Board of Directors

Cindy Bailey – Cindy Bailey was born and raised in Roanoke, Virginia but her roots go back to Botetourt County.  Her great great grandfather, Lucian Garland, was a Botetourt County Sheriff and farmer. Cindy graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Marketing.  After college she worked in the marketing departments of banks in Roanoke and Richmond. While working in Richmond she met her husband Hal, a native of Daleville, and relocated to Fincastle. Cindy and Hal currently reside at Hal’s family homeplace in Daleville, Baileywick Farm, and have two children, Julia and Hal, Jr. Cindy is the Marketing Director at the Bank of Fincastle and is pleased to be a part of the board of HFI.

Karen Beasley – Biography coming soon!

Lynne Bolton – Born in Fincastle and lived there until her father was transferred when she was 11. A graduate of Mary Washington University, Lynne first worked in corporate America for many years in the plastics industry. In 2004, Lynne moved back to Fincastle from Philadelphia, Pa. in order to help with her aging parents. At that time, she also decided to try “giving back” some of what she was blessed to receive over her academic years. As a result, she is now a social studies teacher at Lord Botetourt High School, and very active in school activities while focusing on helping the students to excel whenever possible. Because of her love of history and historic preservation, Lynne was and is delighted to be a member of HFI, and to have been asked to serve on the Board of Directors over the next term.

Peggy Bolton – Biography coming soon!

Alan Brenner – Born in New York City and raised in North Carolina and Newport News, VA, Alan moved to Fincastle in 2006.  Alan is a graduate of VCU and JMU.  He is the retired principal of Lord Botetourt High School and spent over 30 years in education as a History teacher and high school administrator.  After retirement, he started a solar installation business, Main Street Solar, LLC, with his son, Andrew.  Alan has been involved in historical preservation for all of his adult life and brings a wealth of construction and repair skills to the board.  Alan has two children, Andrew and Evelyn, and two grandchildren, Henry and Pierce.

Carol Brenner – A native of Fincastle, attending Botetourt County Schools and graduating from Lord Botetourt High School. She graduated from Radford University and earned advanced degrees from Virginia Tech. After a career in retail management with Leggett of Roanoke, and education positions in Roanoke City and Roanoke County Schools, she currently serves the students at James River High School as a School Counselor. As an HFI board member, Carol interests include supporting the Town of Fincastle in enhancing the physical environment of the town and promoting tourism in the area. Interests include preservation efforts that honor the historical nature of Fincastle and surrounding areas.  Carol has twin sons, Andrew and Benton, who reside in Roanoke and Tampa, Florida and two grandchildren, Henry and Pierce.

Kip Burton – I grew up in north Georgia and attended Georgia Southern College, majoring in biology and chemistry. Plans to become a veterinarian were altered when I became a Naval Aviator instead. I met and married Lyn and we had three children, who have made us very proud. 21 years were spent flying, moving and traveling, with the Navy. During my military service I received a masters degree in Business and Management. After my military retirement, I went to work for Piedmont Airlines and continued with them until my final retirement. We live on a small farm and love our animals, land and beauty here in Botetourt. I have served a treasurer of HFI, worked on many committees for festivals and events, and have worked on the Lewis & Clark disk dedication for the town.

Lyn Burton – I am originally from Atlanta, Ga. I attended Florida State University. After graduation, I worked for Eastern Airlines . I met and married, Kip, who was a Naval officer. I was then a military wife for the next 21 years. We had three children and moved from coast to coast and finally settled in Virginia Beach. I began teaching Middle School and after moving to a little farm near Fincastle, taught at James River High School. I have been a member of HFI since 2007 and have enjoyed many wonderful times with many wonderful people.

Gretchen Greiner In my early career I taught first grade in a military school in Ft. Knox , KY, then fifth grade in upstate New York. During a “sabbatical” from teaching while having two children I earned a masters degree in library science from the University of Maine, and later I returned to work as a middle school media specialist. Computers came on the scene and I took a second masters degree, this time in instructional technology from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA . When we moved to Harpers Ferry, WV I was fortunate enough to serve Frederick County, MD Public Schools as Coordinator of Instructional Technology. In my “spare time” during our years in Harpers Ferry I helped my husband with our farm, which specialized in harvesting your own crops — apples from trees grown on trellises, pumpkins from our pumpkin patch, and Christmas trees. I’ve always been interested in researching and preserving history. While in Harpers Ferry we delved into the history of our farm and were fascinated to discover that it was once owned by Isaac Dust, who served on the jury that convicted John Brown. When it was time for us to retire from the farm Lee and I agreed that this area was the place where we wanted to spend the rest of our lives.

Melodye Hollingsworth – a native of Roanoke, Va. I attended Ferrum Jr. College in the mid sixties. I began my career at Norfolk & Western in 1966 in the Accounting Dept. I retired in 2006 from Norfolk Southern Corp. after 39 and 1/2 years of service. I have one daughter, who is a teacher and lives in Lynchburg, Va. I did live in Botetourt County in the Daleville area from 1979 to 1987 and was involved in several organizations in the community .I became involved with HFI about 5 years ago when Karen Shriver asked that I help her with advertising for the Home and Garden Tour. I have helped with different projects and look forward to working with the Board members.

