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These superheroes of the Garden maintain the site by spreading mulch, weeding, and other tasks. To sign up, click the “Volunteer” Tab.
Maggie is an MBA candidate at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business with an expected graduation date of May 2024. As part of our opportunities with the program, there is a Board Fellows Program with the Net Impact Club. The Board Fellows program is an experiential opportunity for Darden students to learn about non-profit board governance, support a local nonprofit organization, and engage more within the Charlottesville community.
Maggie’s educational background is in Chinese and International Relations; she has spent two years living and studying in China, where she became fluent in Mandarin. Outside of her professional and academic activities, she is also an avid rock climber, hiker, and runner.
Over the past 40 years of living, working, volunteering and raising a family, Consi Palmer has made Charlottesville and Albemarle County her home. Holding both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the UVA School of Nursing, she has worked in the field in various capacities for over 25 years, most recently teaching Community Health Nursing at the University of Virginia. She has enjoyed volunteering and board service at numerous non-profits in our community.
To Consi, the Botanical Garden of the Piedmont is a culmination of a myriad of interests and an opportunity to create a lasting legacy for the community that her family has lived in and loved for many generations. She passionately believes that the time is right to build a botanical garden in Charlottesville with a focus on native and site adaptive plants, discovery, and learning for all ages. She wants The Botanical Garden of the Piedmont to be a place for many levels of healing, both physical and spiritual for the individual, and for the community as a whole.
As a member of a local garden club, Consi strives to be a life-long learner of horticulture, native plants and garden design.
Consi is married to Jud, a Charlottesville native, and they have three grown children and six grandchildren.
Jude Garzolini grew up on a dairy and grain farm in the Midwest which included extensive vegetable gardens – a remnant from the time her family raised tomatoes for Campbell’s soup. She pursued her interest in chemistry and textile materials to become a Chemical/materials engineer and worked in the auto, aerospace, and electronics industries and holds 5 patents. She served on the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) board of directors for several years and was national president in 2006-07.
She took the opportunity to give back by managing a National Science Foundation grant supporting STEM education at Boise State University to encourage the next generation of engineers. In 2018-19 she assisted with the STEAM Academy‘s Girls do Engineering in Albemarle County. In Fall ’22 she joined UVA as an Academic Mentor. She is an Idaho Master Gardener and enjoys cycling, travel, gardening, reading, challenging herself with new software, and cooking international cuisines.
Stephen T. McLean brings a wealth of organizational experience to the Garden. He not only founded his own real estate firm: McLean Faulconer Inc. Realtors, he has served as a Treasurer, Vice President, and President of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Association of Realtors and has been appointed to the Virginia Real Estate Board by the Governor. As well as his great success in business which brought him into contact with all areas of the state, Stephen serves as a board member of various nonprofits including the YMCA and Charlottesville Tomorrow. A native of Charlottesville and an Albemarle resident, Stephen looks forward to growing the Garden as a community resource.
Jack Bocock is an experienced Board Member; he has served a variety of nonprofits and educational organizations including St. Paul’s Memorial Church, Piedmont CASA, and Virginia Union University. His specific expertise is in finance and investments. A former Naval Special Warfare Officer, Jack knows the value of service and how to get down in the weeds! He enjoys the outdoors in many ways, including hiking and skiing, and is excited to work on behalf of the Garden.
Rodney Shirley is a lifelong Virginian having been born and raised in Fairfax County where he and his wife Alexandra raised their three children. Rodney and Alexandra now reside in the Blue Ridge foothills of Albemarle County. A graduate of The Catholic University of America, School of Architecture, Rodney is the founding and managing principal of RJS & Associates, Architecture LLC, a national design firm with an office in McLean, Virginia and a studio at his home near Free Union. Rodney’s practice of architecture has included large scale commercial hotels and resorts, office buildings, industrial and warehouse and interior projects in addition to master planning and site development.
Rodney is also a lifelong gardener and landscape designer. Presently, Rodney and Alexandra are embarking on their third extensive residential garden/landscape project for themselves and are also members of several local garden and horticultural venues dealing with environmental and native habitat issues. Rodney and Alexandra have also visited many gardens and botanical gardens in both the US and Europe and are very enthusiastic about being involved in the advent of the McIntire Botanical Garden (now Botanical Garden of the Piedmont).
Other interests and activities of Rodney’s have included:
Christina Teague is a marketing and public relations consultant specializing in educational and awareness campaigns through print and social media. Experience assisting nonprofit organizations and small businesses with branding, outreach, advocacy, development and media relations. She is excited to get more involved with the Botanical Garden after serving on the Garden’s Marketing and Development Committee. Christina enjoys her garden and is a member of the Albemarle Garden Club.
