Friends of Williamsburg Regional Library

as of November 20, 2023


W. Samuel Sadler joined the Library Foundation Board in July 2012. Mr. Sadler received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the College of William and Mary. He spent his forty-year career shepherding William and Mary students either as a Dean or Vice President at the College. Mr. Sadler has presented nationally and published extensively on student affairs. He has been recognized on all levels for his skills and commitment to higher education. During his career, he remained active in the community serving on PTAs, as a church leader, and with United Way.  He has been associated with many local, regional, and national organizations, as well. Thinking about WRL he writes, “a library instructs, inspires and introduces us to new ideas and new ways of thinking.”  It is the “need to ensure that our library has the resources it needs to fulfill its mission that compels me to serve on the Williamsburg Regional Library Foundation Board.”

Ransom “Randy” E. Casey-Rutland joined the Library Foundation board in July 2015. Mr. Casey-Rutland is president of Town Management which provides facility management, property owners’ association management, and other business and property services in New Town, Williamsburg, and James City County, Virginia. Previously he was an adjunct faculty member at Christopher Newport University. During his career he has held positions as Chief Development Officer at Wesley Theological Seminary and Assistant Campaign Director of the United Way of Roanoke Valley. He earned a B.A. in Mathematics and an M.A. in Religion from Florida State University. Randy also earned a Master of Divinity and Ph.D. in Ethics and Society from Emory University.  He has volunteered as a board or committee member of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership, Wesley Theological Seminary, Weekday Educational Preschool, and United Methodist Insurance. Mr. Casey-Rutland is excited to support the Williamsburg Regional Library and the Library Foundation in whatever ways he can.

Thomas C. Phelps  joined the Library Foundation Board in July 2012. He earned a BFA and an MFA from Utah State University. He earned his MLS from the University of Oregon. Early in his career, Mr. Phelps served as Deputy Director of the Salt Lake City Public Library. He joined the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1980, working there until summer 2011. He retired as Director of the Division of Public Programs. Mr. Phelps was awarded the American Library Association’s (ALA) Joseph W. Lippencott Award for outstanding participation in activities on behalf of the profession. In addition to publishing poetry and short stories, he has written and produced plays and documentaries and is currently an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland. A tremendous supporter of public libraries, Mr. Phelps helped to launch the ALA’s nationally popular “Let’s Talk About It” reading and discussion program.


Joan B. Alsop joined the Friends of WRL Foundation Board in January 2021. After more than 30 years, Joan Alsop retired from the Virginia Public School System. During her teaching career she focused on supporting students with learning disabilities, holding positions as a teacher and in school administration. When in northern Virginia Joan served two terms on the Loudoun County Library Board of Trustees (one term as a member and one term as chairperson). She earned a BS from Virginia State University and an M.Ed. from Virginia Commonwealth University. Active in the Williamsburg community, she has been a volunteer with FISH Community Foodbank, House of Mercy, and Meals on Wheels.

Laura W. Beach, a native Virginian, earned a BS in Journalism and Public Relations from Radford University.  She retired from W&M Law School as Associate Dean of Development in 2019 after playing a major role in the Law School’s highly successful campaign for private fund support as part of William and Mary’s one-billion-dollar campaign.  The Law School campaign exceeded its goal by a substantial margin – it’s best ever fund-raising effort. She has almost 30 years of development experience including Public Television, the United Way, a Research Arboretum, and higher education. She and her husband just celebrated their 29th anniversary. They have two children. Their daughter is a W&M biology graduate, and their son is a rising senior at VCU Arts in Fashion Design.

Most recently, Laura acquired her certification as a Laughter Leader with Laughter Yoga International. She works to bring laughter wellness to the Williamsburg community with programs catering to all ages. She serves on the Williamsburg United Methodist Church Endowment Committee. Laura currently serves on the FWRLF Major Gifts Committee.

Gretchen Bedell joined the Friends of WRL Foundation board in January 2022. Since fall 2020 Gretchen had served on the Friends Marketing-Communications Committee. She earned a BS in Theatre Arts Management from Ithaca College. She leads Odd Moxie, a creative services firm that specializes in marketing visuals and branding strategy. Gretchen also is a founding member of the Cobblers’ Collective. Among her many pursuits, she is an advocate for better cycling and pedestrian infrastructure and has served on the advisory board for Aura CuriAtlas, a national physical theatre performance troupe. And in her spare time, Gretchen has adventures with her kids, spends time with her husband and their ever-growing menagerie, occasionally saves the world, and has been known to pick up a book or two to read.

