About
Board of Trustees

Trustee Biographies

For term July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023

Lakshmi Vaidyanathan, MD, MBA, Board President

Lakshmi is a physician who specializes in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. She is currently the Medical Director of the Palliative Care Program at the University of Maryland Shore Regional Health. In addition to the clinical care of patients, Lakshmi has leadership experience in health care, having chaired and served on a number of hospital committees and initiatives. Her passion is innovation in health care delivery that can improve quality and affordability.
 
Lakshmi completed her medical school at Grant Medical College, Mumbai, India. She then went on to complete a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. A life-long learner, Lakshmi recently graduated from the Executive MBA program at the University of Maryland R. H. Smith School of Business. Lakshmi lives in Easton with her husband, Dr. John Foley and their children Tara (‘23) and Arjun (‘25).

   

Jason Brown, Vice President

Jason Brown is a lifelong resident of the Eastern Shore. Jason graduated from North Caroline High School in 2001 and the University of Richmond in 2005, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with concentrations in Accounting and Finance. Jason is a Certified Public Accountant and founder of Brown Consulting and Advising, LLC. He specializes in providing outsourced executive management services, tax planning, and business consulting services. 

Jason is currently serving as CFO for Shoreline Vinyl Systems, Inc., assisting in corporate acquisition oversight, cash flow management,
and financial planning. Prior to forming his own practice, Jason worked in the public accounting sector focusing on taxation for 11 years.  He also holds his CVA (certified valuation analyst) designation.

Jason currently resides in Easton, Maryland, with his wife, Amy, and children Olivia ('27), Adam ('30) and Anna (age 2).

   

Talli Oxnam, Treasurer

Talli Oxnam is the Senior Vice President and Wealth Management Manager of Wye Financial Partners, a financial services firm offering full-service investment and insurance solutions.

Growing up in Baltimore, Talli attended Roland Park Country School and Garrison Forest School and went to college at the University of Puget Sound outside Seattle, Washington. She is a graduate of the American Bankers Association Advanced Trust School, as well as Leadership Maryland.

Talli moved to the Eastern Shore with her husband, Geoff, in 2000 and spent her early career as Chief Operating Officer for custom-builder Ilex Construction, a residential construction and architectural woodworking firm.

Talli has served on the Board of The Country School Parent’s Association, Talbot County Young Professionals, Tred Avon Yacht Club Junior Sailing, and Talbot Country Club. She is the Past President of the Women and Girls Fund of the Mid-Shore, Past Chair of Junior Achievement of Talbot County, and Past Vestry Member, Treasurer, and Investment and Endowment Committee Member of Christ Church - St. Peter's Parish.

Currently, Talli is on the Board of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Camp Wright and a member of the Shore Regional Health Investment Committee.

Talli and Geoff live in Cooke’s Hope with their two children. Charlotte is senior at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Nick is a freshman at the University of Virginia. Both Charlotte and Nick graduated from The County School and Talli and Geoff credit much of their children’s academic success to the excellent foundation they gained from the school.
    

Doug Walker, Secretary

Doug Walker graduated from St. Maria Goretti High School in Hagerston, Maryland in 1995, St. Mary's College of Maryland in St. Mary's City, Maryland in 1999 and the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2002. 
 
After graduation, he immediately began practicing in Towson, Maryland at Royston, Muller, McLean and Reid, LLP. After five years in Towson he accepted a position at Miles & Stockbridge, P.C. and moved to Easton with his wife (Melissa) and daughter (Mia) in July of 2007. In December of 2016 he stared his own law firm (McAllister, DeTar, Showalter & Walker, LLC) and over the last two years the new firm has been representing a variety of mostly local individuals, business, and financial institutions in addition to a handful of national private equity firms and/or financial institutions throughout the state of Maryland. In addition to a variety of local affiliations, Mr. Walker has been Co-Vice Chair (2010-2014) and Chair (2014-2015) of the Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies Committee of the American Bar Assocaition's Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section. 
 
