Keith Hoffman, President
Bruce L. Davis, First Vice President
Kristie Kendall, Second Vice President
Stephen D. Chanko, Treasurer
J. Craig Kemper, Jr., Secretary
Cathi Clore Frost
Dr. William M. Kelso, CBE
Megan B. Lott
Barbara Gregory Price
Linda “Sunny” Reynolds
Prof. Dr. Horst Schmidt-Böcking
J. Marc Wheat
Dr, Katharine Brown
Keith Hoffman, President
Keith joined the board of Trustees in 2012 and became Treasurer in 2013. His father was born in a community of Germanna descendants in western Ohio. Keith is related to many of the families in the first and second colonies. Prior to retiring in 2013, Keith was a financial analyst for a government sponsored enterprise where he measured investment performance and interest-rate risk for fixed income securities. Keith is a Chartered Financial Analyst. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Mathematics from the University of Maryland.
Bruce L. Davis, 1st Vice President
Bruce joined the Board of Trustees in the fall of 2011. He is not a Germanna descendant, though the maternal side of his family, (Keck, Dieser, Rachor and Walther), are from Zellhausen, Germany. Descendants moved to the U.S. in 1844. He was born and raised in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, graduating from Urbana High School in 1975. Bruce then attended Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, where he also interned in the Michigan Senate at the state capitol in Lansing. He graduated in 1979 with a B.A. in Business Communication. Bruce then began a very interesting career working for the E. and J. Gallo Winery of Modesto, California. He worked in numerous states and spent time working directly for Ernest Gallo in Tokyo, Japan, researching export potential on numerous Gallo products. At the same time, he spent time working other existing Gallo markets in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Phillipines, Singapore, and China. Eventually, Bruce was transferred to the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C., where he became engaged with a number of Gallo distributors in the area. In 1989, an opportunity to buy an interest in Freeman Beverage Company presented itself, and he left the Winery.
He spent the next twenty-one years at Freeman Beverage, building the sales and delivery organization, then re-organizing data processing, office and human resource policies and procedures. He and his partner’s efforts lead the organization from a $3.5 million organization to $26 million upon the sale of the company in October of 2010. While at Freeman Beverage, Bruce became very involved in the local community, including the Spotsylvania Lions Club (past President and Melvin Jones Fellow), Fredericksburg Country Club (two term President). He also served on the Germanna Community College Educational Foundation (two term President), as well as the Germanna Community College Board of Directors. Upon completion of his board service Germanna Community College, Bruce recently became employed there as the Chief Liaison to the President, helping partnerships grow between the four campuses, businesses and individuals in the seven county college service area. He is very proud to now serve the Germanna Foundation, as the community college that has grown so much and plays such an important role to its’ various communities would not exist if it were not for the generous land donation for the first campus in 1970. Bruce lives in Spotsylvania with his wife, Sandra, and two daughters.
Kristie Kendall, 2nd Vice President
Kristie has worked in the conservation and preservation field since 2009, including land conservation efforts to protect significant properties in Virginia’s Piedmont region and the active stewardship of the easements that the Piedmont Environmental Council holds. Her preservation interests include the documentation of significant historic resources in Shenandoah National Park and efforts to broaden understanding of Appalachian culture and heritage in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains and the documentation of German history in Virginia through the diaspora of the First and Second Germanna colony settlers.
Stephen Chanko, Treasurer
Stephen is a 10th generation 2nd Colony descendant of Philipp Joseph Weber and his wife Susanna Klaar, through their son Hans Dieterich Weber (“Peter Weaver”) who immigrated from Gemmingen, Baden (now Baden-Württemberg, Germany) in 1717. He is also a descendant of the Volck, Finks, Wayland, Broyles, and Fleischmann families. Stephen was elected as a member of the Germanna Foundation’s Board of Trustees in August 2013. He graduated from Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Stephen is a Certified Public Accountant (“CPA”) and holds an active license in the State of Texas. He is currently an Executive Director with Ernst & Young’s Assurance Services practice in Vienna, Austria, previously working in Houston, Texas, with over 18 years experience in public accounting. Besides managing recurring financial statement audits of public and non-public clients, he provides regular consultation to clients on US GAAP and IFRS accounting, reporting, internal control, and other financial matters.