Tonya Boone joined the Library Foundation Board in July 2014. Dr. Boone holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business, the College of William and Mary, and the University of Kansas. She has been a professor at the Mason School of Business, College of William and Mary since 2000. Professor Boone has taught courses in Operations Strategy, Sustainable Business Operations, Quality Management, Systems Analysis, and Technology Management. She is involved in the College Environmental Science and Policy (ENSP) program. She has served on the City of Williamsburg Economic Development Authority Board of Directors. Dr. Boone and her family are frequently in the library, browsing new books and participating in library programs.

Claudia B. Frantz joined the Friends of WRL Foundation board in January 2022. Claudia and her husband are relatively new residents of Williamsburg, having arrived a few months prior to the pandemic. She has a MLS from the University of Maryland and has worked professionally at the Baltimore County Public Library and was head of library and computer services for the Severn School. She also ran the Educational Technology department and taught advanced medical research at the University of Maryland Dental School and directed the federated library system of the Warren County Public Library System in Pennsylvania. She writes “I have been enthusiastically impressed with WRL’s service during the time we have been here and the smooth changes in operation that were made to maintain high levels of service to the public during such challenging times.”

Lawrence A. Gholson II is an entrepreneur, author, and community leader.  He considers himself as an “Add Value ” Life-Coach and Thought-Facilitator.  Specializing in team building, creative partnerships, and personal development, Lawrence brings over twenty years’ experience as a professional and personal development mentor, diversity and team building facilitator, a successful serial business owner. He is co-founder of The MAXIMIZED Life Coaching & Mentoring team and co-founder of the non-profit Inner Peace Coalition LLC, which focuses on trade and vocational certifications for youth in non-traditional education tracks. He is an active community coordinator, social entrepreneur, and Human Rights advocate.

N. Susan Gordon joined the Library Foundation Board in July 2014. Susan is a native of Illinois and came to Virginia in 1975 as a military wife. She completed her degree at Virginia Wesleyan College. Susan is a Client Advisor with the Middleburg Financial team with over 29 years’ experience in banking and over 18 years as an investment advisor. She has been awarded the designation of Certified Financial Planner®. Her life long relationship with the library began as a small child attending story hour. As she has traveled through life, the library is always her first stop when getting acquainted with a new area because it reflects the character and interests of the community.

Carl R. Lounsbury was a member of the Friends board from January 2014 to early 2017. He joined the Foundation board in May 2017. Until his retirement in 2016, Mr. Lounsbury was the Senior Architectural Historian at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation where he was responsible for major research and writing projects among which were the design of the market house and Douglass Theater in the historic area. During his career he has published widely on early American architectural subjects including books on Bruton Church and Virginia courthouses. Along with The Chesapeake House, he contributed these to the WRL for the local authors program. For the past twenty years he has taught architectural history at the College of William and Mary. He is married to Susan Kern, the director of the Historic Campus at William and Mary and they have two children who read their way through most of the chapter books and young adult series at the library a few years ago. Dr. Lounsbury serves on the state architectural review board, Historic Christ Church, Tidewater Virginia Historical Society, and Friends of Bruton Church.

Peter M. Mellette joined the Library Foundation Board in July 2012. Mr. Mellette earned his A.B. from Dartmouth College and his J.D. from the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond. A practicing attorney for over 30 years, he is a principal of Mellette, PC and has expertise in health care law. He has served as chair of the Virginia State Bar Clients’ Protection Fund Board and been a member of the Virginia Law Foundation Committee on Continuing Legal Education. In Williamsburg Mr. Mellette has been chair of the Literacy for Life and Hospice House & Support Care of Williamsburg boards. He and his wife have two daughters. Mr. Mellette has been a regular supporter of Williamsburg Regional Library and the services that it offers the community since moving to the Williamsburg area in 1987.

