Ms. Picking mans the SMLA office three times per week, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 am to 5 pm. On Monday and Friday an SMLA volunteer mans the office and can relay messages to Ms. Picking or one of the Board members. Feel free to stop by and ask questions!
Board of Directors
John Rupnik – President: John retired from two separate careers – first from the U.S. Navy and then from the environmental services industry. John served with Oceanographic Unit 2 aboard USNS Dutton charting the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. He transition to Naval aviation and spend a majority of his career flying the P-3 Orion hunting submarines during the Cold War. His final assignment was as Deputy Director, Advanced Technology Demonstrations Program for the Chief of Naval Research. Retiring in 1992, John commenced his second career managing environmental research, development and demonstration programs for the Department of Defense. His degrees in Physics/Environmental Science and Systems Management/R&D supported this transition. John and his wife Patsy purchased their residence in Cedar Key Estates in 1992, vacationing with their two children, and have lived here full-time since 2013. He currently serves as Secretary on the Cedar Key Estates Association Board of Directors. He currently is the Treasurer for SMLA and a member on the SMLA Executive Committee. John is an active volunteer monitor of 3 sites within the water monitoring program, and he also helped launch the SMLA website. John promotes impacting SMLA initiatives within our neighborhoods that contribute to retaining SML’s natural beauty.
Bob Hastings – Vice President: Bob retired from a 38 year career in healthcare in February of 2018. Thirty of those years were spent in the pharmaceutical industry with Allergan and GSK where he worked in varying leadership roles that spanned across sales, managed care, training and marketing. Most recently, he served in the healthcare services side of the pharmaceutical business as a VP of Marketing for TrialCard Inc., a provider of patient access resources for the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry, an interesting position as it provided him with the opportunity to become involved in M&A as well as supporting the growth of a privately owned small business. Moving to the lake as a full time resident in 2018, he and his wife Pam enjoy boating, gardening and leisurely dinners with friends. With 3 sons and 3 grandkids (so far), they enjoy their family time but absolutely love the time they have with their grandchildren. Bob is an avid bicyclist and really enjoys hiking our local mountains and swimming in our beautiful lake. As a full time resident of Smith Mountain Lake, he is taken aback every day by the natural beauty that we are fortunate enough to live around. He feels strongly that we all have a responsibility to protect what is obviously a blessing.
Gail Phipps – Corporate Secretary began her career as a certified data systems analyst and crypto-mathematician with the National Security Agency. Her prior experience includes responsibility for engineering, design, integration, and implementation of network-centric architectures and migrating client enterprises to more powerful and open environments as well as profit and loss, business development and operations management. Her clients have been mainly in the Federal Government. Gail started her own consulting firm, RGP 1 LLC, after retiring from CACI in November 2008. She is consulting with major and specialized corporations involved in homeland security, justice & law enforcement, and the intelligence community. She co-founded a strategic planning and corporate development consulting organization named Phipps, Miller, and Associates (PM&A). She also joined White Peak Capital as a senior consultant to support their clients as they go through the M&A process. Gail joined CACI in 1999 as Executive Vice President of the DOJ sector. Ms. Phipps provides more than 35 years of experience and demonstrated success in support of growth strategies, transitions to new lines of business, and providing new technologies to clients.
Roger Blankenship: Serves as Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the Water Quality division of the Western Virginia Water Authority (WVWA), a water and wastewater utility serving customers in the City of Roanoke and the Counties of Roanoke, Franklin and Botetourt. He is a registered professional engineer with a BS in Civil Engineering Technology from Bluefield State College and a MS in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech. Roger began his career as an intern with Norfolk Southern then worked for Draper Aden & Associates, a consulting engineer in Blacksburg Virginia. He spent several years with the Virginia Department of Transportation structure and bridge division before shifting his focus to water and wastewater. Roger joined the WVWA in 2004 and quickly realized his interest in the environment and the treatment of water and wastewater. He and his wife have been lake residents in Franklin County since 2009. In his spare time, Roger enjoys fishing, hunting, being outdoors, and spending time on the water with his wife and two children.
