Board of Directors

At Home in Alexandria is governed by a Board of Directors, all of whom are current members of the organization. Board meetings are held monthly and are open to members.

Pam Nelson, Chair

Pam Nelson has extensive experience in leadership and program management of major engineering and communications programs serving various Government agencies. She retired in 2015 from Harris Corporation as a Senior Program Manager. Her career began at Ohio Bell in customer service, where she completed her education at Ohio State. She and her husband Steve are Charter members of AHA and active volunteers. Pam has served as Chairman of the Annual Gala and, with Steve, manages the monthly Happy Hour. She serves on the Program committee and as Chair of the Governance committee. She brings strong organizational and leadership skills, gained throughout her career. She is appreciative of the opportunity for growth, fun and friendship provided through AHA.

Victoria Almquist, Vice Chair

Victoria retired in 2015 from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids where she was the Director of Outreach, managing a coalition of public health and medical groups that advocate for changes in tobacco policy at the national, state, and local levels. She previously worked in advocacy and leadership  positions for a children’s hospital association, a nuclear arms control coalition, and an organization focused on women and the military. Victoria currently serves on the Alexandria Commission on Aging and is an executive volunteer with Compassion and Choices. She has a B.A. in Communications from Auburn University and an M.Ed. in Human Services Management from Boston University. Victoria is a 38-year resident of Alexandria, having lived here on and off, due to her upbringing in a military family, since she was 2.

Sherry deVries, Secretary

Sherry retired from the US Marine Corps Reserve after 27 years of service, a banking career and from the Federal Aviation Administration. She moved to the Alexandria area in 1990 and has been active in the community. Serving as the president of the Inner City Civic Association, a board member of the Alexandria Human Rights Commission and as board member and president of the Alliance for National Defense (a group supporting women in the military).

Kathie Fricke, Treasurer

Kathie retired from Georgetown University in 2014 after more than 35 years. During her time at Georgetown, she served as Executive Assistant to the Treasurer of the University. She prepared and reconciled budgets. She is a former member of the International Association of Administrative Professionals.   She studied at the University of Wisconsin. Kathie is a member of various societies and is a volunteer at The American Horticultural Society, Campagna Center, Sibley Memorial Hospital and At Home in Alexandria. Kathie has been an active associate member of AHA and a stalwart volunteer, including serving on the Gala Benefit, Anniversary party and program committees as well as coordinating and managing the monthly “lunch around.”

Ruth Arnold

Ruth was born and raised in England; she moved to the US in 1970 and in 1986 became a US Citizen. She served for nearly 40 years in Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service, assigned first to Bonn, Germany, and then to Washington, D.C. where, for over 20 years, she held the position of Accommodation Officer, with responsibility for the buying, leasing and furnishing of properties for Diplomatic Service personnel and the British ambassador’s residence. Since retirement, Ruth has been an active volunteer with her church (including the Meals on Wheels and Bag Lunch programs, and in the church Gift Shop). Ruth serves on her condominium association board, and that of the MG Car Club, and is a Senior Services of Alexandria Senior Ambassador.

Bob Eiffert, Immediate Past Chair

Bob has worked in local government for nearly 30 years.  In 1993, he became director of the City’s Area Agency on Aging, later expanded and renamed the Office of Aging and Adult Services. In 2002, Bob was promoted to Deputy Director of the City’s Office of Housing, where he oversaw the City’s $6.5 million local and federal grant programs to promote, develop and maintain affordable housing in the City. In 2005, Bob was able to combine his aging and housing experience when he moved to Fairfax County to become the Director of Senior and Specialized Housing. Bob supervised the management and operation of six independent living facilities with over 400 housing units for seniors, two assisted living facilities and nine group homes for adults with disabilities. In 2007, Bob was promoted to the position of Long Term Care Program Manager in the Fairfax County Health Department. Bob has been an active volunteer with the City’s Commission on Aging since 2010. He served as the Chair of the Commission’s Advocacy Committee and he is currently the Vice Chair of the Commission. In 2012, Bob was elected to the board of directors of the Goodwin House Foundation.

