Billy Weitzenfeld, President
Billy Weitzenfeld is the Executive Director of the Association of Energy Conservation Professionals (AECP) and has served in this capacity for 17 years. AECP is a non-profit energy education and advocacy organization located in Floyd, Virginia. Previous to this, Mr. Weitzenfeld was the Weatherization Director for New River Community Action and held this position for 10 years. Mr. Weitzenfeld has extensive experience in Weatherization, energy education, training, legislative advocacy, fundraising, non-profit management, renewable energy, green building and program and policy development. He is a certified Home Energy rater, holds a tradesman license as a Master in Heating, Ventilation, and Air –Conditioning (HVAC), is a licensed Residential Building Energy Analyst, is a past member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Green Building Council SW Virginia Chapter, serves on the Virginia Weatherization Policy Advisory Council, is a Board member of Sustain Floyd, a past member of the City of Roanoke Clean and Green Committee, a member of the VA State Corporation Commission Consumer Education Advisory Board and is the past Executive Director of the Sustainable Living Education Center.
Fred First, Vice President
Fred gives voice to the beauty of Floyd. His two books, A Slow Road Home and What We Hold in Our Hands have received acclaim. He has aired more than 30 NPR radio essays and written regular columns for two local papers. His photographs appear widely in such publications as Blue Ridge Country, Appalachian Voice and his photo-blog, Fragments from Floyd. He is a past board member of the Jacksonville Center for the Arts and participates in a number of committees related to tourism and natural resource use in Floyd. He has also served as associate professor of biology at Wytheville Community College, then as a physical therapist before turning to a writing career.
Roger Kienzle, Treasurer
Certified Public Accountant
Roger Kienzle grew up in a suburban neighborhood on Long Island, NY. At 22 he joined the Navy and served as navigation division officer aboard USS Nimitz. Over a ten-year period in those early days he either worked on the water as a clamdigger in Huntington Harbor, LI, on the Nimitz, or lived on the water in a houseboat.
Since getting out of the Navy, Roger has worked as an accountant at CPA firms and for nonprofit and private employers. He has over 37 years experience in accounting, and currently works as a sole proprietor CPA, keeping books using an online software called Xero.
Henry David Thoreau has been an influence on Roger. Floyd is home to many people who have marched to a different drummer, and Roger has lived here since 1987. He has a long-standing woodworking hobby and has made most of the furniture in his house – all in the Arts and Crafts or Stickley style. He hopes to offer objects for sale here in the near future.
Tim Smith, Secretary
Originally from southern California, Tim holds a Ph.D. in Classics, which he taught for three years in the mid-1970s at UNC-G. He then switched careers and became a librarian, first at Wytheville Community College, and then at Ohio University in Athens, OH. He was the main web manager for a number of years for the library at Ohio U. He retired in the Spring of 2016 and moved to Floyd, where he quickly became involved with Sustain Floyd, the Partnership for Floyd, and the Old Church Gallery.
He has become more involved with Floyd than with any other community where he’s lived because he find this to be the best place he’s ever lived and wants to contribute actively to it. With Sustain Floyd, he is a member of the Board and of the Communications and Film committees.
Environmentalist and Entrepreneur
Jackie is co-owner, with her husband, Woody, of Riverstone Organic Farm, a local farm specializing in organic vegetables and pasture raised meats. She also co-owns a yarn store in Floyd. Prior to this she was active, with Woody, in restoring and managing The Floyd Country Store and running Crenshaw Lighting. She has been a long-time advocate of environmental stewardship, teaching environmental studies and serving with conservation and community development organizations.
She lives with Woody in a passive solar cabin near the Blue Ridge Parkway where she delights in tending her flower garden.
Woody is co-owner, with his wife Jackie of Riverstone Organic Farm, in Floyd County and is actively engaged in the Floyd community. During his 28 years in Floyd he has been an advocate for the creative economy of Southwest Virginia. He has been involved in a number of projects including the Floyd Center for the Arts, SustainFloyd, The Crooked Road Heritage Music Trail, Round the Mountain Artisan Trail, and the Floyd Fund. He has served as President of the Crooked Road Organization, Round the Mountain and SustainFloyd and the Floyd County Chamber of Commerce organizations. He was part of a group that renovated the town center of Floyd, an effort that resulted in an award of Excellence from the Virginia Mainstreet program in 2010. He and his wife Jackie restored and operated Floyd Country Store for 10 years.
He has a lifelong interest in both science and religion, subjects he explores from his woodland cabin in Floyd County, a passive solar cabin he built with his wife Jackie 20 years ago.
A founding member of SustainFloyd’s Board of Directors, Haden was instrumental in organizing the SplitRail Eco-Fair and the 350.org event in SustainFloyd’s nascent years. He began serving as Secretary starting in 2009 and also serves on the organization’s Development Committee.
Haden and his wife, Rose McCutchan, own and operate Red Rooster Coffee Roaster, a business dedicated to producing high quality organic coffee through sustainable practices in downtown Floyd. Haden’s passion for the community and his desire to create economic development through sustainable practices has driven him to become an advocate for small business, farms and artists in Floyd. He has past served on the board at the Jacksonville Center and is currently a board member and the Treasurer of Blue Cow Arts, the non-profit affiliate of Across the Way Productions (Floyd Fest.)
