Board of Directors and Staff
Laura Kelsey, PresidentLaura has been on the board of directors since 2013. She retired in 2013 after 46 years in education, retail ownership, and commercial property management. Her retail experience includes a decade managing a women’s clothing and gift shop on Main Street in Warrenton and another decade owning a shop in Stevensburg, specializing in imported yarns and fabrics. In the 1980s, she opened the first one-hour photo processing business in the Metropolitan Washington area. Finally, she spent twelve years as Director of Construction Management for a developer in northern Virginia. Her community involvement includes serving on the board of Highland School, the Greater Warrenton Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the Town of Warrenton’s Economic Development Advisory Committee. She holds a B.A. in English Literature from Troy University. Laura has happily called Virginia home for the past 54 years. Her hobbies include genealogy, history, watercolor painting, and sailing.
Gary Carroll, SecretaryGary Carroll is a Warrenton native who grew up immersed in the history of Fauquier County and has served as a volunteer for the Mosby Heritage Area Association, frequently portraying Colonel John Mosby and other civil war figures for school children and adults. He has led Warrenton’s October ghost tours for several years and is dedicated to helping others appreciate the rich history of this area. He is also a freelance writer for Lifestyle Magazine, covering historical topics including Fauquier's African-American museum.
Janis Golden, Museum ChairJanis is a graduate of Indiana University with a BA in art history and studio art. She has lived in Fauquier County for 15 years. Her background in the museum and historic house world spans over 25 years, including experience at Stark Museum of Art, Winterthur, Art Museum of Southeast Texas, McFaddin-Ward House, Heritage Farm Museum, Loudoun Museum, and Oatlands. Janis has designed exhibitions, created educational programming, and organized festivals. Being a member of the Fauquier Historical Society, especially as the chairperson of the Education Committee, has allowed her to continue her service and dedication to history and preservation.
David Gerrish, TreasurerDave earned a degree in Aerospace Engineering from Virginia Tech and an M.B.A. from Southern Illinois University. He served his country as a military aviator, both on active duty with the U.S. Air Force and in the reserves with the Virginia Air National Guard. Dave started his career with Wheat First Securities in Warrenton in 1981 and has called Main Street his home ever since.Dave has been involved in numerous charitable organizations and committees, including twelve years as a volunteer serving on the board of the Fauquier Hospital Foundation including four years as its chairman, treasurer for the Warrenton/Fauquier Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Partnership for Warrenton, co-founder of the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation, and was a Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America for over ten years until his three boys were grown.When Dave isn’t working, he enjoys general aviation flying, wood-working, day hiking, as well as backpacking and camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Dave and his wife, Virginia, live in Old Town Warrenton.
Dave GoetzDavid Goetz is an author and expert on Colonel John S. Mosby. He owns Mosby's Confederacy Tours and leads tours in “Mosby's Confederacy.” He has published two books: Ever the Gray Ghost: Colonel John Singleton Mosby and the Lincoln Conspiracies and Hell is Being a Republican in Virginia, examining the postwar relationship between John Singleton Mosby and Ulysses S. Grant.Mr. Goetz is descended from the family of Chaplain Father James M. Graves, a Jesuit priest who served with Generals Joe Johnston and Stonewall Jackson in the Army of Virginia during 1861-1862. He is a past commander of the Black Horse Camp #780, Sons of Confederate Veterans in Fauquier County and currently serves as vice-president of the Stuart-Mosby Historical Society.Mr. Goetz has a professional background in public relations, sales and marketing. He holds an undergraduate degree in English from Bellarmine University, Louisville, Kentucky, and a Master of Science in Community Development from the University of Louisville. He is a U.S. Army veteran, received an Honorable Discharge, and lives in Culpeper County, Virginia
Yak Lubowsky, Past PresidentYak served as the president of the Fauquier Historical Society from 2010 to 2020. He is currently a business and legal strategist and a combustion energy technology entrepreneur. He worked in both the U.S. House and Senate as a defense and foreign policy assistant, was a political speechwriter, practiced law on Wall Street and has been part of senior management at three successful businesses.He is a board member of six civic organizations, an international human rights group, and an engineering company. He is also a leading preservationist and open space activist, writing often on land use/conservation issues in Fauquier. In addition, Yak was a regional planning commissioner, an elected member of the Warrenton Town Council for 6 years.Yak received his BA from The Johns Hopkins University and has a law degree from Northwestern University in Chicago, where he was an editor of The Journal of International Law and Business and founding president of its Federalist Society chapter. Among his honors are a citation from the Israeli Navy for complex international legal representation, a civic commendation by the Virginia General Assembly, and two Fauquier Center District Citizen of the Year awards. Yak was also commissioned a Kentucky Colonel in recognition of his historic preservation work.
Cynthia Vick, Director
Cynthia joined the Fauquier History Museum team as part-time Director in March 2023. Her family roots run deep in Virginia for over 300 years, in Fauquier, Culpeper and Madison Counties. Cynthia has a life long passion for history and has been a committed volunteer at the museum, known for her expertise in transcribing difficult to read old 18th and 19th century script. She has had previous museum experience at Sully Plantation in Fairfax County.
Fred and his family have been a part of Virginia and Fauquier County for over 300 years, descending from Blackwell, Smith, and Davis to Austin. He graduated from Fauquier High School and the University of Virginia. After Army service at Fort Benning and Fort Knox he returned to Warrenton and purchased his grandfather’s 1840 home on Main Street. While Fred joined his father in business at The Blue Ridge Hardware & Furniture on Main Street he was elected to the Warrenton Town Council serving for three terms on various committees and as Vice Mayor. Later he sold the hardware store and started a new career in real estate management and investments called ARMI. This allowed him the opportunity to see and visit large areas of the county and many of its historic homes. Since his retirement he has volunteered as a docent at the Fauquier History Museum.
Seth Schenck, Visitor Services CoordinatorRaised in Fauquier County, Seth began his museum work at the Museum of the Confederacy and the Library of Virginia in the early 2000s. By 2004, he aided in renovating historic homes throughout rural Virginia, before moving to California. Seth moved back to Fauquier in 2016 to be closer to his family. In his free time, he enjoys collecting reggae and soul records, camping, hiking, and cooking.
Deb Miller, Events Chair
Deb has been a resident of Fauquier County for over 25 years and has worked at PB Smith Elementary for almost 20 years. She joined the board of directors in 2021 after being a volunteer at the Old Jail Museum for almost three years. Deb’s favorite activities at the Old Jail are telling stories of Fauquier’s past at the ghost tours and welcoming visitors to the museum in the gift shop. Deb also serves as board secretary for the Warrenton Chorale where she has been singing for over 10 years. During her free time, Deb enjoys playing mahjong with her friends, rooting for the New York Giants, and spending time with her husband Mike and two daughters, Lauren and Katie.
Marsha Melkonian, Communications ChairMarsha graduated from the University of Maryland with a business degree after being an American studies major and received a Masters degree in American history from George Mason University. She worked for the IRS as a computer programmer, manager and training branch chief. Marsha is married, with 2 adult sons. She has been active in Fauquier County, in PTO school organizations, Relay for Life, Boy and Girl Scouts, Partnership for Warrenton, Chamber of Commerce, various Women's clubs, the Bluemont Concert series, as a Sunday school teacher. She has volunteered at the Smithsonian in the American Revolution exhibit, at Graffiti House in Brandy Station, and currently serves as membership Vice President for the Friends of Booker T Washington National Monument in the Smith Mountain Lake area. Now retired Marsha enjoys reading, sewing, papercrafting and of course, history.