Sandy Heistad

Sandy received a BA in English and taught in the Chicago Public Schools. She also has an MA in Counseling and College Student Development and held a number of positions in Student Services at the University of Iowa, culminating in the position of Senior Academic Advisor in the College of Liberal Arts which she held for 25 years. The University of Iowa Advising Center program was recognized as outstanding by the National Academic Advising Conference. She has always been active in community work including serving as Board President of OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) in Iowa City and Board member of University of Iowa performing arts center. She worked to establish a village in her neighborhood in Iowa prior to moving to Alexandria to be near family. She is an active associate member of AHA, serving on the Gala Benefit and program committees.

Gretchen Klimoski

Gretchen graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a degree in fine arts. She served as the director of the Greater Lafayette Museum of Art in Indiana for three years before moving with her husband to Columbus, Ohio where she worked for the Ohio Historical Society in a new, federally funded office focusing on the preservation of the state’s historic sites. She earned a master’s degree in Historic Preservation and Architectural History and was appointed Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer for the state of Ohio. After 10 years in this position, she then opened GLK & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in strategic planning and board development for nonprofit organizations. She and her husband, Richard, moved to northern Virginia in 1995. Currently she creates one-of-a-kind and limited-edition jackets and shirts under the name Toad Hollow Designs. She is a member of Studio Fiber Arts at the Workhouse Arts Center and Potomac Fiber Arts located in the Torpedo Factory in Old Town.

Susanne O’Neill

Susanne has a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology with a specialty in Gifted Education from University of Virginia. For 18 years she did extensive work in identifying and serving minority gifted students in Prince William County schools. After moving to Alexandria in 2009, she worked as Director of Basic Literacy at the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, where she later worked as a Development Specialist. Through volunteer teaching with Campagna Center, she was named the Director of New Neighbors Adult ESL Program. Most recently, she was one of the Tutoring Coordinators for Alexandria Tutoring Consortium. She currently volunteers with the Outreach and Refugee Committees at Christ Church, as well as several service groups in Manassas. Susanne and her family have a non-profit for kidney cancer research through NIH in memory of her husband Dean. She looks forward to working with such a dynamic group of people.

Adam Perry

Adam Perry served 4 years active duty in the US Navy and holds a BA in Business Management from St John’s University. Adam enjoyed a career of more than 40 years as a salesman in NY, NY. He and his wife, Etta, relocated to Alexandria after retirement in 2018. He is Chairman of the Deacon Board of his church and a volunteer with Friends of the Beatley Central Library on Alexandria’s Annual Book Sale Project.

Susan Pettey

Susan Pettey is an attorney and holds a master’s degree in public administration. In Massachusetts, working for the Department of Public Health, she headed up the state’s first program to establish quality standards for ambulances and ambulance staff. In Washington D.C. she worked on Medicare legislation and policy for the Department of Health and Human Services, and long-term care organizations. She is the current Chair of the AHA Member Services Committee.

John Veldhuis

John is a retired educator who has been a teacher, principal, superintendent of education, professor, and university president. He has lived, visited and/or worked in 26 different countries. It is obvious John loves to travel. He enjoys reading and gardening and learning new things. He is also an active person who has ridden his bicycle around the perimeter of the United States (that is how he met his wife Nancy) and climbed Mount Trail. He has a wide variety of interests and is a lifelong learner. John and Nancy moved to Alexandria in 2009 and have made it their home, making new friends through the membership of AHA.

Barbara “Babs” Waters

Barbara H Waters (Babs), BA Political Science, MA Education, has resided in Alexandria since 2002. She taught part time at the middle, high school, and adult level for a number of years. She was also a part time registrar for University of Southern California-Berlin, Germany Campus. Throughout her life, Babs has held volunteer leadership roles in various civic and religious organizations. Prior to residency in Alexandria, Babs served as chair of Loudoun County Commission on Women and sat on the boards of YMCA-Loudoun Country, the Loudoun Symphony Association board,and is a graduate of Leadership Loudoun. She currently serves on the Alexandria Commission on Aging.

Babs enjoys the company of family and friends, reading, exercising, the arts, music, and travel. She is married to the Rev’d Elliott M Waters and the mother of two adult children.