Board of Directors

As a non-profit [501(c)(3)] organization, CCLC is governed by a Board of Directors. Our Board is a committed group of volunteers interested in providing the highest quality early childhood programs possible and works hard to raise funds to cover the cost of quality. They remain committed to funding college classes for CCLC’s staff in order to maintain the highest level of professionalism in the field.


Betsy Dietel ~ Chairman of the Board and Chairman of Friends of CCLC, Chairman of Strategic Planning Committee ~ Betsy and her husband Michael recently moved to Rappahannock County from northern Illinois where they were part of the senior management team that built Prairie Crossing, an internationally acclaimed, planned conservation community. Betsy is a Senior Partner with Dietel Partners, a multi-generational, family-to-family philanthropic advising firm with offices in Rappahannock, Maine and Washington. She was the founding executive director of Lake County Community Foundation, the Liberty Prairie Conservancy and owner-operator of EarthWild Gardens, native prairie plant design and retail business. She currently sits on the Board of Trustees of Earth University Foundation in Costa Rica and the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting in Washington, DC. Betsy graduated from Hampshire College and has a Masters of Planning from Cornell University.

Diane Trister Dodge ~ Vice Chair of the Board ~ Diane has been a weekend resident of Slate Mills, VA since 1976. She is an early childhood education specialist with over 45 years of experience as a preschool and kindergarten teacher; the education coordinator for Head Start and child care programs in Mississippi and Washington, D.C.; and the director of national projects in education and human services. In 1988, Diane founded Teaching Strategies, Inc., a company dedicated to improving the quality of early childhood programs by providing the most effective resources in curriculum, assessment, professional development, and family connections. She served on the Governing Board of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (1990–1994), the Center for the Child Care Workforce (1995–2002), and was a member of the D.C. Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Early Childhood Development (1984–2009). In 2004, Diane received the Bank Street College Alumni Association Recognition Award for outstanding accomplishments in the field of education, and in 2010, she was inducted into the Association of Educational Publishers Hall of Fame for her lifetime contributions to education.

Barney O’Meara ~ Treasurer of the Board and Chairman of Finance Committee ~ Barney returns to the board after serving previously for six years in the 1980’s. Since then, he has been a Trustee on CCLC’s investment committee, served on the development committee, and assisted at our recent auctions. Barney has an engineering degree from Yale and heads two companies focused on semiconductor innovations. He and his wife moved here in 1974, and are grateful to live in a vibrant community committed to education and life-long learning for everyone.

Patricia Obregon ~ Secretary ~

Stephanie Ridder ~ Chairman of Governance and Nominating Committee ~ Stephanie graduated from Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. then went on to law school at the University of Virginia. She served as staff attorney, managing attorney and director of Rappahannock Legal Services which provides legal representation to low income people. For over 26 years, Stephanie has been a law professor at George Washington University Law School. She moved to Rappahannock in 1979 and previously served on the CCLC board in the 1980s.

Butch Zindel ~ Chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee ~ Butch, a Rappahannock resident since 1978, is a real estate broker and Class A contractor. He studied Business/Industrial Management at the University of Maryland. Drafted into the US Army, he served as platoon leader in basic training, scored 100% in all physical/combat exercises, and received a trophy for Outstanding Trainee (even as oldest man in company). Butch served in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star. He started a construction business 1973 and obtained his real estate license 1976. Butch was awarded the Governors Award for Volunteerism. His community service volunteer experiences include President of Ruritan Club, Boy Scout Leader, Scoutmaster of the year, Little League Coach, and “Keeper of the List” for the notorious Lunch Bunch. Butch’s son & daughter both graduated from Rappahannock and were awarded scholarships to UVA and Shenandoah. His son is in the excavation business, and his daughter– previously Admissions Director for Inova Nursing Home– is now a stay-at-home Mom. Jan, his wife of 48 years, is strictly performing grandmother duties.

Diane MacPherson ~ Diane was born in Connecticut and received her B.A. degree in English from Boston College and her M.A. degree in Children’s Literature from Simmons College. After teaching Children’s Literature college courses and managing a children’s bookstore, Diane worked for a marketing consulting firm where she traveled the world as a course designer, trainer and public speaker. In 2005, she and her husband John discovered the breathtaking beauty and neighborly character of Rappahannock County. They’ve owned and operated Foster Harris House Inn and Tour d’Epicure cycling adventures and in 2017 took on a new adventure in business. Their school age son Finn can’t wait to attend CCLC Summer Camps!