Mary Catherine Layman- Was born and grew up in Roanoke, Virginia. She attended William Fleming High School and Bridgewater College. In 1967 she married Rodney Layman , who was born and raised in Botetourt County. In 1974 they built a home in Coverdale and have lived in Botetourt County for 33 years. She worked in the banking industry before the birth of her two children. Later she was branch manager of Jones Supply and purchasing agent for Harris Office Furniture. She is a life long member of Williamson Road Church of the Brethren where she has served on the church board and served as church clerk. She is currently a deacon there. Also,she is a volunteer for Meals on Wheels. She is a new member of the Board of Directors and served last year as a guide for the Fincastle home tour. 

Sarah Meadows – Grew up in Botetourt, and while she lived close to Blue Ridge in the Rainbow Forest neighborhood, she spent many childhood days in Fincastle, visiting friends and enjoying such events as the Christmas parade, the Fincastle Festival, trick-or-treating and weekly trips to the library. Always having an interest in the town itself, her family hoped to someday move there and restore one of the historical homes. That lifelong dream became a reality in 2013 when Sarah purchased the Peck Cottage on Jefferson Street. Sarah has ancestral ties to Botetourt on both sides of her family. She is a descendant of John Alderson, who settled just west of Fincastle in the 1700s and is credited with the establishment of the first Baptist Church west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She is also a descendant of Johann and Eva Dorothea Kessler (Lehman), whose German family arrived in Botetourt in the 1700s in what is now Blue Ridge. Those ancestors are buried in the Old Glade Creek Cemetery adjacent to Colonial School, where Sarah attended. Sarah is a graduate of Virginia Tech and Hollins University. She is an elementary Art teacher in Salem and is the illustrator of the children’s book, Hello Hokie Bird! In her spare time, she enjoys home restoration projects, gardening, genealogy, American history, collecting early American antiques, photography and painting.

Lissy K. Merenda – A resident of Botetourt County for over 30 years, Lissy located here from New Jersey by way of attending college at Hollins University. There she received a BA in Psychology and Sociology. Later she received a M. Ed in Counseling from VPI and SU. She was employed for 31 years with Roanoke City Public Schools working briefly as a social-work counselor for six years and 25 years in community relations with job descriptions including  Public Information Officer, event coordinator, public relations and marketing, and coordinator of their Volunteer Partnership Program. She has served on numerous committees and boards at the local, regional level and was the President of the Virginia School Volunteer Program for eight years. “The Volunteer Partnership Program was my passion,” she said, “building it to national recognition and becoming a trainer and facilitator for the national organization.” It was through the national organization that she met her husband, Dan. Lissy has two sons and a daughter and Dan has two daughters. They have two Golden Retrivers, Meriwether and Hamilton, who are true members of the family, she says. Lissy took early retirement, worked briefly for United Way and then she and Dan discovered Santillane and decided to take on the project of renovating this beautiful home. Santillane is now a venue for special events and a B & B. In addition to serving on the HFI Board, Lissy serves on her church board, Williamson Road Church of the Brethren where she has been an active member for 30 years. “I enjoy gardening, decorating, crafts and entertaining so Santillane is a pretty good match for me,” she says.

Marcia Neighbors – Is a fifth generation “Fincastlian”. Other than my years in college and teaching 5 years in northern Virginian, I have lived here all my life. I taught choral music and drama for 34 years in Virginia and 30 of those years here in Botetourt County. I have just retired and am finding that my life is busier now than ever. I am married to my wonderful husband, Mack, and have three children, Chad (Cherie), Christine (David) and Ginni Ellen and one grandson, Isaiah. We live in a farmhouse dating from the 1830’s and have had a great time restoring it and finding just the right antiques for it. Of course, this is an ongoing process. I have been involved with HFI for many years. However, there was a big gap in my involvement as my children hit their teen years. I served on the board during the late 80’s and early 90’s as well as chaired the Craft part of the Fincastle Festival. I am excited to be working with Patty King and Weldon Martin and the Botetourt Historical Society on the outreach program for the schools. I feel that it is vitally important to show these children their past and get them excited so they can take this history to the future. There is so much that needs to be shared with the students so that our history will live on.

Karen Shriver – Born and raised in Roanoke County. I retired in 2003 after 37 years with Norfolk Southern Corporation. At time of retirement I was Manager of the Accounts Payable Department. We moved from Atlanta, Ga. to Botetourt County in 1989. I have just finished restoring my home, Rustic Lodge, which is one of the more historically documented homes in Botetourt County. History has always been a very big part of my life beginning when I was in the forth grade and a trip with my family to Williamsburg, Va. I have one son, Ryan, who lives in Richmond, Va. He along with his wife, Regan are working on a 1920’s home in an historic district of that city. My hobbies include gardening (especially herb gardening), working on my home, reading, sewing and various other handcrafts. In the past several years I have worked with HFI on the various Home Tours as well as the Heritage Festival.