McIntire Botanical Garden Board of Directors
McIntire Botanical Garden has Board members representing the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Members represent gardening, education, Community and social organizations, law, finance, horticulture and architecture. They are united and committed to bringing their extensive experience and expertise to create a botanical garden at McIntire Park East in the City of Charlottesville.
Dorothy Tompkins grew up on a farm in Louisa County, gaining a love and appreciation of plants from her father. While majoring in biology at the College of William and Mary, she taught botany and further developed an interest in native plants and ecosystems. While on the faculty in the School of Medicine at U.Va., she was elected to the Academy of Distinguished Educators. Since retiring from practicing medicine, she has served two terms as president of Piedmont Master Gardeners, has been president of Rivanna Master Naturalists and initiated a gardening class in the Reentry Program at Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail. She started a Junior Naturalist program in Albemarle County, participated in the Charlottesville Schoolyard Garden program and started the Demonstration Garden at Martha Jefferson Hospital. She is currently on the board of Albemarle Garden Club and Piedmont Master Gardeners and Chair of the Board of Georgia’s Friends which has recently opened Georgia’s Healing House. She teaches Botany and Site Analysis for the Master Gardener Training Class, was coordinator for the Training Class for five years and teaches Bird Identification for the Master Naturalist Training program. Piedmont Master Gardeners named her Master Gardener of the Year in 2014. She has taught numerous Plant Propagation workshops and is on the Farm Management Committee for Bundoran Farm. The Daily Progress selected her as one of the Distinguished Dozen in 2013-4, The Garden Club of Virginia awarded her the Horticulture Award in 2014 and she received The Garden Club of America Club Civic Improvement Award in 2013 and the Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award in 2015.
Linda S. Seaman
Linda S. Seaman has made Charlottesville her home since 1974 having grown up in the Hudson Valley of New York. She earned a degree in education from Russell Sage College. Active in community life, she served three terms on the Charlottesville School Board from 1986 to 1995. Her career involved education programming for the Virginia Museum of Natural History UVA Branch and serving as executive director of the Charlottesville Area School Business Alliance. She has served in leadership positions on several non-profit boards and has been active in the political life of Charlottesville. An eager traveler, she has visited botanical gardens in the United States and many other parts of the world.
Anita R. Showers
Anita Showers is a third generation garden enthusiast. She was born in Charlottesville, raised in Orange, Virginia, and is a graduate of the School of Mass Communications at Virginia Commonwealth University. In Richmond she enjoyed a successful career in marketing, media relations, and writing in both the non-profit and profit sectors. In 2006 she accepted employment at Piedmont Virginia Community College and subsequently moved to Charlottesville in 2008. She retired from PVCC as Director of Marketing and Media Relations in March 2015. She has visited numerous gardens in the U.S. and abroad, is a long-time member of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, and is the author of Gardens of the Spirit: The History of the Gardens at the Bahá’í Holy Places in Haifa and ‘Akká, Israel. She has extensive experience serving on and holding officer positions on non-profit councils and committees. Anita is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Charlottesville and a 2016 graduate of the Center for Nonprofit Excellence Board Academy.
Sandy Wilcox is a long-time local resident having grown up in Crozet, returning after college to live in the City of Charlottesville and now living in Ivy. Sandy received his undergraduate degree from Duke University and later an MBA in Health Care Management from Cornell University. He has been a real estate broker for twenty years and currently serves as the Church Administrator at Westminster Presbyterian Church. He is a former appointee to the Jefferson Area Board for Aging from both the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County and is the President of the Downtown Crozet Association. He is a llama rancher, beekeeper, gardener and a member of various organizations including Friends of Claytor Lake in Southwest Virginia and the Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham, N.C.
Virginia Daugherty has lived in downtown Charlottesville since 1975, and for forty years wished that she and her two daughters could enjoy the beauty of McIntire Park without being hit in the head by a golf ball. A fine moment for her was sledding down the infamous “Suicide Hill” in the eastern edge of the park. For twenty-six years, she and her husband, John Conover, operated Papercraft Printing & Design and have both been active in the community. As City Councilor and Mayor, Virginia helped Charlottesville to come to the decision to build the controversial John W. Warner Parkway, believing that the park would be enhanced as a great natural area for all citizens. She also serves on the board of the Charlottesville chapter of the National Organization for Women and the Blue Ridge Abortion Assistance Fund and is learning to play old-time fiddle.
