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.).
Terry Fogle, Secretary
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!
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.
Born in D.C. and raised in Strasburg, Virginia, Melissa received a degree in Criminal Justice, with a concentration in Social Work, from Radford University. Returning to Shenandoah County to start her career with the Department of Social Services, she continued later in Montgomery County, VA as an Adult Probation and Parole Officer in Virginia’s 27th Judicial Circuit. Melissa retired in 1986 to start a family with her husband, Richard (Dick) M. Moore II, a New Market native and VMI alumnus.
Raising their daughter, Chelsea (currently Clinical Director at Acorn Health), and their son, Nicholas who currently resides with Melissa and Dick in Northern Virginia, the couple has been spending more and more time at their river home in the Deer Rapids since Dick’s retirement in 2015.
Melissa has become an activist for children and is frequently involved in raising funds to support classrooms and to provide access to teaching materials and training for special education of children with autism. More recently, she has taken up similar advocacy roles for adults with intellectual disabilities. When not working with the community, Melissa enjoys her equine farm, Potomac Acres, in Loudon County, as well as traveling and antiquing.
Lieutenant General Benjamin C. Freakley serves as the Professor of Practice of Leadership for Arizona State University and as a special advisor to ASU President Michael Crow for Leadership Initiatives. Additionally, he serves at the McCain Institute for International Leadership. In this capacity, he focuses on leading in: complexity, adversity, embracing diversity and working with organizations and individuals to excel as Character-Driven Leaders.
General Freakley is retired from the U.S. Army after serving more than 36 years of active military service. During his career, General Freakley led our Soldiers and military forces in combat three times. He served as the Operations Officer, 1 st Brigade, 24 th Infantry Division (Mechanized) during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Saudi Arabia. In 2003 he served as Assistant Division Commander (Operations), 101 st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq. From 2003 to 2006, he commanded the Army’s largest training institute, the Infantry Center and School at Fort Benning, Georgia. In January 2005, as the Commanding General of the 10 th Mountain
Division (Light) he led the division in Afghanistan serving as the Commanding General Combined Joint Task Force-76, Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan.
In his last assignment, Lieutenant General Freakley commanded U.S. Army Accessions Command, responsible for world-wide recruiting for the Active and Reserve Components of the Army, Officer development with Army Cadet Command (Senior and Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and Officer Candidate School) providing the Army with Officers for the Active, Guard and Reserve. Additionally, the command was responsible for all initial military training for all Soldiers and Officers.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from the United State Military Academy at West Point and a Master’s Degree in Advanced Military Studies. General Freakley’s awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star for Valor and ARCOM for Valor. He is an Eagle Scout, and in 2010 was named the Education Policy Leader of the year for the National Association for State Board Educators. In 2020 he was awarded the Citizen Service Award for investing in the civic health of our nation through support of national service by Voices for National
He is married to the former Susan French of Woodstock, Virginia. They have five sons, four daughters-in-law and eleven grandchildren.
Michelle has nearly 40 years of experience in the public interest sector. After being a campus organizer at Radford University in the early 80’s, she began her career as an advocate and issue campaigner with Council for a Livable World working on arms control and military budget issues and leading their political action committee, PeacePAC.
In the 90’s, Michelle joined the Union of Concerned Scientists where she spent the next 30 years advancing smart climate policy, building their Clean Transportation Program and working to ensure that sound science informed policymaking at the state and Federal levels. As a member of the organization’s leadership team for the last 18 years, she has experience engaging members and funders to help build a robust, impactful science-based advocacy organization. She has a reputation as a strategic issue campaigner, policy expert and thoughtful non-profit leader with colleagues, coalition partners, media representatives, and government officials alike.
Michelle grew up spending time in the beautiful mountains of Virginia and has spent many years deepening her connection to the Shenandoah Valley where she and her partner enjoy their cabin on Little Stony Creek and their home on the river in Edinburg. She cares deeply about the health of our local waterways and the ecosystems they serve.