Rockbridge Regional Library Board of Trustees

2020 - 2021


Carl Behrens - Bath

Carl is a native of Bath County where he and his wife, Lila, and their beloved dog make their home on the family farm. Carl studied in Vienna, Austria and graduated from Washington College on the Eastern Shore of Maryland with a degree in Literature and History. He studied investments in New York while working for E.F. Hutton and Co. in New York, Palo Alto, CA and Washington, DC.

Carl has a background in investments and is a supporter of education in the Allegheny Highlands through involvement in foundations. Working with the Rockbridge Library system is a wonderful extension of this passion for education. Reading has fueled his imagination and opens an ever broadening world. Carl feels Rockbridge Regional Library System is a wonderful asset that continues to inspire the community through its programming and outreach.


Thomas Bell - Buena Vista

Thomas is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Southern Virginia University. He joined the faculty in 2016 after working as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Brigham Young University for 3 years where he taught and did research. While working at BYU, Thomas volunteered at a math circle, where local kids would come and enjoy more exciting math not normally taught in school. He also volunteered each summer at BYU's math camp.

Thomas received his doctorate in mathematics in 2013 from the University of Oregon. He received his master's degree and bachelor's degree, also both in mathematics, from Brigham Young University in 2007 and 2005 respectively. He served a proselytizing mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from 2001 to 2003 in the Denmark, Copenhagen Mission.

Thomas's favorite research interests are in Geometric Optimization and Geometric Flows. Some of his work may be found online at pdf/1301.5052v1 and

Thomas and his wife Melissa live with their puppy, Ellie, in Buena Vista.


Alexandra Brown - Lexington

Alexandra, a native of East Tennessee, has lived in Lexington and taught in the Religion Department at W&L since 1987. Her undergraduate degree is from Duke University and she holds the Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School and the Ph.D. from Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary. She enjoys singing in the Rockbridge Chorus, keeping up with former students around the world, and being a parent to one daughter. She is herself the daughter of an avid supporter of and advocate for public libraries.  She learned from an early age to treasure both books and the communities that form around them. She is honored to serve the Rockbridge Regional Library system in these times of enormous challenge and great opportunity.


Joe Cailles - Lexington

Reverend Joe grew up in Southern Indiana near Louisville, Kentucky.  He received a BA in Mathematics from Indiana University and a Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC.  Joe has been a United Methodist pastor in Virginia for over twenty years, serving congregations across Virginia in Williamsburg, Frederick County, Urbanna, and Portsmouth. 

 Joe, his wife, and two sons moved to Lexington in June 2016, where he now serves as the pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church, right across the street from the Lexington branch of the Rockbridge Regional Library!


Tom Goodale - Rockbridge

Tom Goodale is a native of Iowa and retired after four decades of college and university administration. His last position prior to retirement in 2013 was as a CEO of a not for profit headquartered in Lexington.

Upon retirement, he became a volunteer at the library in Lexington assisting the staff in technical services. He represents Rockbridge County on the Board of Trustees.

Tom is a father and grandfather and also assists patients and staff at Stonewall Jackson Hospital.


Gail Heslep - Rockbridge

Gail is a native of Rockbridge County. She has degrees from James Madison University, Virginia Tech, and Longwood University. Gail retired from Rockbridge County Schools after 39 years of service as a classroom teacher, librarian and gifted coordinator.

She also worked summers as a driver and tour guide for Lexington Carriage Company as well as VMI’s admissions office.

Gail has two daughters and three granddaughters.


Doug Horan - Rockbridge

Doug has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Union College in Schenectady, NY.  He served three years as a Naval Officer on guided missile cruisers during the Vietnam War. Doug retired from Unilever/Best Foods after twenty one years as a senior corporate human resources executive.  He moved to Rockbridge County with his wife, Linda, in 1999. 

Doug served on the Habitat for Humanity Advisory Board for several years and assisted their director on various issues. He has also volunteered services to Rockbridge County on the Sign Committee and Growth Planning Committees.  He served as a Roving Reader in Buena Vista for a year after first arriving in Rockbridge and then spent 5 years in the library's elementary school literacy program.  Doug first joined the library Board in 2011 and served as Chair for three years (2012-2015).

Doug and his wife, Linda, have always been active users of library materials and have long understood the value of a library to the community.  As chair, his focus has been on improving the library's reputation in the community via the consistent delivery of high quality services.  Doug sees it as particularly important that taxpayers and their jurisdictional representatives understand and appreciate the value of library services.  He feels community and taxpayer support should never be taken for granted.   It has been an honor and privilege to serve on the Library Board.


