Board and Staff

Across the commonwealth, working as one

Meet the volunteer leaders and staff of the Garden Club of Virginia.

Board of Directors

  • President Debbie Lewis, The Garden Study Club
  • 1st Vice President Kris Carbone, The Garden Club of Danville
  • 2nd Vice President Wendy Walker, The Garden Club of the Eastern Shore
  • Treasurer Tricia McDaniel, The Rappahannock Valley Garden Club
  • ​Recording Secretary Laura Francis, The Hunting Creek Garden Club
  • Corresponding Secretary Meg Laughon, Hillside Garden Club
  • Parliamentarian Nina Mustard, The Williamsburg Garden Club
  • Director at Large District 1 Kathryn Angus, The Boxwood Garden Club
  • Director at Large District 2 Michelle Jennings, Rivanna Garden Club
  • Director at Large District 3 Katie Spencer, The Huntington Garden Club
  • Director at Large District 4 Paula Irons, Roanoke Valley Garden Club
  • Director at Large District 5 Suzi Worsham, Leesburg Garden Club
  • Director at Large District 6 Stephie Broadwater, The Nansemond River Garden Club
  • Artistic Design Cathy Lee, The Boxwood Garden Club
  • Conservation and Beautification Sarah Hellewell, Hillside Garden Club
  • Development Kelly Johnson, The Rappahannock Valley Garden Club
  • ​Finance Mary Bacon, The James River Garden Club
  • Historic Garden Week Fran Carden, Albemarle Garden Club
  • Horticulture Allison Clock, The Hampton Roads Garden Club
  • Restoration Jean Gilpin, Winchester-Clarke Garden Club
  • ​Executive Director Andrea Butler

Garden Club of Virginia Staff

Andrea Butler

Executive Director
Andrea leads the staff in its quest to create mission impact through their support of the GCV’s 48 member clubs, 3,400 members and 17 committees. She brings a broad range of corporate and nonprofit leadership experience and values the many partnerships that propel the organization. When she’s not pruning, planting, or dividing perennials at home, you might find Andrea with family and friends at beaches or mountains in Virginia or in faraway lands.

Karen Cauthen Ellsworth

State Director of Historic Garden Week and Editor of the Guidebook
Karen is only the third Director of Historic Garden Week in its 91-year history. Before coming to work for GCV in 2011 she was a freelance food and travel writer, a marketing director for a software company, worked in public relations producing large-scale events, and owned a catering business. She is married to a filmmaker and has two daughters, a cat, and a horse. She is an avid gardener and loves old-fashioned roses.

Sarah Blackburn

Director of Communications
Sarah joined GCV at the start of 2023. With 15 years of communications experience and lifetime love of gardening and the outdoors under her belt, Sarah works to tell GCV’s story and keep our members in-the-know about all of the organization’s events and activities. On the weekends, you can find her out in the garden, on the soccer field with her three boys, tending to her bees, or hiking one of Virginia’s spectacular state parks.

Ann Heller

Communications Coordinator
Ann joined the GCV staff in 2010. While supporting member events, publications, and special projects, Ann enjoys working with GCV members and colleagues. For fun, she likes solving puzzles, reading, traveling, and poking around in antique shops.

Terri Lowman

Historic Garden Week Marketing & Program Coordinator
Terri joined the GCV staff in 2016 and relies on her combined 30 years of experience in human resources, marketing, advertising and non-profit leadership, to keep things running smoothly for Historic Garden Week. When she isn’t propogating, pruning, planting or relaxing in her garden, she enjoys traveling, reading, antiquing and spending time on the water or hiking with her family and two Boston Terriers.

Emily Yates

Office & Events Coordinator
Emily Yates joined the team as GCV’s Office and Events Coordinator in the Fall of 2023. She works with members to organize events of all sizes, supports the GCV’s donor operations, and ensures that the historic Kent-Valentine House, GCV’s headquarters, is well-run and maintained. Emily is best known for her love of women’s history, dogs, and Halloween. In her spare time, she volunteers with a WWII living history group and raises money for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Melissa Butler

Finance Manager
Melissa joined GCV in 2022 as the Finance Manager, touching everything from accounts payable and receivables to the audit. She loves gardening, reading historical novels, walking the James River Canal, and cycling along the historic Virginia Capital Trail.