Bill Butterfield is the Executive Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer of Andritz. He and his wife, Carol, purchased their home on SML in late October 2016, sold their home in Frederick County VA this past summer, and are now a full time lake residents. They have 3 children, 8 grandchildren, 6 step-grandchildren and 1-step great grandchild. They bought here on the lake to be closer to their youngest son and his young family who live in Roanoke. Career wise Bill has been responsible for global technology for Andritz Paper Fabrics and Rolls division. As the CTO, he had global responsibility for R&D, application engineering, quality, procurement/sourcing, marketing and IT. He holds advanced degrees in Pulp and Paper Science from the University of Maine, Metallurgical and Materials Science from the University of Illinois, and is a member of the BOD at the University of Maine Pulp and Paper Foundation. His official retirement date from Andritz is the end of November 2020. The Butterfields are excited to be full time residents of SML and it is Bill’s desire to become more involved in the lake community and donating his time to helping wherever he can be of service to the SMLA.
Gale Easter: Gale and her husband Sam built a log home in Franklin County in 2003. They retired there, and became full time lake residents in 2012. They own Roanoke River Valley Log Homes and have been SML Chamber of Commerce members since 2005. They have a son who lives in High Point with his wife and their two grandchildren. Taking advantage of 26 years experience in the printing industry, Gale has served as editor of the SMLA newsletter since 2013. She is also an office volunteer, helping man the office when the secretary is not in. Along with Sam, she has previously volunteered with Take Pride/Lake Clean-up, manning the 4-H site, cooking, and serving hot dogs to the volunteers. Gale is interested in learning more about shoreline management, property owners’ rights, buffer landscaping, and whatever else will most benefit SMLA and the lake community.
Jeannie Gorman moved to the lake from Connecticut with her husband and children in 1988, along with her best friend and her family. Her children and five grandchildren live in Roanoke and Bedford. In late 1988 Jeannie began doing free-lance bookkeeping for local businesses here at the lake, from her home in Beachwood West. Over the next 32 years her business, JKG Accounting, expanded several times. By 2020 JKG was in a large office location in Moneta with seven employees. Over the years the business clientele had gradually changed from primarily restaurants and construction to mostly property owners’ associations and non-profit organizations. Their niche at JKG was preparing monthly reports for any organization reporting to a board of directors. Jeannie sold JKG Accounting to a local CPA on January 1 and is now partially retired. She currently works part time doing accounting for Mariner’s Landing and also assists, as needed, the CPA who purchased her business.
Tom Hardy: Tom and his wife moved to Smith Mountain Lake in 2005. After working as an actuary in the insurance industry for 41 years, he retired in 2017. During his career he managed business units responsible for developing and selling investment products utilized by large pension plan fund managers and money market investment fund managers, both in the US and overseas. More recently, as VP and Chief Risk Officer for the insurance division, he managed the enterprise risk management team which was responsible for building complex mathematical models designed to evaluate capital sufficiency for the spectrum of risks faced by a multi-line international insurance business as well as setting risk guidelines for the various business units. Since retiring, Tom has spent much of his time sailing on the lake, hiking, gardening, and playing tennis. Out of a strong desire to protect this beautiful lake that we are fortunate to be able to enjoy every day, Tom joined the Water Quality Monitoring program in 2017, and he currently serves as Director of Water Quality Monitoring (WQM).
Tom Hofelich: Tom and his wife have been coming to the Lake since 1987. They built a home on the lake in 1991 and used it as a vacation home until retirement in 1995. Tom was controller of the R & D Division of the Westinghouse Electric Corp for five years and was involved in financial planning for the division and the Technologies Group for 15 years. He has an MBA degree as well as an accounting equivalency from major universities. He worked part time for several local businesses as accounting supervisor or office manager, and was the receiving treasurer of Trinity Ecumenical Parish during the first building construction and has served on financial committees as well as doing annual audits. He has also audited the books for several local organizations. He served as the Treasurer of the SML Association for five years and has served as Assistant Treasurer for the past three years. He also volunteers to do taxes for several nonprofit organizations and has a separate tax business which has been in existence for several years. Tom believes in the very important services of this organization.
Joanne B. Houpt’s goal was to make SML her home in retirement, having fallen in love with the area in 1997. She and her husband Bob are full-time residents at SML where they enjoy boating, swimming and photography. Preserving the quality of the lake is important. She was raised on a large farm and chose an education in Business Management. She was fortunate to have had a 29-year career in the interstate pipeline industry where she retired as a Manager in 2012. This work gave Joanne exposure in dealing with the public, with multiple agencies such as FERC and executing work in an environmentally conscious and safe manner. Much of her exposure provides knowledge in areas that the SMLA focuses on. She is currently a SMLA member, SMLA office volunteer, President of the SML Newcomers and previously served as a Virginia Save Our Streams Monitor volunteer. Her background and expertise is valuable in supporting the SMLA’s goal of preserving the environmental health of the lake while supporting the community and economy of the area.