Thomas C. Lominac - Buena Vista

Tom was born and educated in North Carolina. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His education at UNC culminated with a Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1971.

His career was in higher education, serving on the Faculties of Davidson College, Concord College, Mars Hill College, and Shaw University before coming to Virginia in 1982 to take a position with the Mathematics Faculty at VMI. He spent the remainder of his career at VMI, rising to the rank of full professor. He served as head of the Department of Mathematics from 1985 to 1990, and was instrumental in the department’s introduction of a major in Computer Science. He retired from VMI in 2010.


Bruce McWilliams - Bath

Raised in Vermont, Bruce went on to study at Michigan State University where he graduated from the Agricultural College receiving his Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Business. In 1981, he moved to Bath County, VA and managed the family business at The Inn at Gristmill Square.  He recently sold that business to a local Bath County couple who continues the tradition he and his family carried on for 30 years.

Bruce has served as an Officer and Director for the Bath County Chamber of Commerce and has been a past member of several regional Inn keeping Associations.   In addition to serving on the Rockbridge Regional Library Board of Trustees, Bruce is Vice-Chair of the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission Board and the Treasurer of the Warm Springs Cemetery Board.

Bruce and his wife, Sarah, reside on 105 beautiful acres with their dog and two cats.  In his free time, Bruce can often be found on his tractor mowing hay or down in the barn tinkering with his trucks.  He is also an avid mystery reader and has been known on occasion to read literary fiction when recommended by his wife.



Brandea Reed - Bath

Brandea was born in California and grew up going on epic adventures with her family and their pop-up camper. With these trips she developed a love of travel and passions for the outdoors and reading as her mother entertained Brandea and her siblings by reading on those long road trips.

Brandea went to college in Connecticut and graduated as a physical therapist. After graduating, she accepted a job in Wilmington, NC. There she read books on the beach for her book club, ran marathons, and met her husband who was a chemical engineer. Soon after meeting Brandea, her husband answered God’s call to become a pastor.\

While her husband interviewed for a pastorate in Warm Springs, VA, Brandea walked through the picturesque village there wondering what it would be like to live in such a scenic remote area. The beauty of the mountains stole her heart, but she wanted to be practical. Realizing that Amazon Prime and an excellent library could make it work, Brandea immediately walked to the library from the bed and breakfast where they were staying and was delighted with the stone library building the regional network with amazing resources and a program for her toddler!

Now, many years after that wonderful visit, Brandea and her husband still live in Warm Springs. They have four kids who love to use their library cards and to be read to on long road trips!


Jessica Whipple

Jessica is from Buena Vista and a graduate of both Parry McCluer High School as well as Southern Virginia University.  Additionally she received a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Southern Mississippi as well as a graduate certificate in Children and Youth Services.  While a student Jessica worked as a Research Assistant for a project funded by the National Library of Medicine and also worked with the Association of Library Services for Children at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference in San Francisco.  She later joined the faculty at the University of Southern Mississippi in their School of Library and Information Science as an undergraduate instructor where she taught a variety of core courses and served as the advisor for the Library and Information Science Student Association and on the USM Council on Community Literacy and Reading.

Jessica has always had a love of libraries and loves the public library as an institution and the good the library does in the community.  Jessica is thrilled to be back in the blue ridge mountains and enjoys hiking and exploring with her husband and 3 kids.


McKinley Williams - Lexington

Reverend Williams was born in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania but raised in Detroit, MI. He is a product of the Detroit Public School System and was educated at the Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas. He received his degree and the Andover-Newton Theological School in Newton Centre, MA. For twenty-two years, Reverend McKinley Williams served as a Senior Pastor in Detroit where he was a member of various civic groups and community organizations to further advance progress and equality for humanity.

Since 2017, Reverend McKinley Williams has served as Pastor of the Historic First Baptist Church of Lexington, VA. Under his leadership the church has witnessed growth both spiritually and in the congregation. The church is currently undergoing
renovations. Several ministries have been included since Pastor Williams’ arrival, the Rosa Harris Memorial Community Clothes Pantry/Closet, Women’s Ministry, Men’s Ministry, and a Lexington African–American Exhibit.

Reverend Williams has preached, lectured and taught around the world. He is a member of the Baptist World Alliance where he serves on the Board of Missions, Evangelism and Theological Reflection. He is also a member of the Rockbridge/ Lexington NAACP where he serves as the Chair of the Religious Affairs Committee.

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