Executive Director Joy Peterson Heyrman began her tenure at VCCA in September 2016. Her passion for the arts and commitment to our mission make her the ideal candidate to lead VCCA into the future. Joy served as Deputy Director for Museum Advancement at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore where she worked for 23 years to build a culture of philanthropy and teamwork. She holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Art History and Archeology from the University of Maryland, as well as a B.A. in English from Amherst College.
Resident Artist, Auvillar, France Cheryl Fortier, joined Le Moulin à Nef, the VCCA studios in Auvillar, France, as Resident Artist in July 2009. A VCCA Fellow since 2006, Cheryl has been represented by Willow Gallery of Fine Arts in Toronto, Vandop Gallery, D’or Art Consultants and Nest Interiors in Vancouver. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout the province and is represented in private collections in North America and the U.K. Published in three books, two catalogs, and subject of numerous reviews, her work was recently showcased in a television feature on arts in Vancouver. Deeply committed to making art a part of people’s lives, Cheryl teaches, acts as juror, mentor, a reliable committee member and is involved in diverse community mural projects in hospitals, restaurants and public spaces.
Director of Artists' Services Sheila Gulley Pleasants has served in that capacity since 1989. In addition to managing the scheduling of over four hundred Fellows each year, she administers the international exchange programs with Austria, Germany, Malta, and Ireland. Since 2004, she has also managed VCCA's programming at the Moulin à Nef, VCCA's studio center in Auvillar, France. From 1984 to 1989, she was an administrator in the Institute for Speech and Language Sciences and the Department of Linguistics at New York University. She has taught French in the Modern Languages Department at Sweet Briar College and Randolph-Macon Woman's College. She has also taught English at the Université d'Orléans in France. She holds an M.A. in French from New York University and an M.Ed. in English from Converse College. With Craig Pleasants, Sheila was instrumental in the operation of The Upstairs, an alternative exhibition space in Tryon, North Carolina.
Director of Annual and Planned Giving Carol O'Brien joined VCCA in 2002. She is responsible for the development, implementation and stewardship of the annual giving program, the VCCA Legacy Society and special events. A graduate of Western Kentucky University, she was the co-founder of Colony House, a retail gift and furniture store in Russellville, Kentucky that she owned and managed from 1975 until 2002. She has been an active board participant in various civic and nonprofit organizations.
Director of Communications and Grants Management Sarah Sargent joined the VCCA in June 2014. Sarah is responsible for the external image of VCCA and for conceiving, writing, and managing grants in support of VCCA’s Fellows program, operations, and mission. Passionate about that mission, Sarah brings her experience in the nonprofit art world (she was the director of Charlottesville’s Second Street Gallery for six years), her love of the printed word and her enthusiasm for contemporary art to the position.
Admissions & Database Coordinator Dana Jones joined VCCA in 1998. She has an Associates Degree from Central Virginia Community College. Her job includes processing all applications received for the VCCA's various residency programs as well as oversight of the database, computers and network.
International Programs Coordinator Nancy McAndrew joined VCCA in March of 2012. Her journeys through the nonprofit world have included positions as museum educator at Amazement Square Children's Museum in Lynchburg, Virginia, and director of education and cultural programming at Avoca Museum in Altavista, Virginia. She spent a year teaching at the Charlottesville Waldorf before taking time off to create her daughter. She is the founder and creative director of Lynchburg Tribal, a tribal belly dance company. In her spare time she gets dirty exploring the realms of permaculture and organic gardening.
Development and Grants Assistant Kimberley Stiffler was born in Singapore and grew up traveling around Southeast Asia. She apprenticed to a Dallas silversmith after moving to Texas to complete high school, and her own jewelry can be seen at both the Academy of Fine Arts and Oxide Pottery in downtown Lynchburg. She received her B.A. and her M.A. in Art History. Her areas of special interest are Edwardian fairy-tale illustration—especially the work of Arthur Rackham—and the post-Pre-Raphaelites. Kimberley moved back to Lynchburg in the fall of 2008, where she lives with an English professor and two cats of doubtful background.
Office Manager Beatrice Booker arrived at VCCA in 2003 after working in Lynchburg as a case manager at GE Financial. Bea, who has a paralegal certificate from Central Virginia Community College, is the mother of two girls, Bianca and Bijoana. She is active in her church, singing in the choir and working with youth groups. She enjoys walking, reading and traveling with her husband Sylvester and their daughters.
Accountant Bonnie Sue Wine has been keeping the books at VCCA since 1998. Previously she has worked as an auditor for Bank of America in southern California, an accountant and assistant manager for Carey Limousine in Washington, D.C. and West Palm Beach, Florida. She was also the Town Treasurer for the Town of New Market, Virginia. She has served on the Board for the Shenandoah Valley Travel Association and the New Market Area Chamber of Commerce and has been a member of the New Market Planning Commission.
Facilities Manager Mike Patterson has oversight of the 12-acre Mt. San Angelo grounds and building complex. He joined VCCA in 2004, tending everything from fast-growing grass to persnickety plumbing and electrical systems, and was promoted to Facilities Manager in 2012. He had been a building mechanic at Tritech Laboratories in Lynchburg.