A native of Floyd, Haden and his wife now live in the house he was raised in, where his parents, Donna Polseno and Rick Hensley, still maintain their pottery studio & galleries as members of Floyd’s 16 Hands art collective.
Andrew J. Morikawa
Nonprofit Governance Leader and Facilitator
A former Peace Corps volunteer, Andy served as founding executive director of the Community Foundation of the New River Valley, from 1997-2010. On retirement, he joined the Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance as Senior Fellow. In 2017, the Virginia Tech Office of the Provost retained Andy to facilitate group development and the strategic planning process for a faculty team charged with designing the university’s approach to innovation and entrepreneurship, a strategic growth area for Virginia Tech.
He serves as a founding board member of the Dialogue on Race, a community-based initiative to end racism in Montgomery County, Virginia. The program is an innovation in social entrepreneurship now in its fifth year tackling difficult issues such as racial profiling by law enforcement and the inequitable treatment of African American students by the public school system. He is a board member of Via International, Community Housing Partners, SustainFloyd, and The Community Group.
“Rick’s passions run the gamut from cycling to reading to playing his Spanish-built guitar. A former designer of electronic circuits/systems, he now focuses his attention on renewable energy as the owner of SolShine Energy Alternatives, an electrical and solar contracting business, specializing in designing and installing solar electric systems for home and business.
He and his wife, Christy Pugh, live in a 316 sq foot solar-powered home that they designed and built. One of the many reasons Rick and Christy moved to Floyd was to pursue living a radically simplified, rural life by developing a small footprint homestead. Rick’s larger goal is to promote, as author/educator Jim Merkel states, “Small footprints on a finite Earth.”
Becky Bailey Pomponio
Communicator, Journalist, Activist
As an award-winning news correspondent for the Mutual Broadcasting System, the NBC Radio Network and Voice of America, Becky was heard nationally for more than 20 years as a radio anchor, reporter and talk show host. She then took her media skills to Capitol Hill in Washington D.C, serving as Press Secretary to Congresswoman Louise Slaughter of New York and as Communications Director for Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland. Later, as Director of Public Affairs for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and then the United States Mint, Becky was responsible for the high media and public profile of these large Federal agencies. Retired now, Becky Bailey Pomponio has helped SustainFloyd develop its media outreach. She also is an activist for Project Coyote, a national organization that educates communities on coexistence with America’s native “song dog.”
Virginia Lepley is former vice president of a NY metro area advertising and marketing agency. During those years, she also co-founded and published a national monthly newsletter for women. Since moving to Floyd, she has been pursuing her interest in Chinese medicine and martial arts with her husband Tom Klingelhofer. She is a former board member of the Blue Ridge Center for Chinese Medicine, and is growing a small practice in Floyd with Tom, a martial art instructor. She also publishes Artemis, a Blue Ridge regional literary-art journal, with founder Jeri Rogers and editor Maurice Ferguson, and provides design and marketing services to a few area organizations and businesses.
Living in Floyd is, in part, a result of Virginia and Tom’s search for balanced, creative living, close to natural beauty, clean water, local food growers, and community. Working with SustainFloyd is an expression of her wish to help support and preserve these rural treasures.
Pat has lived in Floyd County for 30 years – moving to Floyd in her 20’s to have a rural life closer to nature. She lives on her 48-acre homestead on the Little River in Floyd and enjoys gardening, walks, music and dance in town– and all the people and nature of Floyd.
She loves networking and helping make things happen in her community. Awarded the Business Leader of the Year by the Floyd Chamber of Commerce in 2015, she has served on numerous non-profit boards including the Jacksonville Center for the Arts (now Floyd Center for the Arts), Blue Ridge Center for Chinese Medicine and presently the June Bug Center.
An earth “rock” lover, she has owned Earth Dance Gems & Jewelry almost forever – and presently works as the first Floyd County Tourism Director.
Morgan Ohland inherited her green thumb from her mother, a life-long gardener and military wife who has grown vegetables all over the United States. Morgan developed an interest in sustainable agriculture when she was ‘transplanted’ to Central Florida from the northeast in 1999. She spent the next 11 years cultivating vegetables and raising community awareness about food.
Her first commercial venture began in 2005 when she started a gardening service that set up and maintained private vegetable gardens for residents in Brevard County, FL. By 2006 she had leased her first piece of land in Cocoa, FL and founded Four Hands Farm, LLC – Brevard County’s first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. Morgan specialized in small-scale (less than 5 acres), organic, sustainable vegetable crop production and CSA management and was a regular speaker at meetings and events around Central Florida, taught gardening workshops and classes to kids and adults and provided consulting services to individuals and organizations interested in local food production.
In 2010 Farmer Morgan relocated with her husband to Virginia and spent the next four years supporting small local businesses with their accounting and operations needs and the next two at VA Tech as a financial analyst. She is currently the Chocolatier at Floyd’s new hand-crafted chocolate shop – Cocoa Mia – and is working on a book titled ‘Opting Out of the American Food Machine’.