To learn means to accept the postulate that life did not begin at my birth. Others have been here before me, and I walk in their footsteps. The books I have read were composed by generations of fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, teachers and disciples. I am the sum total of their experiences, their quests. And so are you. -- Elie Wiesel
Who are the Germanna Foundation's lead volunteers and what do they do?
The Germanna Foundation is a volunteer-driven, member-financed, tax-deductible charitable educational foundation. To help guide this work, the organization looks to the volunteer Germanna Foundation Board of Trustees and its committees, especially the Events Committee.
You should join us, because “many hands make light work.” As a volunteer organization, Germanna is fortunate to have so many willing hands to pitch in and participate in making the organization successful. The chief fundraising and educational event of 2011 for the far-flung Germanna community is the 54th Annual Conference at Reunion - see the many volunteer opportunities at http://www.germanna.org/node/474
The Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees is the body whose responsibility it is to govern the Memorial Foundation of the Germanna Colonies in Virginia, Inc., a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The trustees set policy for the foundation and have the responsibility of managing the financial affairs of the foundation including all real estate, building maintenance, and tangible objects such as books and artifacts that the foundation owns. The trustees carry the primary responsibility for the administration of the foundation.
The Events Committee was created in 2006 (then called the Germanna Association) to offer the means for wider participation of the members of the foundation in order to expand Germanna's programs and activities. The Events Committee serves as an advisory body to the Trustees, and is also responsible for program development, including the task of preparing for the Annual Conference and Reunion, and other tasks related to implementing interesting and exciting public programs to plant the seeds of exploration of the heritage of Germanna.
Your participation in the Germanna Foundation is critical. You are the world's expert in at least one particular skill or field of knowledge. Please contact any of the trustees, committee members, or staff about the special way you would like to share your talents and knowledge with and through the far-flung Germanna Foundation community.
Members of the Germanna Board of Trustees
J. Marc Wheat, President
Marc is the 4th President of the Germanna Foundation since 1956, and has been member of the Board of Trustees since 1997, succeeding Sarah Aylor Lewis. Marc descends from Rev. Henrich Haeger, 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 has spent almost his entire career in public service, mostly in areas that focus on strengthening our families and our culture. His first job in Washington was Senior Legislative Assistant to Congressman Dennis Hastert, where he led Congressman Hastert's drive to repeal the Social Security earnings limit (later the 7th pledge in the Contract With 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. Marc's Porkbusters Coalition 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 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 Exchange Program.
Marc received his B.A. (majoring in Spanish) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1987, and his Juris Doctor in the Corporate and Securities Specialty Track at George Mason University in Virginia. He is president and board member of the German-American Heritage Foundation and its museum in Washington, DC. A member of the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Virginia and the Culpeper Minutemen Chapter of the Virginia Society SAR, 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.
Katharine Brown, 1st Vice President firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
R. "Skip" Poole, Treasurer email@example.com
Skip is a 2nd Colony descendant through his mother's side. His grandmother was Callie Lee Clore, who was born in Boone County, KY, in 1887, and who descended from the John/Abraham/Cave/Michael/Big Mike Clore lineage. Skip's daughter, Meighan Perez, and her three daughters all have Clore as their middle name, and all, of course, own furniture from E. A. Clore Sons. In 2002, Skip coordinated the donations for the Clore Memorial Granite Bench that sits in the Memorial Garden at the Germanna Visitor Center. Skip's Germanna lineage also includes the Wilhoits, Weavers, and Garrs. Skip has attended the Foundation's annual reunions regularly since 1997, and he became a Foundation trustee and treasurer in 2005.
Skip was born in Washington, DC, raised in Alexandria, VA, and graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. He then served in the United States Army for 2 years, earned a master's degree in management science from National-Louis University, and worked in the information technology field for 38 years. Now retired, Skip lives with his wife Joy at Lake of the Woods in Locust Grove, VA, which is just a few miles from the Germanna Visitor Center. In his spare time, he operates a home-based cruise consultancy and is active with the Shriners and Lions. He also serves as an assistant treasurer of the Lake of the Woods Church. Skip and Joy are most pleased that their five grandchildren live within 2 miles of their home.
Barbara Price, Secretary
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.
Dr. Michael Frost
Michael D. Frost, PhD was elected to the Germanna Foundation Board of Trustees in the Spring of 1997, and has remained very active with Germanna since. Michael descends from Governor Alexander and Lady Spotswood through their son, Colonel John Spotswood, who is buried in the Memorial Garden of the Visitor's Center of the Germanna Foundation.
Michael chairs two committees for the Germanna Foundation Board of Trustees: the Memorial Garden Committee of the Visitor's Center, and the Preservation and Utilization Committee of Salubria, home of Lady Spotswood near Culpepper, VA.
