up residence full-time in Woodstock after having a weekend home for years near the river. Bill is retired from a position as the director of economics and research for the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. He holds a PhD in Economics from Harvard and has taught at Smith College and The George Washington University. Earlier in his career he was a senior economist for 21 years on the staff of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee.
Jay Eiche, Secretary
Jay has embarked on a second career as an environmental attorney after 24 years serving both active and reserve roles in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the U.S. Army. An avid fisherman, he is former president of the Potomac River Smallmouth Club. Jay and his wife Tanya Harvey have both been very active with Friends. They make their home in Arlington but try to get out to their place along the North Fork as often as possible.
Jay is a graduate of Mercer University, earned his JD at Mercer’s Walter F. George School of Law, and has completed his coursework toward the Masters of Environmental Law at The George Washington University Law School.
Pat has probably paddled more rivers than the rest of us combined. She is retired and living in DC with her partner Dorcas after a fruitful career in river conservation. Pat served as Watershed Program Manager for River Network, working with nonprofit river and watershed groups around the country to help them build sustainable organizations and develop resources. Earlier she served as Vice President for Development at another national organization, American Rivers.
Pat has served on the board of various conservation nonprofits including the Coalition for the Capitol Crescent Trail, the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, the Cacapon Institute, and the Rock Creek Conservancy. She currently serves on the board of Potomac Riverkeeper Network. She holds a B.A. in Latin American History from American University.
Bill spends any time he can at his restored log cabin near the river outside of Woodstock. He is Senior Managing Director with Cushman & Wakefield in DC and is involved with commercial property management around the country. Bill also has an interest in revitalizing downtown Woodstock. He has a degree in English from St. Francis College (University of New England.)
A Woodstock native, Megan holds an environmental degree from Lord Fairfax Community College. She served as an intern on our e.coli research project, documenting bacteria levels at high use recreation sites. Megan works as an education specialist with Shenandoah River State Park and has spent much of her life exploring and enjoying the North Fork. A major focus of her board service is with our Seven Bends committee, working to get the new State Park up and running outside of Woodstock.
Sally and her husband Robert Muse own Muse Vineyards on the river outside of Woodstock. Her professional career extends far beyond our region.
She currently serves as Senior Vice President, Global Cancer Control, at the American Cancer Society. She helped found the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in Switzerland as well as serving as founder, president and CEO of the Cuba Policy Foundation.
She served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and has also served as U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, minister counselor for public affairs at the U.S. embassy in Mexico, and counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, among other positions. She is a graduate of DePauw University (B.A.) and The George Washington University (M.P.A.).
Dennis and his wife Doris live along Toms Brook where they raise local “Moo Manor Farm” beef. He recently won back the seat on the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors that he had earlier held for 36 years. He has been involved with organizations throughout the community and currently serves as the chair of the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission. Dennis believes in improving his own farm and encourages all farmers to be better stewards. He is also dedicated to helping conservationists better understand the realities of farming.
Erika is co-founder and Director of Information Architecture at Old River Creative, a web design consulting firm located in Woodstock. She has participated in the design and implementation of information systems for enterprise organizations around the world for clients that include Howard University, Booz Allen Hamilton, and the International Criminal Court.
Erika holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the College of William & Mary. A native of the area, she grew up hiking the mountains and playing on the river–which she still does often. How much does she love the river? Erika married her husband Kyle Schaeffer in a ceremony on the North Fork.
Marty moved to Fort Valley in 2015 after 35 very active years in Auburn, Alabama where she had been involved with multiple nonprofit organizations. She works in the position of Laboratory Services Coordinator with her husband Fred at Veterinary Diagnostic Pathology, LLC. They offer highly specialized services for domestic and international poultry production, processing, and research.
After working through a significant house remodeling, Marty is excited to now have time to be involved with Friends and help get more children out in nature. She is a musician and textile artist and serves as a docent for the Fort Valley Museum, a member of the music trio Sweetgrass, sings with the Vesper Singers, a recently formed community choir, and has performed music in the Edinburg Old Time Festival. Marty holds BS and MS degrees in art and education from Purdue University.
Joan has been a resident of Shenandoah County, living on the North Fork, for more than 20 years. Her academic background is in math and science, having received her BS in Computer Science from Mary Washington College, on the 35-year plan. (The plan, you ask, was to graduate in the same century as beginning that education.)
Joan’s passion has always been learning and sharing that learning. She has been recognized as Math Teacher of the Year in Prince William County, Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, Volunteer of the Year for Shenandoah County Public Schools, and Volunteer of the Year for FNFSR.
Joan has been a volunteer for FNFSR for over a decade. She is also involved with the Friends of the Seven Bends State Park, and is the instigator/master caster for the Shenandoah Reel Women. She is an avid fisherman, gardener, and summer camp host.
Gael is returning to the board after a two-year hiatus. She is preparing for retirement from a career in education, currently as a teacher of the blind and visually impaired for Loudoun County Public Schools. She is a longtime resident of Shenandoah County, and is a graduate of Central High School in Woodstock and holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from JMU.
Gael was teaching in Shenandoah County when she was offered the opportunity to “follow a raindrop to the bay” as part of an environmental education project by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for teachers in the watershed. Teachers paddled the tributaries in canoes, beginning in the North Fork of the Shenandoah, to arrive and spend a few days on Fox Island, which appeared stable then, but is presently becoming submerged due to global warming.
This experience changed Gael’s life, leading her to become a river and environmental advocate. She was instrumental in beginning the FNFSR children’s summer education programs, and worked with them for many years, recruiting the involvement of more Shenandoah County teachers.
She and her husband Steve, along with their grandson and a beagle named Doc, live in a log cabin on the Shenandoah River that they worked on themselves and which continues to be a labor of love.