Neil Holthouser serves as an environmental coordinator for Appalachian Power Company’s Smith Mountain hydroelectric project. Neil leads a team that is responsible for managing all shoreline development activities along the 600+ miles of shoreline at Smith Mountain and Leesville lakes. Prior to joining Appalachian Power in 2015, Neil served as Director of Planning & Community Development for Franklin County, Virginia. He graduated from Duke University in 1993 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Public Policy Studies. Neil lives in Roanoke County with his children Molly, Max, and Macy.
Brian Key: Brian grew up in the Roanoke Valley and spent most of his weekends at the Lake with a friend in his home in Indian Ridge. He worked for AEP for the summer of 1992, between junior and senior year of college, working on the skimmer boat to remove debris from the Lake. He is a registered professional engineer who graduated from Old Dominion University in 1993 and worked for Anderson & Associates as an engineering consultant from 1993 until 2000. He went to work for the Bedford County Public Service Authority in 2000 and worked there until they consolidated into the Bedford Regional Water Authority (BRWA) in July 2013. He currently serves at the BRWA’s Executive Director. In his spare time, Brian enjoys home improvement projects, landscaping, woodworking, residential farming, and spending time with his wife and 3 children.
Patrick Massa: Pat is a current SMLA Board Member; Chair SML Water Safety Council; Retired College Professor (41 years); Chair, Education Department; College Athletic Coach (26 years); Water Safety Instructor Trainer; Lifeguard Training Instructor; Aquatics Director (41 years); Certified Pool Operator Instructor, Aquatic Facility Operator Instructor, Hunter Education Instructor, NRA Firearms Instructor, Open Water Lifeguard, Certified SCUBA Diver; He has owned a home at the lake for 10 years and has been here full-time since June, 2012 (Montego Bay). Pat is married to Donna, and they have three children and six grandchildren.
George Morrison retired from UPS after 37 years of service, beginning part-time and progressing through the ranks as a part-time supervisor, full-time supervisor, manager, and staff-level manager. Experience and reassignments included inside operations, personnel, industrial engineering, hub operations, delivery operations, and numerous special projects, later promoted to district HR manager Philadelphia Air District, where he doubled the facility workforce, becoming region workforce planning, training, and development manager of the East Central region. He is a past-president and current board member of the Rotary Club of SML foundation. He is an active TPSML Lake-Cleanup and other club projects. He joined the board of the Charity Home Tour 2012, serving as a traffic chair four years and becoming board chair in 2016. He is a member of the Outlaw Cruisers Car Club in Rocky Mount and Lake Pipes Club of SML allowing him to enjoy his passion for antique and collectible automobiles. Their existing home was completed in 2006 and they became full-time residents in 2011. He enjoys time with his wife, anything automotive, helping in the community and giving back to those who have not had the same luck nor opportunities that came his way. He enjoys living at the lake and thinks it’s a blast having a 22,000-acre pond in his back yard!
Geoff Orth was born in Philadelphia but has spent most of his life in Virginia. He and his
wife Kathy built a vacation house on the Lake in 1994, and it now serves as their full-time residence
in retirement. He has lived full-time in Village East (Bedford County) since 2013. His educational background is in the humanities, with a B.A. degree from Washington and Lee University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Virginia. Professionally, he worked as an academic administrator, serving most recently as associate vice-president of academic affairs at Longwood University. He also has an extensive background in the military. On active duty, he was assigned as a tactical intelligence officer in Vietnam, after which he went on to serve over twenty years in the Army Reserve. In our Lake community, he is a vice president of the Blue Ridge Foothills and Lakes Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists. As a certified stream monitor, he has been the SML area coordinator for Save our Streams since 2016, directing the work of about forty volunteers assigned to twenty streams in Bedford and Franklin Counties. In that position, he has served on SMLA’s Lake Council and is responsible for gathering and sharing stream quality data with Virginia’s DEQ.
Robert Sanders has been a full-time lake resident in the Betty’s Creek area since June 2018 with his wife, Maureen. He is a retired chemistry teacher, coach, and assistant/associate principal from the Fairfax County Public Schools after 31 years of service. Since relocating he has been active with several lake organizations including the Discovery Shop and the SMLA Water Quality Committee. He enjoys being at SML, taking advantage of the lake for activities with family and friends, getting to know the community, and searching out places and businesses to visit. As a board member, he brings enthusiasm for teaching and learning, and looks forward to securing the future of the lake so that others can enjoy all it offers.