Michael is Lieutenant Governor for the National Council of the Jamestowne Society, President of the Spotswood Descendants Society, Deputy Governor of the Order of Descendants of Colonial Cavaliers of Virginia, Past President of the National Society for the Washington Family Descendants, member of Colonial Clergymen, member of the Board of Directors for both the Kansas City Ballet and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Michael is the past CEO and owner of the Educational Resources, Inc, an international publishing company of diagnostic testing for colleges of nursing.
Dr. Frost was a practicing psychologist in Kansas City to adolescent boys with school adjustment problems until he founded his Kansas City publishing company in 1973. Since his sale of the publishing house and his retirement in June of 2008, Michael and his wife, Ginger, live part of each month in Kansas City and La Jolla, California where they remain active with the opera, ballet and symphony. Michael remains very active with his lineage societies in Virginia and with the mission of the Germanna Foundation.
Horst Schneider firstname.lastname@example.org
Horst Schneider lives in Siegen (Kreis/District of Siegen-Wittgenstein, Germany), the home of the 1714 First Colony Immigrants to Virginia.
Horst is not a descendant of the immigrants of the first Germanna Colony. His former friend Heinz Prinz from Cologne, born in Siegen and a most enthusiastic Siegerländer, was the first German Trustee on the Board of the Germanna Foundation. Heinz Prinz aroused Mr. Schneider's interest in the history of the first Nassau-Siegen immigrants to the New World. Mr. Prinz thought Mr. Schneider's job as Member of the Board of the District Administration of Siegen-Wittgenstein (Kreisverwaltung) put him in a position to help promote understanding between the Siegerlaender and the members of the Germanna Foundation. Unfortunately, Heinz Prinz died in 2004. Horst Schneider became his successor on the Board of the Germanna Foundation.
Horst works to support the connections between the Germanna Foundation and the Heimatvereine, which are the local historical societies in Germany, as well as coordinate with German civic improvement organizations, and other groups in the Siegerland. Horst also helps to organize the annual trip of the Germanna Foundation to Germany and to support the tour guides, Katharine and Madison Brown, in their excellent work. Horst also serves as Vice President of the Heimatbund Siegerland-Wittgenstein, a regional historical society, and is a Trustee on the Board of the German-American Association (GAA) of Siegerland-Wittgenstein.
Horst has visited Germanna twice and was the guest of Katharine and Madison Brown in their home in Staunton, VA. Horst reports: "That was great!"
Cathi Clore Frost, Chair, Events Committee
email@example.comCathi 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, 2d Vice President
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.
Ann Green Baise is Treasurer of Baise Farms, an 800-acre corn and soybean operation in Illinois and Vermont as well as timber in Virginia. Currently she is serving a four year term to the Board of Visitors at William & Mary College. Ms. Baise was appointed to the Virginia Council on Higher Education Board Appointments for 2011 and 2012. She earned her B.S. in elementary education from Longwood College in 1974 and her Master of Arts in Education from Virginia Tech in 1978. Ms. Baise served two terms on the Longwood University Board of Visitors at her alma mater, from 1996 to 2004. An elementary school teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools, she later worked as an educator of the district’s gifted and talented programs. She has also served as a consultant to the National Geographic Society and the National Wildlife Federation. In 2000 and 2002, she was named the Columbia Hospital for Women Volunteer of the Year.
Russell A. Hitt is a local Germanna descendant with roots dating back to Peter Hitt of the 1714 First Colony. Several generations of the Hitt extended family have occupied large areas of land in Culpeper and Rappahannock Counties, and his immediate family today owns acreage near Amissville, VA with five old family cemeteries dating back to the early 1800s.
Although Russell was actually raised in Arlington, Virginia, he has fond childhood memories of visiting Hitt family members out on "the farm" when there were no modern day conveniences such as electricity, and hog-killing was a festive family event. He recently completed a replica historic log cabin (with electricity) on his Amissville Hitt land and he enjoys spending frequent weekends out in the country revisiting those memories.
Russell is passionate about keeping the Hitt family history alive for generations to come, and has had quite a bit of genealogy research documented and stored for safekeeping. He also enjoys Civil War history as his great-grandfather, Albert Hillary Hitt, lost his three older brothers in those battles. Albert's house still stands today on the Hitt land. Other Germanna ancestors include relations by marriage to the Fischbach/Fishback and Otterbach families, and to the Hackley family who intermarried with Spillmans.
Russell is Chairman of HITT Contracting, Inc., founded by his parents and still family owned. HITT ranks in the nation's 100 Largest General Contractors and consistently ranks in the DC area as one of the most highly recognized names in commercial construction. He has served on numerous advisory and volunteer boards during his tenure, and currently remains active with Capital Hospice, the building and construction departments of Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, and Fishburne Military School.