William Dant (Co-chair)

Dr. William Dant of Boston, VA has over 40 years’ experience in educational programs and projects in the international arena. Dant has held public sector management positions for the U.S. Department of State and the Peace Corps. His work in the private sector includes leadership and educational development positions with World Learning, Youth For Understanding Intercultural Exchange, and the Institute of International Education. Since moving to Rappahannock County in 2010, he has continued similar work as principal of his consulting firm, WPD Global Solutions LLC, and serves on advisory committees to the Intercultural Management Institute at The American University and to the College Board in New York. Dant holds a PhD. in International Education Policy & Leadership from the University of Maryland, a Master’s in Teaching from the SIT Graduate Institute in Vermont and a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. He has also studied at the University of Strasbourg, France and at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Judith Martin DeSarno (Co-chair)

Judith DeSarno is the former Director of Domestic Programs at the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation where she was responsible for grant-making for family planning and reproductive health and rights. She served as President and CEO of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association from 1991 to 2006. Her previous positions include Chief of Staff to Congressman Michael Barnes and Vice President for Institutional Advancement at the University of Maryland.

Kathleen Flaherty Grove (Treasurer)

Kathleen Flaherty Grove resides with her husband Larry Grove in Woodville, Virginia. She recently retired from her position as Head of School at Wakefield Country Day School after eight years of service. Kathy moved to Rappahannock County in 2004 after concluding her thirty-two year career in Arlington Public Schools. She served as the Assistant Superintendent, Instruction, for eight years, supervising all the curricular areas (arts, English, foreign languages, science, social studies, etc.), special programs such as early childhood and technology, and programs serving special populations such as gifted services and English as a Second Language. She attended the College of William and Mary and George Washington University, and earned her B.A. in English and Education and her M.Ed. in Reading. She completed her doctoral coursework at the University of Virginia. Kathy and Larry have five children and five grandchildren.

Sherry Cillo

Sherry Cillo has lived in Rappahannock County her entire life, and her family goes back many generations in the County. She has been married to her husband, Angelo, for almost 13 years and has two beautiful daughters, Jaden, age 11, and Payton, age 9. She has worked at Union Bank and Trust, formally known as Rappahannock National Bank, full-time for 18 years. She attended Lord Fairfax Community College for two years after receiving the Principal Scholarship from Rappahannock County High School. After attending LFCC, she transferred to Shenandoah University where she received her degree in Business Management with a minor in Psychology. She loves being involved in her children’s activities as much as possible. She is currently the Treasurer for the Rappahannock County Soccer Association and a Girl Scout leader for both of her daughters’ troops. You can also find her in the dugout keeping track of the lineup for Payton’s softball games or cheering for Jaden on the soccer field.


Dorothy Lessard

Along with business partner, Richard Lessard, Dorothy Lessard founded Lessard P.C., Architects and Holland Lessard Group Construction Managers in Washington, D.C. in 1981. At its largest, the firm employed 30 people, providing architectural, interior design, and construction management services. Dorothy’s commitment to civic involvement took root when she secured the first of two grants from the Palisade Citizens Association for art benches to be placed in the MacArthur Boulevard community of Northwest Washington, where she and her husband lived and had their office building. During this time, Dorothy also became involved with Jubilee Housing and was invited to serve on the Board of Directors for their fundraising arm, Jubilee Support Alliance. Jubilee Housing is dedicated to maintaining affordable housing in the Adams Morgan community of Northwest Washington, D.C. Dorothy and her husband have owned property in Rappahannock County since 1986, and became full time residents in 2009. Dorothy volunteers at the Rappahannock Food Pantry and for the Headwaters After-School Enrichment Program. She and her husband were mentors for six years with the Starfish Mentoring program.



Lindsay Sonnett

Lindsay Sonnett is a graduate of the Rappahannock County Public Schools system and (nearly) life-long county resident. After graduating from university, Lindsay and her husband Malcolm spent several years travelling and living abroad in New Zealand and France. Lindsay worked as a Community Health Specialist with the Peace Corps in Togo (West Africa) until 2014 after which she and her husband returned to Rappahannock County. Lindsay currently works for Foothills Forum, Rapp at Home, and Dietel Partners and co-chairs the Benevolent Fund Celebrity Waiter Dinner. In her free time, Lindsay enjoys hiking and exercise of all forms and dabbling in herbal medicine

Deanna Akre

Dee Akre and her husband Chuck, moved to the Virginia Piedmont in 1999. While raising their children in Alexandria, VA, Dee worked as a Pre-K teacher at an Episcopal day school for several years. After completing the Master Gardener program, Dee worked in the horticulture field for six years before moving to the country.

Dee has been dedicated to the countrywide conservation efforts and with her husband also strongly supports local educational and community assistance programs.