J. Craig Kemper, Secretary
Craig is a 1st Colony descendant of Johannes Kemper. He joined the Board of Trustees in 2016. Craig is an attorney, presently serving as legislative counsel to a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Previously, he practiced as a Virginia Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney, and served on the Board of Governors of the Virginia Young Lawyer’s Conference from 2012 to 2016. Craig holds a B.A. in History and American Politics from the University of Virginia, and a Juris Doctor from Regent University. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife, Laura. Laura is a 2nd Colony descendant of Nicholas Yager. She currently serves as Counselor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. She holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia as well as a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Marisa Bascope, originally from Venezuela, moved to the United States in 1989. She and her husband, Luis Sirvent, live in Burnet, Texas. She graduated as an attorney from the Universidad Catolica Andres Bello in Caracas, and in 1990 completed a Masters in Admiralty Law from Tulane University. She is a member of the Louisiana Bar. She represents US and British companies doing business in Latin America, in the areas of energy and oil & gas, although she has also worked in US-related renewable energy matters. Marisa descends from the Rector, Hitt, Fishback, and Otterback 1714 families. She is an avid genealogist and a photographer, and looks forward to serving the Germanna Foundation as a Trustee.
John Bergholz of Illinois is Vice President of Institutional Advancement for the Institute of World Politics, a private graduate school in Washington, DC. He has a long career in higher education fundraising and has worked in Canada as well as the U.S. and has done international alumni development work. John’s spare time passion is running.
Cathi Clore Frost
Cathi Clore Frost has lived in Oregon her entire life although she spent time in Perth, Australia and Vienna, Austria as an exchange student. She graduated with honors from Linfield College after completing a B.A. in History and Education. In the past she has been a social studies teacher and a librarian but currently works part time as a tap dance instructor (to the great amusement of her family and friends). Cathi is married to Bob Frost and they have two children. Cathi’s ancestors include Second Colony members of the Clore, Kaifer, Weaver, Volck, and Blankenbaker families and as well as members of the Hirsch/Deer and Razor families who were later comers to the Hebron / Robinson River community. She is the author of Germanna Record #16: The First Four Generations of the Michael Clore Family and is currently researching the Nicholas Yager family for a future Germanna Record.
Ellis Hitt is a 7th generation descendant of Peter Hitt (Heide/Heite) and his second wife, Elsbeth Otterbach, daughter of the immigrants Hermann Otterbach and his wife Elisabeth Heimbach. Born in Kansas, Ellis graduated from the University of Kansas and was commissioned as an Officer in the Air Force which immediately sent him to the Air Force Institute of Technology where he received his Masters Degree. He served 5 years on active duty as an Engineering Officer/Program Manager. He has 49 years of experience in strategic planning for U.S. Government agencies and corporations (large and small). After retiring from Battelle in 2005, he was asked by a client to establish a corporation specializing in strategic planning, helping clients set goals and objectives, defining the time and costs associated with alternative paths that could be taken to satisfy the objectives and attain the goals. He assists clients in the decision making process including determining the funding required each year for the selected alternative. Ellis was elected to City Council, served two terms, served on the Planning Commission, and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. He is Treasurer of two organizations, and Treasurer of two conferences recurring yearly. He and his wife, Beverly have two married sons and four granddaughters.
Dr. William M. Kelso
Dr. William M. Kelso is the foremost archaeologist in Early American history. He is the director of archaeology for the Preservation Virginia Jamestown Rediscovery archaeological project, and the past director of archaeology at Colonial Williamsburg’s Carter’s Grove, Monticello and Poplar Forest. He was also commissioner of archaeology for the Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission. Dr. Kelso has lectured throughout the U.S. and Europe and has authored or contributed to numerous books and articles on archaeology, including Jamestown, the Buried Truth (University of Virginia Press) and Archaeology of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello: Artifacts of Everyday Life in the Plantation Community (Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, Inc., Charlottesville). Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain made Dr. Kelso an Honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), an honor awarded for especially inventive and celebrated contributions to the recipient’s field.
A lifelong Virginian with a strong background in historic preservation, Mrs. Brantley Knowles is currently President General of the Colonial Dames of America, has been President of the National Society Colonial Dames of America in Virginia, has served on the NSCDA national board for 15 years, and chaired its national properties committee. The NSCDA-VA owns the site of Alexander Spotswood’s Fort Christanna, the fort he built in Brunswick County at the time he settled the families from Nassau-Siegen at Fort Germanna. In 2016 Knowles revived the Order of the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe, a group of descendants that has contributed generously to the work of the Germanna Foundation.
