Today’s Vision-Keepers

Many of the current board members have been striving to create the vision and the reality for many years. Some are new leaders who are excited by the vision and willing to work to meet the goals. Let us introduce you to the leadership of BRHI.

Jerry Boothe is a the owner of Jerry Boothe Hardwood Flooring, and is a spare-time cattle farmer in Floyd County. He has served as a Supervisor in Floyd County during which time he was liaison with Blue Ridge Heritage, Inc.

Lee Chichester  has been a freelance writer for 30+ years and in 1995 was among the original group who envisioned The Jacksonville Center for the Arts in Floyd and served on its Board of Directors for ten years. In 2006 she was one of three recipients of the prestigious Perry Kendig Award for significant contributions to   read more . . .

the arts in the region, presented annually by the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge, and in 2009 she served as regional coordinator for the Governor’s Awards for the Arts. She has been with BRHI since its original conception as a steering committee in 2005, and currently serves as a volunteer board member for both ‘Round the Mountain and the Virginia Falconers‘ Association.

John Getgood graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point with a BS degree in 1960. During his 30 years of service, John spent over 8 years in Germany and served two combat tours in Vietnam. His terminal assignment was    read more . . .

Deputy Asst. Chief of Staff/Training at Fort Monroe, LA. John moved into an Assistant Professorship, teaching Chemistry at his alma mater after receiving his MA in Chem. from John Hopkins U.
During his first “retirement,” John spent 11 years in the corporate world, finishing as Dr. of Corporate Development for a telecommunications engineering firm in VA Beach. He’s now in his “second retirement” and lives in Floyd County, staying involved in many civic and nonprofit activities including Blue Ridge Parkway 75, BRHI, Floyd Co. Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP),and Floyd County Chamber of Commerce among others. John serves as Treasurer of Blue Ridge Heritage, Inc.

Wayne Kirkpatrick co-owner/manager of K - P Hill Farm, having retired from a 31 year/160 head dairy operation in Patrick County, Virginia. Since 2006, his main interest has been growing produce for sale at the local farmer's market.  Wayne holds a B.S. in Dairy Science,   read more . . .


VA Tech, ’74; and sits on the Board of Directors of the Dan River Basin Association.  He is widely involved in conservation, economic development and preservation of our natural resources.
Wayne’s family includes his wife, Betty, two sons, Matthew and James, two daughters-in-law, Leah and Kara, and five grandchildren, Anya, Atticus, Nathan, Ginny and Andrew.

Ralph Lutts is a historian, educator, and naturalist who lives in Meadows of Dan. He majored in Biology at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and later received a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts. He teaches at Goddard College,    read more . . .

where he coordinates a graduate concentration in environmental studies. He has taught Appalachian history at Virginia Tech and natural history of the Blue Ridge for the University of Virginia. Ralph has twenty years experience in museum and nature center program development and management. This includes work as an educator and curator at Boston’s Museum of Science, director of the Blue Hills Trailside Museum (which interprets 7,000 acres of park land), and as director of the outreach division of the Virginia Museum of Natural History.

Steve Swartz  is a retired engineering consultant in water resources and water-based utilities’ business and economic matters, serving in 26 states and Canada.  He also served in the US Army Corps of Engineers during the Viet Nam War.   read more . . .

Steve was among the original group of Floyd and Patrick County volunteers that Incorporated Blue Ridge Heritage, Inc to develop a visitor attraction at Rocky Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway to enhance the economics of the bi-county area through tourism.
Steve and his wife live in Patrick County.

Eric Tichay  earned an associate’s degree in Forestry and Recreation from Paul Smith’s College, a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and a master’s degree in Public Administration     read more . . .

from the University of Oklahoma. He retired from civilian service with the U.S. Army Audit Agency in February 2014. Through his 22 1/2 years serving the Army he was promoted to the rank of GS-14 Audit Manager. His career included a six year tour in Korea, and 4 years in Germany with HQs U.S. Army Europe, Internal Review –including a deployment to Kosovo. In 2006 he served a one year deployment in Iraq as the Chief Internal Review for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. From 2007 to his retirement he served one deployment to Kuwait, two deployments in Afghanistan and 2 1/2 years as the Audit Manager for the agency’s Kuwait Field Office. His work experience included evaluating Army programs from chemical demilitarization facilities on Johnston Island in the Pacific Ocean to international trade agreements in Afghanistan. Among other honors, he was awarded the Civilian Service Achievement Medal, the Auditor General Award, the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service, and the Superior Civilian Service Award. Eric resides in Henry County with his wife Lorraine. His active retirement includes maintaining his 1950s era home, travel, fly fishing and tying, and volunteer work.