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2018 Board of Directors Candidates

Click name to directly view a candidate’s bio: Michelle Blandburg – Lillian Brooks – Marguerite Johnson – Charles Silver – Diane Stanley – Bill Taylor

Michelle Blandburg’s goal in running for the Board of Directors for a second term continues to be “to help preserve what’s best at OLLI, and to prepare for OLLI’s future.”  She joined OLLI in 2013 and her interest in organization led to her current position serving as Treasurer of Board of Directors. She’s also active in many activities, especially OLLI Players, coordinating Readers Theater and being on the Development Committee. She has also offered numerous classes, and participated in many social events.

Before retiring, Michelle was a devoted employee of Navy Federal Credit Union for more than 40 years where she held many positions, including loan officer and branch manager Her talent for administrative responsibilities along with her organizational and creative skills led to her favorite positions: Staff Assistant to the Credit Committee and consequently to an Executive Vice President.

 

Lillian Brooks has been an OLLI member for the last four years and in that time she has served on the Human Services Committee and taught an OLLI class in Adolescent Issues. In her current position as Adjunct faculty at GMU, Criminology, Law and Society, she has been able to bring in other instructors to teach at OLLI. Currently, with the help of subcommittee members, she is arranging a two-day forum on School Shootings which will take place in July. 2018. Lillian is a retired Attorney and practiced in Atlanta, Georgia.

Upon moving to Virginia, she worked as Director of Juvenile and Family Court Services for 28 years. In this position, she oversaw juvenile probation and parole, domestic violence cases, child abuse and neglect cases and child support and custody matters. Lillian also volunteered as an Ombudsman at a local nursing home.

Marguerite Johnson grew up in Philadelphia and attended Howard University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A in Political Science and Economics. She settled in Morris County NJ, and as a trailing spouse had postings to Belgium, Canada, and England(2).

Marguerite has a varied employment history with her favorite positions being a Human Relations Supervisor (Recruitment and Training) and a Librarian. Moving to Fairfax in 2000, she retired in 2010 as Operations Manager in Long & Foster Real Estate Corporate Relocation Services.

Marguerite strongly believes in contributing to her community. She held leadership roles in her church and in a variety of volunteer organizations (e.g. Junior League, Jack & Jill, and Exxon Expats Club London). She is a member her church’s outreach program that supports local financially distressed military families. She is also a docent at the U.S Supreme Court.

Marguerite has been an active member of OLLI since 2010, enjoying many of the quality classes, trips, and social functions. She appreciates the challenges OLLI continues to faces with continuing to provide quality programs for a growing membership. Marguerite believes her varied experiences and her passionate belief that others should enjoy the same opportunity to explore new ideas and experiences will allow her to make a meaningful contribution to OLLI’s continued success.

 

Norma Jean Reck’s motto is: Be active. Stay relevant. Keep growing and learning! That’s what motivates OLLI membership.

In today’s competitive environment, retaining and growing membership–OLLI’s most valuable asset– is not only a real challenge, but also a priority. As a current board member, Norma addresses this issue by continually focusing on: How can we better serve OLLI members? How can we improve the OLLI experience?

Considerations: Improve OLLI’s already outstanding programs by making some classes more interactive; manage the budget to provide each classroom with dependable, up-to-date technology; and improve communications by better connecting all members within the OLLI community–within each of the three campuses as well as across the campuses. Connecting with the next generation and diversifying would make for a more sustainable membership. Recruit more volunteers and recognize them.

Norma serves on the Governance and Strategic committees. She has started a Theater Lovers’ Group, organized a Fashion Show, and organized classes at Reston and Tallwood. Previously, as president of the Welcome Club of Northern Virginia, she improved the monthly programs, reorganized financial reporting, and increased the membership. Norma has recently joined the Board of Directors for the Friends of Theater at George Mason University. Professionally, after retiring from teaching and earning a Master’s degree in Management, she worked as a consultant on Publications and Communications and was listed in Who’s Who.

 

In a 2011 pre-retirement workshop, Charley Silver was told that there are two sets of muscles that required attention in retirement – those in your body and those between your ears. The next year, thanks to the introduction of a long-time OLLI member, Charley discovered OLLI. Since then, OLLI has become an important part of his life.

Charley studied physics as an undergraduate and graduate student, but a stint in the Peace Corps resulted in a serious change of interest and a new career. He joined the Foreign Service and retired after a 35-year career that took him to a variety of countries.   Acting on the thesis that he was took busy getting degrees in college to get an education, he has tried to take courses in OLLI that have absolutely nothing to do with what he knows professionally or studied, for example Dante, the American West, Spanish, and Oscar Wilde.

OLLI opened new doors that he has been privileged to enter and he wants to work for OLLI so that others may have the same chance. Charley lives in Fairfax and tries to keep the other set of his muscles in shape by playing tennis regularly.

Diane Stanley claims New Jersey as home, but raised by a military family, she grew up on bases throughout the country. After graduating from high school in Germany where her father was posted, she attended Rider University where she met her husband, Tom. They live in McLean and have been happy residents of Virginia since the late 60’s.

An interest in radio/TV grew while in college (not known back then as “the media”), and once in Washington, a chance to join the staff of CNN was irresistible.  Diane joined the staff of CNN and, after 15 years, decided it was time for a break from life in the 24/7 news cycle. She then joined a Washington, DC law firm as the office administrator, learning about management, human resources, budgeting and billable hours.

Her introduction to OLLI was through the program at American University but later found and joined OLLI at GMU 3 years ago so I consider myself a transfer student. She attends classes and events at all three locations and since last fall has been working with OLLI veterans at Loudoun to increase participation and organize clubs for the members at that campus.

Since retirement in 2007, Diane continued to pursue an interest in music through the Wagner Society and as a Board member for 5 years; support Friends of Reston Regional Library; organizing housing/transportation for musicians with the Opera Lafayette company in Washington and always seem to end up on a fund-raising committee. She has served on OLLI’s Development Committee and as a Liaison.

Bill Taylor has been a member of OLLI since 2008. He was elected to the Board of Directors in 2015 during which time he served as Chair of the Governance Committee, as Liaison with George Mason University, and as Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee. He’s also been a member of the Finance Committee and a Co-Chair of the Language, Literature, and Theatre Program Committee.

Bill’s interested in helping OLLI remain a thriving community of lifelong learners for years to come. One of his activities outside of OLLI is leading a group that advocates in support of better services for those with mental illness.

Bill is a retired senior executive and administrative appeals judge with the Social Security Administration. He and his wife, Jane, who also joined OLLI in 2008, live in Burke and have three grown children.