Megan Beth Lott brings over thirty years of experience in development and fundraising within the public policy and charitable communities. She graduated from The College of William and Mary with a B.A. in Government. Formerly the Director of Development at the Media Research Center, Senior Director of Development at the Center for Individual Rights, and Senior Director of Membership and Development at the American Legislative Exchange Council, Megan has also raised funds for The Lab School of Washington, The National Council for Adoption, Citizens United, The Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, and The Leadership Institute. Megan is a Lifetime Member of the Lexington Who’s Who and has raised over $250 million for the causes she passionately believes in.
Michael Maibach of Virginia is a specialist in global business diplomacy, having worked at the European-American Business Council, Siebel Systems, Intel and Caterpillar. He served on a commission in the Reagan administration and on an advisory committee in the George HW Bush administration. Michael currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Institute of World Politics and in the past has served on more than a dozen boards of academic, political, business, and world affairs institutes. He writes poetry, publishes essays, has traveled widely around the world, and enjoys cycling and hiking.
Barbara Price is a descendant of Hans Jacob Holtzclaw and his first wife, Anna Margreth Otterbach, as well as the Heimbach and Fischbach families. Barbara first became involved with the Germanna Foundation in 1998, attended her first Reunion in 1999 and many more since then. Barbara was born in El Paso, Texas in 1955, but has been a resident of California since 1958. She currently lives in Ventura with her daughter, Kristi, and granddaughter, Jordyn. Barbara worked as a Respiratory Therapist for 23 years in both the hospital and home care setting. She has extensive experience managing both DME companies and Home Health Agencies in the home health industry. She now works in medical sales for Apria Healthcare and enjoys her job immensely. Barbara has been involved with several volunteer agencies such as the Firefighter Cancer Support Network and has also served on the Board of the Esophageal Cancer Awareness Association. She currently serves as both a Trustee and a Board member of the Germanna Association and is Secretary for both entities. She’s the Chair of the Internet Presence Committee and serves on the Publications Committee and the Program Committee, hence she does not have a lot of spare time! But she has managed to travel with Germanna to Germany four times, twice as a working member of the Tour.
Linda “Sunny” Reynolds
Sunny Reynolds is a long-time resident and business owner in Fauquier County. Ms. Reynolds is owner of Biotrek Adventure Travels and Studio 19 Photography. She has served on the Warrenton Town Council and as Vice Mayor of Warrenton. She is an established and well-proven fundraiser with proven success acquiring funding for many local and statewide organizations. Ms. Reynolds is currently assisting the Germanna Foundation in its fundraising efforts with a focus on the Fauquier County community. Ms. Reynolds has also served on a variety of local, non-profit boards including the Warrenton Chamber of Commerce, Habitat for Humanity and is currently a member of the Fauquier County’s Business and Tourism Advisory Committee
Dr. Horst Schmidt-Böcking
Horst was born on February 13, 1939 in Siegen-Weidenau and grew up in Trupbach. He and his wife, Marlies (nee Böcking), who live in Kelkheim near Frankfurt, are the parents of two daughters. In 1982, he was named Professor of Atomic and Molecular Physics at the University of Frankfurt. He retired in 2004 but is still active in research at Frankfurt University. His grandparents are Hermann Jung (1880-1941) and Friedericke Otterbach (1883-1965) both born in Trupbach. Their ancestors have all lived in Trupbach, documented to 1550 or even before. Their ancestry lines are directly related to the 1714 emigrants Hermann Otterbach and his family and on the Jung side related to Jakob Holtzclaw (his mother was a Jung) and the 1732 Jung emigrants. Horst studied physics in Würzburg and Heidelberg beginning in 1960. His scientific career is described in https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horst_Schmidt-B%C3%B6cking and http://www.uni-frankfurt.de/45167333/H_-Schmidt-Boecking?. Since 1986 he has been a member of the Germanna Foundation and has attended several Germanna Reunions in Virginia. He has worked as scientist at many U.S. universities and National Laboratories (e.g. KSU in Manhattan, Lawrence Berkeley and Livermore Laboratories, Argonne National and Brookhaven National Lab.). Altogether he spent about 4.5 years in the U.S., and about one year of this time his family joined him.