Keith Woodard became a registered architect in 1988. Woodard Properties began in 1980 when he established the business to design, build, and manage investment properties in and near Charlottesville. He and his family have resided in Albemarle County since 1977 and raised four children – all have completed college educations and now are ‘self-propelled’ and good citizens. His hobbies include traveling and ballroom dancing with my wife Adrienne, playing piano, wood-working projects and making things, landscaping and improving the house that I built and have lived in since 1978.
Jay Townsend was born and raised in Albemarle County. Jay graduated from Virginia Tech with a BS in Accounting, worked for CPA firm for 4 years before starting his own business, J. W. Townsend Landscapes. Jay has been actively involved in the Charlottesville Community, including being a Boy Scout leader for 12 years, a CIC (a local small business nonprofit) mentor, teacher and loan committee member and a Building Goodness supporter and board director.
Jay served on the Garden’s finance committee prior to being invited to join the board of directors. Jay is now retired from his successful business, and enjoys sailing, farming and fishing.
Kristin Davis grew up in the wild, beautiful mountains of West Virginia. Now an environmental lawyer with the Southern Environmental Law Center in Charlottesville, Kristin focuses her work on protecting important resources in the George Washington & Jefferson National Forests, including old growth forest, water quality of headwater streams, wildlife habitat, and remote roadless areas. Before law school, Kristin was a gardener on the island of Nantucket. Serving on this Board makes the most of this background, allowing Kristin to tap into many of her skills and passions.
Brion Friedman is a native of Virginia having lived his first five years over Afton Mountain in Waynesboro. He came back to this area when he went to school at UVa in the late 70s where he met his wife, Deirdre.
Brion graduated from UVa with a degree in Environmental Science and then went to Emory University in Atlanta to get his MBA. When he finished his graduate program, he began working in the investment business as a portfolio manager and research analyst. He earned his CFA in the late 80s and worked with three different firms in Atlanta over the course of his professional career; finally starting his own investment consulting business focused on helping small to mid-sized non-profits manage their funds. Deirdre and he had always wanted to move back to the Charlottesville area and after their second child went off to college they did.
Brion has always been more comfortable working outdoors than being behind a desk. Assisting the Garden as it begins to grow brings together his professional and personal passions in a unique and satisfying way.
Susan Randall Murphy moved to Charlottesville in 1989 to pursue a master’s degree in Environmental Science at the University of Virginia. After working as an environmental scientist managing environmental investigations and remediations for seven years, she took time off to raise a family and become a full time volunteer. She is an active scouter and serves on the Boy Scouts of America Virginia Headwaters Council. Susan is an officer in the Jack Jouett Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and loves untangling genealogical mysteries. Gardening runs in her veins and she comes from a long line of enthusiastic gardeners. She loves working in her garden and visiting gardens wherever she travels. Just this spring, she completed training as a Piedmont Master Gardener. Susan and her husband Ed live in Albemarle County and are the proud parents of 2 Eagle Scouts.
Laura Peet’s earliest memory of gardening was weeding the family garden in RI, considered a chore until she discovered the wonders of a sun-warmed home-grown tomato. While her career in marketing communications confined her to city life in Boston and later New York for 25 years, it was her purchase of a home in Southeastern Connecticut which reminded her how much she loved getting her hands dirty. Laura founded her own marketing communications business in 2009 and continued to represent consumer brands, foreign governments and corporate clients. She moved to Charlottesville in 2018 and was thrilled to find an opportunity to volunteer for the Garden as the Chairperson of the Marketing Committee. She proudly maintains her avidly amateur gardener standing and enjoys the area’s many golf courses and walking her English Setter Twig.
Since retiring from a career in the Navy & Coast Guard, Ted has headed four non-profits as Executive Director. He has served on numerous Boards and Committees not only for non-profits, but for government agencies, homeowners associations, schools, as well as private clubs. He established a non-profit dedicated to historic preservation, and obtained 501c3 approval from the IRS. He has consulted with numerous non-profits, and teaches a course called “Doing Good by Serving Well” for those serving on non-profit Boards.
Julia has many passions in life including children and gardening. She moved to Charlottesville in 1974 to attend graduate school at UVA earning her Ph.D. in 1980. For 35 years Julia worked as a Child Psychologist at Oakland School providing therapy to children with learning differences. She served on the Piedmont CASA Board of Directors for six years helping their volunteers learn strategies to talk with children and adolescents. Julia’s love of gardening developed at an early age through summers spent with her grandmother at the family farm in central Pennsylvania. She later volunteered with her father, Bob Hammond, for the Piedmont Master Gardeners teaching gardening classes and developing gardens in local schools as well as contributing to his Bluebird Trail throughout the region. Julia was the recipient of the “Whole Village Award” from the Virginia Education Association for volunteer service when her sons attended local public schools. Over the years her family joined her in creating their home garden which was open to the public for the 2010 Charlottesville Albemarle Historic Garden Week. It is a real joy for Julia to share her love of education and gardening by serving on the Board of Directors of the Botanical Garden of the Piedmont.