Board of Directors

Article IV of the Society’s Bylaws provides that there shall be seven (7) officers and four (4) representatives who comprise the Board of Directors of the Society. The Bylaws also provide that the board shall be elected by the membership. The officer’s positions consist of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Archivist/Alternate Secretary, Historian and Media Chair.

For the fiscal year beginning May 1, 2014, our board consists of the following:

01. Lonnie Willis
President

Lonnie was born in Brooklyn and brought up in Long Island. She received a B.A. degree in American Studies with a minor in Social Work from the University of Buffalo, as well as studying Folklore and Folklife at the University of Pennsylvania. She and her husband and two young children came to St. John in 1975 as the new owners of the St. John Car...

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02. Diana C. Hall
Vice President

A native of Washington State, Diana Hall became interested in her own family history and later in the history and politics of the Soviet Union. In 1990, Hall took a year off from graduate school to teach at the University of Gdansk in Poland and experienced first-hand the remarkable changes taking place during that time. After graduate school, Hall worked in university grants administration, moving...

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03. Joan Birmingham
Treasurer

A native of Andover, Massachusetts, Joan graduated from Wheaton College with a major in biology and a minor in education. She later received a master’s degree in earth science from North Eastern University. Joan enjoyed teaching math and science in California and Massachusetts for twelve years. When her husband, Preston, started his own architectural firm in Boston, she took an accounting course at Boston University,...

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Bruce Schoonover
Media Chair

Bruce and his wife Sharon fell in love with St. John when they vacationed at Virgin Island National Park’s Cinnamon Bay campground in 1984. With family and friends, they built their home in Calabash Boom in 1990. Bruce retired from a small telecommunications firm in the Washington, DC area after a 30 year career with the same company. Bruce and Sharon volunteer as docents in...

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Eleanor Gibney
Archivist / Alt. Secretary

A Virgin Islander and lifelong resident of St John’s north shore, Eleanor worked for Caneel Bay from 1979 to 1995, resigning from her position as Caneel’s Chief Horticulturist to raise her family. She is an expert on the indigenous and cultivated plants of the Virgin Islands, and the author of “A Field Guide to the Native Trees and Plants of East End, St. John.” Eleanor...

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Elroy Sprauve
Representative

Mr. Elroy Sprauve was born and raised on St. John. His childhood home was on Cruz Bay beach. He attended Bethany School, and graduated from Charlotte Amalie HS. His father, Julius E. Sprauve, was the first elected Senator from St. John. Upon receiving his degree in Spanish and English from Thiel College in Greenville, PA., Mr. Elroy returned to the Virgin Islands and taught at ...

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Margaret Labrenz
Representative

Margaret (Margie) Labrenz, and her late husband Jim, relocated to St. John in 1977. Their real estate company, Cruz Bay Realty, was established in 1985, and continues as a family business with Margie and her daughter Gretchen. Margie served as President of the Society for four years, Treasurer, and Vice President. During her years as an officer she worked to increase the membership of the...

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Michael Sheen
Representative

Mike came to the Virgin Islands in 1967. He taught scuba diving in Red Hook for several years and then became involved in a saturation diving project in Puerto Rico for two years as the science program coordinator. For the last 35 years, he has owned and operated a fiberglass repair facility in St. Thomas. He has been a Board member of the St. Thomas...

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Pam Richards-Samuel
Representative

Pamela R. Samuel has served as Commissioner of Tourism of the Virgin Islands Government; Executive Director of the 29th Legislature of the Virgin Islands; and most recently as the Interim Chief of Staff for President David Hall, University of the Virgin Islands. As Community Service is very important to her, she also serves on the board of Directors of both the Agriculture and Food Fair...

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Rafe Boulon
Historian

Rafe is a St. Johnian whose family owned Trunk Bay from 1927 to 1957 when they sold it to the National Park Service. Windswept Beach remains in the family. He has a Bachelors Degree in Marine and Environmental Science from the College of the Virgin Islands and a Master’s Degree in Biological Oceanography from the University of Puerto Rico. He worked for 18 years at...

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Board Advisors

Further, the board has, from time-to-time, found it desirable to appoint Board Advisors in order to ensure continuity and stability of the Society. This year we are pleased to include as advisors the following:

Andro Childs

Andromeada (Andro) Childs is the quintessential St. Johnian. She was raised in the family complex in Cruz Bay, with the Cruz Bay dock, beach and park as her playground. Mrs. Childs attended Bethany School, where the SJHS now holds their meetings, then continued her education in New York . After a long stint in NY, and a career with the NYC Family Planning Dept., she...

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Beverly Biziewski

A resident of St. John almost 40 years, Beverly retired from nursing for a new career of volunteerism. Active in numerous island groups which include Lioness, BPW, AARP, The Nazareth Lutheran Church, The Audubon Society and the Fish Bay Owners’ Association, she included the Historical Society of St. John some 25 years ago. In each of these organizations she has been a guiding force. This...

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Dr. George F. Tyson

George is a historian, who is widely recognized as a leading authority on Virgin Islands history. Currently a resident of St. Croix, he has taught at the University of the Virgin Islands, served as Executive Director of the St. Croix Landmarks Society and is past-President of the Society of Virgin Islands Historians. He has served as a consultant to UNESCO, the Organization of American States...

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Patricia A. Fisk

After graduating from college, Patricia fell into the insurance industry, an opportunity that was presented to her out of the blue. For 25 years, she worked in various areas of the business and her final position was Marketing Manager for a new start up personal lines company. Through the years she took insurance courses and earned professional designations. In an attempt to give back she taught...

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Robin Swank

Armed with a college degree in Anthropology and Masters in Education, Robin proceeded to work in New York’s social services delivery system, Head Start, corporate risk management, banking and credit card services, and international funds custody and securities lending. A few cultural anthropology studies (e.g. impact of retirement on the sense of self, the use of cannabis in Jamaica, WI), were conducted along the way. ...

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