David Kaeuper, 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.
Sally Cowal, Vice Chair
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.).
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.
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.
Dr. Iara Lacher
Dr. Iara Lacher is a landscape ecologist with an interdisciplinary background in policy and environmental management, which she employs in applied conservation research for use in strategic planning and policy development. Her science can be used to identify priority conservation areas, inform best practices in land management, and to guide county, state, and national planning strategies. Her current work combines scenario planning and spatially explicit land use models to illustrate how different land use policies may impact biodiversity and ecosystem services. Dr. Lacher is also owner of Seven Bends Nursery, a native plant nursery with a mission to increase public access to native plant material and to educate the public on ecologically friendly gardening practices.
Richard Todd Stafford
Todd is a devoted environmental educator, researcher, and communicator who is co-owner of a house in Front Royal. In addition to teaching research classes to college students and serving as a Director of Communications at a University, he also enjoys teaching community members about local environmental issues. In addition to serving on the board of the Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River, he is the Save Our Streams chairperson for the Warren County Izaak Walton League and has served as the representative of that organization to the Save Happy Creek Coalition in Front Royal. Todd enjoys kayaking, walking in our local parks and forests, and bicycling.
Todd has a BA from William and Mary, an MA from Virginia Tech, and has been working on a PhD in Cultural Studies from George Mason University since 2011.
Albert Cho (Al) is an advocate for equitable access to water and wastewater services. He currently is on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Financial Advisory Board, advising the agency on ways to lower costs while increasing investments in environmental and public health protection, and has also served on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Environmental Technologies Trade Advisory Committee. He has been a Millennium Fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and is a member of the Stimson Center’s Loomis Innovation Council. Al currently serves as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Reserves, providing expertise on environmental issues essential to social stability and prosperity.
Al is currently is Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy and External Affairs Officer at Xylem. In this role, he leads global strategy and business development, government and industry relations and communications and public affairs. Working in partnership with customers, colleagues, communities and shareholders, Al and his team develop strategies to achieve Xylem’s vision to create both social and economic value. His over 20 years of experience with leadership and policy include positions as: Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of State, where he was a White House Fellow and served on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff; Executive at Cisco Systems, where he led innovation efforts related to energy and the environment; and positions at McKinsey & Company, where he helped launch the Sustainability and Resources Practice, and the United Nations, where he worked on a global plan for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
Within the water sector, Al is on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Water Alliance, the Canadian Water Network, and the Rural Community Assistance Partnership, as well as on the Programme Committee for Singapore International Water Week. He is an Honorary Research Associate of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.
In addition to his work in water, Al is an advocate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, serving as executive sponsor for Xylem’s LGBTQ+ and Allies Network.
Pete’s grandmother first taught him to fish the River. He has been exploring the North Fork and its tributaries since. Born out of his early experiences on the River, his career has focused on developing and implementing collaborative solutions for natural resource management challenges. Pete held several management positions within the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality involving water quality, public water systems and permitting. The Environmental Partnerships for Oregon Communities received the federal government Hammer Award for innovation and the Oregon Governor’s Investing in People Award. He was recognized by the Oregon Association of Water Utilities as a Friend of Rural Water for his work with small communities.
Pete served as a Natural Resources Advisor to Oregon’s former Governor. Since 2003, he has worked with the Governor’s Oregon Solutions program to provide an impartial, neutral forum to gather and sort the various perspectives and resources from the economic, environmental, and community landscape.
He has an MBA degree from Penn State University and undergraduate degrees in Environmental Sciences and Economics from the University of Virginia. Now retired, much of his time is spent near the River.
Terry was born in the hills of southern Indiana. Upon completing a BS degree in Entomology from
Purdue University, he moved to Chicago working for Ortho’s research division, then to Minneapolis,
managing a horticultural company. Terry and family moved to the Shenandoah Valley in November
1979, envisioning a nursery business which became Fort Valley Nursery. After nearly 40 years of co-
owning and retail managing the garden center, he retired in 2022, and now spends time with his
business, ValleyScape consulting.
Terry has served as past president of the Shenandoah Valley Nursery and Greenhouse Association, and a member of the Woodstock Tree Board. He’s an honorary Virginia Master Gardener and is currently completing the Virginia Master Naturalist program.
When not consulting or spending time in his own garden, he enjoys kayaking our river, hiking mountain trails, and playing bluegrass music with friends.
He first canoed the North Fork of the Shenandoah on New Year’s Day in 1980, approximately one
month after arriving in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley!
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!