Erin Platt ~ Erin is a life long resident of Rappahannock County. She is an alumnus of CCLC, attending from the age of two when the school was formerly known as Sursum Corda. Erin was employed with CCLC for five years and taught every age group from newborn to school age as well as serving as the school cook. Her school age son has been attending CCLC since he was one and a half. Prior to serving on the Board of Directors, Erin served on the Development Committee and the Friends of CCLC. The Child Care and Learning Center has always been a big part of Erin’s and her family’s life. She greatly looks forward to her close involvement with the center for a long time to come.

Eve Brooks ~ Eve retired from an active career in child advocacy and management of social service organizations for children and youth. She and her husband Stephen Brooks moved to Rappahannock County from Washington DC in 2014. In Washington she oversaw a multistate association of child advocacy organizations, and social services support organization for charter schools. Prior to her years in DC, she lived in Rochester, NY area, where she was founding director of a state level advocacy organization for children and youth, working on issues of child care and development, health, education, child welfare and juvenile justice. Eve received her BA from Brandeis University and a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University. She graduated from Balboa High School, in Panama Canal Zone. She has two children and three grand daughters.

Heather Kerns ~ Heather has been a generous volunteer ever since she first walked through our doors holding her young son, Liam, who is a preschool alum and now in our school age enrichment program. In 2014, she earned her A.S. in Health Administration Services at Colorado Technical University. Heather brings to CCLC years of experience in customer service, office management, computer information technology, and human resource management techniques. As a mother to Liam, Heather believes in strong relationships between a child’s school and home adds to a child’s success in education and in life.

Jim Racer ~ Jim is a Rappahannock native whose family has lived in the county for over 75 years. He graduated from RCHS in 1985 and began a career in construction. After a few years, he took his skills and went into the motorcycle industry and went on to becoming partner in a nationally ranked dealership in Northern Virginia. After over 15 years in the motorcycle industry, he chose to come back to Rappahannock in 2006 and return to carpentry. He worked as a carpenter, then project Manager for Kreyling Construction until 2012 when Mr. Kreyling retired. He then began Racer Construction LLC. He is the owner/class A general contractor, and describes his company as a custom home-building firm that carries on traditional quality craftsmanship and service that he admired in his former employer. He has been involved in local youth sports organizations over the last 2 decades, as well as coaching basketball at the high school Varsity level. He has been a behind the scenes volunteer on many projects in the county and resides with his wife and 2 sons in Amissville, VA.

Joyce Wenger ~ Joyce started her career as a high school math and science teacher in inner city Los Angeles and later in small-town Oklahoma. After that, she spent 35 years in technology research and consulting, with numerous companies and government agencies throughout the U.S. and in Europe and Korea. Most recently her focus was on the technologies of all modes of transportation and their complex interdependencies with the environment. Given her years addressing these issues, she appreciates living in a county with no stop lights even more than most people. Joyce is active in the Master Naturalist program and the Virginia Native Plant Society. She and her husband, Mike, enjoy nurturing their forest, classes at Mountainside Physical Therapy and RappU, hiking, and kayaking. They have lived in Flint Hill since 2015 and can’t imagine a better place to live.

Kathi Dutilh ~ Kathi and her husband Kees moved to Sperryville in 2015, after 26 years in Northern Virginia, where they worked and raised their two children. Kathi graduated from the College of St. Teresa in a small town in Minnesota and began her first career as a 5th grade teacher in Minneapolis. An opportunity to work for the U.S. Senate brought her to DC. After a stint on Capitol Hill, she began her next phase as a lobbyist representing textile workers; following issues related to manufacturing and trade. She was President of the Board of Thompson Markward Hall on Capitol Hill (resident home for young women working in DC) for many years. And volunteering for her church and school, social pool club, and the area food pantry filled her days in Falls Church. Now in Sperryville, she is a member of the Sperryville Rescue Squad and active at Trinity Episcopal Church.