From 1954 to the present he has played trombone in the church brass group and has often welcomed the annual Germanna tour group to his village of Trupbach as part of a brass quartet. Since 2001 he has been a member of the city parliament of Kelkheim/near Frankfurt.
Bio to come
J. Marc Wheat
Marc served as the 4th President of the Germanna Foundation from 2008 to 2020, and has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 1997, succeeding Sarah Aylor Lewis. Marc succeeded in acquiring the 62-acres Fort Germanna / Enchanted Castle archaeological site for the Germanna Foundation, and initiated the Germanna Foundation archaeology program and the building of the Hitt Archaeology Center. Marc descends from Rev. Henrich Haëger, Germanna’s colonial pastor. His descent from ten of the original forty-two colonists at Germanna makes him related to many Germanna Foundation members.
Marc’s professional experience has deepened his commitment to cultivate the virtues of gratitude and generosity to perpetuate the promise of America. Marc served as Staff Director and Chief Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, & Human Resources. During his tenure there, he lectured at the European Parliament in Brussels; met with advisors to President Karzai in Kabul, Afghanistan; and helped manually eradicate a coca field in Colombia. He learned a great deal about the world after joining the U.S. Department of State under Secretary Colin Powell six weeks after 9/11, where he served as Senior Advisor for Senate Affairs.
In the 1990’s, Marc was Counsel to the Energy and Commerce Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he worked principally on health care, bioethics, and bioterrorism; while Director of Tax and Budget Policy for Citizens for a Sound Economy, he succeeded in the elimination of $8.1 billion of wasteful spending in May 1992, the largest such rescission since 1982. As founder of the Porkbusters Coalition, Marc’s work was the subject of Adventures in Porkland, a book by Washington Post reporter Brian Kelly and illustrated by political cartoonist Pat Oliphant. A discussion of his anti-trafficking work is found in Robert Goff’s Finding Karishma: Modern-Day Slavery and the New Abolition Movement, and thanked in Francis Fukuyama’s Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. He is a 2006 alumnus of the Congress-Bundestag Staff Exchange Program.
Marc received his B.A. (Spanish and political science) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his Juris Doctor in the Corporate and Securities Specialty Track at Scalia Law School at George Mason University in Virginia. He is a past president of the German-American Heritage Foundation and its museum in Washington, DC; and past vice-chairman of the board of trustees of Rivendell School.
He is chairman of the History Committee of the American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati; Vice President of the Board of Trustees of the Hebron Lutheran Church Foundation; member of the vestry of The Falls Church (Anglican); board member of The Falls Church Fellows program; Faith & Law, and the Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems of the Fund for American Studies.
A member of the Pilgrims of the United States, the Order of St. John, and the American Council on Germany, Marc and his wife Marie (a former Transatlantic Fellow of the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt) raise their son and daughter at Germanna and in Arlington, Virginia.
Dr. Katharine Brown
Katharine is proud to descend from 1714 Germanna immigrants John Jacob Rector and his wife Anna Elisabeth Fishback, as well as from Elisabeth’s immigrant parents, Philip Fishback and his wife Elisabeth Heimbach, and Peter Hitt and his second wife, Elisabeth Otterbach, daughter of the immigrants Hermann Otterbach and his wife Elisabeth Heimbach. Born in Parkersburg, West Virginia, Katharine grew up in the 1878 house her Rector ancestor William Nelson Chancellor built, and that she and her husband Madison are now restoring. She graduated from Hollins College then received a Ph.D. in history from The Johns Hopkins University. She has been executive director of the Stonewall Jackson House in Lexington, Virginia, and the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace (now Presidential Library) in Staunton, Virginia, and director of research and collections at the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia. For the past ten years, she has been a founding partner of Lot’s Wife Publishing, a local history publishing company. She is the author or co-author of a dozen books on Virginia history and church history. She is an adjunct Professor of History and Art at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, where she has taught historic preservation, museum studies, and furniture history for the past 25 years. She and Madison are the proud parents of three married sons and grandparents of three granddaughters. They have enjoyed leading each of the Germanna trips to Germany, and Katharine also chairs the Foundation’s publications committee. She is the author of Germanna Record #17.