Helen Flamini, relocated from Long Island, NY to Albemarle County in 1976 with her young family. A graduate of Brooklyn College, NY with an Associate Degree in Nursing. Worked for a personal injury law firm in Charlottesville assisting with medical malpractice issues and then served as its administrator for 14 years. She joined the Charlottesville Housing Foundation in 1995 and saw it grow into the Piedmont Housing Alliance where she served as chair for six years and remained as an active board member until 2014. In 2008 she founded the McIntire Botanical Garden non-profit with a mission to create a beautiful public garden in McIntire Park and continues today working toward that goal.
Peter McIntosh, is a graduate of William and Mary with a BA in 1965 and a JD in 1973, who has been a resident of Charlottesville since 1975. Now a retired lawyer he was the Director of Legal Aid for 13 years and practiced family law with Michie Hamlett for 17 years. Peter has been a member of the Board of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library from 1980-1992 and 2009 to the present. He has also served on the Board of the Friends of the Library since 1992-as President from 2000-2006 and as Treasurer from 2006-to the present. Peter has been on the Board of McIntire Botanical Garden, Inc. since its inception in 2008.
C. Colston Burrell
C. Colston Burrell, is an acclaimed lecturer, garden designer and photographer. The author of 12 gardening books, Cole has twice won the American Horticulture Society Book Award. Cole is an avid and lifelong plantsman, gardener and naturalist. He is principal of Native Landscape Design and Restoration, which specializes in blending nature and culture through artistic design. Cole worked as curator at the U.S. National Arboretum and at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. He has devoted a lifetime to studying native plants in the wild and in gardens which lead to undergraduate degrees in Botany and Horticulture from Virginia Tech. He holds a M.S. in Horticulture from University of Maryland and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Minnesota. He is a lecturer in the Landscape Architecture Department, School of Architecture at the University of Virginia.
Blake Caravati moved to Charlottesville from Washington, D.C. in 1979 after graduating from Catholic University. He has been a principal in a restoration/renovation construction firm since locating to the City and is currently also a guide interpreter at James Madison's Montpelier. Blake has served in elected and appointed offices in the City for twenty-five years including two terms on the Planning Commission, two terms on City Council and one term as Mayor. He has also served on numerous local and statewide non-profit organizations.
Cindy Hamadi is a garden-loving midwesterner who has called Charlottesville home for 30 years. Holding a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a minor in Recreation and Parks from Texas A&M, she has extensive experience professionally and as a volunteer with development, event planning, writing and community outreach. Ever curious, communicating and connecting, she enjoys diverse participation in community life. Outside of work and volunteering with non-profits, CIndy pursues figurative sculpting and studying with nationally known artists in New York and Brookgreen Gardens, SC.
Katy McCune currently works as Senior Director of Programs for the American Energy Society, a community of energy professionals dedicated to cross-sector collaboration and innovation. Katy’s past experience includes being a Regional Science Coordinator for The American Chestnut Foundation and a Science and Logistics Manager for a British expedition company in Patagonia, Argentina. Both of these roles involved developing science programs for native flora and fauna and working extensively with volunteers to bring about the success of short- and long- term projects. She has also worked with the Virginia Department of Forestry as a Spatial Analyst, and until recently was on the Virginia Chapter Board of Directors for The American Chestnut Foundation. Katy is passionate about the native landscape of Virginia and is excited for the opportunity to work with the McIntire Botanical Garden at such a pivotal time.
Lesley E. Sewell studied Landscape Design & Urban Horticulture at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. After working in the Green Industry for several years, marrying and having two sons, she received a Master's Degree in Biology & Environmental Health Sciences Education from University of Arkansas, Little Rock, in 1991. This began an 18 year teaching career: six years of high school and 12 years of College Horticulture. She also teaches Horticulture Review Classes for the Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association's Horticulture Certification Program. She relocated to Crozet, VA in 1999 and began working in the Green Industry as a Wholesale Nursery Representative, ISA Certified Arborist, and VSLD Certified Landscape Designer.
Joan Swanberg is a lifelong gardener and has gardened everywhere from chilly Chicago to the Republic of the Marshall Islands. She and her husband Greg have lived in the Charlottesville area for twelve years, restoring a 1790’s home in the south county. Joan received her Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Kentucky with a minor in Art Education. She has worked in a variety of teaching roles for school systems and universities. She served as a Master Gardener in Illinois for six years culminating in a state award for a volunteer program she designed and implemented. Joan is a certified arborist and has a certificate in Botanical Illustration from the Morton Arboretum. For five years she was an administrator and treasurer for Bread of Life, a multi-congregational non-profit food pantry in Scottsville. She is currently an active member of Preservation Piedmont and Point of Fork Chapter DAR. She also enjoys bee-keeping and has traveled extensively.