Charles Sinex: Prior to retiring and moving to Smith Mountain Lake in 2010, Chuck worked at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory on a wide variety of projects for the US Navy and other US Government agencies, spanning from 1970 to 2010. Projects involved data collection and analysis, development and use of physical models, and the use of decision analysis. He also worked in the area of oceanography from 1980 to 1996, with a focus on describing the oceanographic characteristics of US Navy operating areas. He led an environmental group of 17 scientists and technicians whose activities included the design, conduct and analysis of environmental data from US Navy experiments. Chuck was also responsible for the design of open ocean survey requirements for the US Naval Oceanographic Office and analysis of the resulting data. Chuck has a BS in Physics and a PhD in Nuclear Physics both from Rice University. Chuck has served on the Smith Mountain Lake Association Board of Directors since 2015. During that time, he served on the Water Management Committee and assisted in the analysis that showed the major factors controlling lake level in the summer/fall were summer rainfall and winter groundwater recharge. He co-authored the report that was submitted to AEP containing several recommendations from the Association that could help alleviate future low lake levels.
Lorie Smith: Lorie and her family have lived at SML for three years and consider it to be a privilege to live here. She has been married for 34 years and have two children. Currently, she is the President of SMLA and the SMLA POC for Lake Cleanup. She had been Vice-President and worked on the Partners’ Program that encourages business participation in the mission of SMLA. Lorie is also President of Neighbors Helping Neighbors, Inc., a non-profit that provides services to individuals ages 60 and older enabling them to stay in their homes as long as is practical. She has served on the 2015 Board of Directors for the SML Charity Home Tour, working on strategic planning and the Advisory Committee and is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of Valley Program for Aging Services in the Shenandoah Valley. She is a member of Trinity Ecumenical Parish. Prior to moving to the lake, she was in elected capacities on Waynesboro City Council and Waynesboro School Board. Lorie considers it to be an honor to serve my community. Her work on the SMLA Board of Directors has given her opportunities to learn a great deal about the health and welfare of the lake. It is her desire to continue her service and advocacy for the protection of one of our most valuable resources!
Mike Streff has enjoyed Smith Mountain Lake since 1995, first as a guest of lake residents, then as an occasional renter on the lake, then as a weekend and vacation week homeowner in the Waterways community. Mike is now a full-time resident in the Boardwalk Community. Originally from South Dakota, and then raised near the Snake River in Washington State, Mike served in the Army for 22 year and then in the defense industry in the Washington DC area, where he specialized in allocating resources to achieve strategic objectives. He retired in 2018 and moved to the lake full time in 2019, where he lives with his wife Sara, also a SMLA volunteer. He enjoys water skiing in retirement.
Edgar Tuck: Edgar is a lifelong resident of the Smith Mountain Lake Community and the 4th generation operating family farm in Moneta. He served as a Mortgage Loan Specialist for Suntrust Bank having 30 years of banking experience. He now serves in his 1st term on the Bedford County Board of Supervisors, representing District 2, which covers a majority of the Bedford side of lake. Edgar is married to Alison Tuck, who is a pharmacist with Roanoke Memorial Hospital. They have three children: Aaron, who works at Interstate Batteries in Salem; Davis, who is currently serving in US Army; and Laura Lee, a freshman at Staunton River High School. Their family attends Eastlake Community Church. Edgard received his BBA from James Madison University with a major in business management, concentration in human resources.
Committee Chairs and Contact Information:
Adult and Youth Education –Tara Poelzig; (540) 682-3870; Tara.email@example.com
Buffer Landscaping – Bob Hastings; 919-607-3858; firstname.lastname@example.org
Septic Systems Education – vacant
Lake Cleanup: John Rupnik; (703) 201-9088; email@example.com
Lake Council: vacant
Marketing: Victor Clarke; 434-847-5561; Victor@bebetterdomore.com
Membership: Gale Easter; 540-420-0338; firstname.lastname@example.org
Save Our Streams: Geoff Orth; email@example.com
Vessel Pumpout: Randy Stow; 540-588-0270; Stowbase@gmail.com
Water Level Monitoring: Chuck Sinex; 540-719-2125; firstname.lastname@example.org
Water Quality Monitoring: Tom Hardy; 804-874-8695; email@example.com
Water Safety Council: Pat Massa; 717-870-1276; firstname.lastname@example.org
Click to learn more about how you can help Smith Mountain Lake and its community.