Sandra N. Menaquale joined the Friends of WRL Foundation Board in January 2023. Much of Mrs. Menaquale’s career was in pharmaceutical management with Eli Lilly and Company. Prior to that she taught high school English, Bilingual Education, and History. Upon her retirement Mrs. Menaquale returned to her roots serving as an Adult Education teacher, creating the HEAL program at Literacy for Life, and working with the ESL program at Virginia Peninsula Community College (previously Thomas Nelson Community College). She and her husband have been patrons of the library since moving to Williamsburg almost two decades ago. To support outreach programs they established The Menaquale Family Community Outreach Endowment and made possible free high speed Wi-Fi at the Abram Frink, Jr. Community Center.

Margaret Steel joined the Library Foundation Board in July 2015. After a career in human resources where she oversaw recruiting, benefits, administration, and employee relations for a global telecommunications company, she moved to Williamsburg where she and her husband founded Krull Communications, LLC, a public relations consulting company. Margaret earned her B.A, in English from Ohio Wesleyan University. Her affiliations have included serving on the alumni boards of Ohio Wesleyan and Sidwell Friends as well as the boards of Avalon: A Center and the United Way of Greater Williamsburg. She is an avid reader and golfer. She is a big believer in libraries, reading, and education. About the library she says, “I believe in the wonderful ways the WRL serves our community and want to do whatever I can to support its mission.”

Sandra W. Stephan was a member of the Friends board from 2010 to 2017, serving as President for two years (2014-2016). She joined the Foundation board in September 2017. A retired professor of English, Sandy holds a B.A from ODU and an M.A. and Ph.D. in eighteenth-century British Literature from Tulane University. She retired to Williamsburg in 2006 and has been active in the community since, as an instructor at the Christopher Wren Association, a volunteer interpreter in Colonial Williamsburg, a docent for the Muscarelle Museum of Art at William & Mary, and a sorter at the Friends Book Nook. Reflecting on the library, Sandy writes that “WRL is one of the best libraries I’ve ever encountered, and I’ve been an enthusiastic library patron from my early years. With its skilled and friendly staff, innovative programming, attention to the needs of our community, and vast array of resources, it is small wonder that WRL regularly receives national recognition. I am delighted to be able to contribute in my small way to the WRL”

Nancy Coté Sullivan joined the Friends of WRL Foundation board in January 2021. In 2004 Nancy Sullivan was named the President and Chief Executive Officer of Williamsburg Community Foundation. The position includes managing assets of $20 million, raising funds from individual and business donors, and providing grants to local nonprofit organizations and scholarships to local students. Nancy has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 25 years with a focus on the community foundation field. She earned a BA in Spanish and Theater/Dance from Trinity College-Hartford and an MA from Wesleyan University in American Studies. Nancy is a 2011 LHT graduate. In 2018 she joined the Friends of WRL Foundation Governance Committee as a community representative.

Phyllis A. Terrell joined the Friends of WRL Foundation board in January 2022. She is the Director of Communications for the Fort Monroe Authority in Hampton, Virginia. She started her career in the travel industry with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, holding numerous sales and marketing positions at the foundation including the Director of Strategic Alliances and Business Development. Phyllis currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Tourism Corporation. She has also served on the boards of the Williamsburg Hotel/Motel Association, Williamsburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, Williamsburg Area Chamber of Commerce, and the National Council of Attractions of the Travel Industry Association of America. She is also a member of the Williamsburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma.

Michael L. Westfall was a member of the Friends board from January 2014 to early 2017. He joined the Foundation board in May 2017. He has a unique back ground in historic preservation, project/property management, and archaeology. He has degrees in Applied Arts and Historic Preservation. Prior to retirement in 2012, he was employed by Parkview Health System in Fort Wayne, Indiana for 39 years as the construction projects manager. He has also done special projects for the Indiana State Library and Historical Commission, the Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Museum, and ARCH, a historic preservation association. Prior professional achievements include; Co-Chairman of the APVA Jamestown Planning Committee (1997-2001), President and Chairman of the Board of the Indiana Historical Society (1993-2003), President of the Lincoln Library and Museum Board (2006-2012), President of WFWA PBS Channel 39 (2007-2010), and President of the Fort Monroe Foundation board, and the Williamsburg Farmers Market board (2018-2019).

Library Representatives

Liaison: Dr. Benjamin Goldberg, CFRE, Library Development Officer

Ex-Officio Members:

J. Stephen Roberts, Council to the Board