Daughters Mia ('21) and Emma ('23) came to the Country School for the 2017-18 school year and Chloe ('27) will begin Kindergarten in the fall of 2018. 
 
   

Blenda Armistead

Blenda Armistead's career has focused on local government, finance, education, and community service. She served as County Manager and Finance Officer for Talbot County for 18 years. Prior to her appointment as County Manager, she was the Assistant Dean in the College of Business and Management at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a director of Shore Bancshares and has been on the board of Shore United Bank (formerly The Talbot Bank) for almost 30 years.

Blenda has been active in many community-based organizations, having chaired the Boards of Chesapeake College, Shore Health System, The Country School, the Academy Art Museum, and the Talbot County YMCA. A past member of the Easton Rotary Club, she has also served on the boards of  Talbot Mentors, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, the Waterfowl Festival, the YMCA of the Chesapeake and the Talbot Historical Society.  

A graduate of Smith College, Blenda earned an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Ph.D. in Management and Higher Education from Florida State University.

     

Jessi Brelsford '95

Jessi Walter Brelsford is a dynamic professional who specializes in culinary adventures for kids, families and adults. Jessi Brelsford was sitting at her desk as a Vice President on Wall Street when she had an idea…"I want to start a business teaching and engaging kids and families in the Kitchen”. Combining a background in Finance, an Economics degree from Harvard and a love for playing in the Kitchen, Jessi set out to create her unique concept where kids, families and adults gathered together to connect, learn and grow in a custom-designed Kitchen Studio. What began as a few holiday baking classes and birthday parties quickly evolved into much more. After the economic down turn of 2008, Jessi took her passion to the next level to pursue Taste Buds Kitchen full-time and develop her brand in the quickly growing market of children and family entertainment. Jessi’s discipline and drive for success have been ingrained in her from a young age by her entrepreneurial family and years as a competitive Division 1 swimmer. As one of the oldest of 23 cousins, she has a passion for kids and their development. Jessi believes that creativity and education in the kitchen play an important role in a child's development and helps kids to build self-confidence and independence. It is this passion, drive and entrepreneurial spirit that has developed and defined Taste Buds Kitchen at the forefront of the industry. When not at Taste Buds Kitchen, you can find Jessi at home enjoying her husband’s culinary talents, playing in the the kitchen with their baking-loving toddler and out on family walks with their one year old twins. Born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Jessi and her husband Jeff, a New York native, moved home in 2014 to be closer to family. She is a 1995 graduate of The Country School and is looking forward to giving back in any way that she can. She has wonderful memories from her time at The Country School and is excited for her son Lucius to start Pre-K this Fall.

   

Tim Cureton

Tim Cureton is Owner and CEO of Rise Up Coffee, an independent coffee company based out of Easton, Maryland. Tim graduated from Salisbury University, earning both a B.A. in Sociology and a Master’s in Education. After college, Tim’s desire to travel and interest in other cultures drove him to volunteer for the Peace Corps. Tim would have what would prove to be a life changing coffee experience while traveling home from his service in Micronesia. His love affair with coffee had begun. In 2005, Tim along with Abby West opened the first Rise Up Coffee in St. Michaels, Maryland. What started as one small coffee trailer in a parking lot, has evolved into five iconic locations. From the complexity of taste, its global reach and the connection provided to other world cultures, Tim finds continuous fascination through his life in coffee. Any time away from coffee is time spent with the greatest individual humanity has ever known, Tim’s seven year old son, Koa (‘24). Tim Cureton currently resides in Easton, Maryland.
 
 

Robin Davenport

Advocating for the best interest of children has been the guiding principle in Robin’s professional life. Since 1990, she has been the Executive Director for CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates) of the Mid Shore, a nonprofit organization serving maltreated children under court protection in Talbot, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s, and Kent Counties. Prior to joining CASA, she was the Executive Director of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Upper Eastern Shore; Director of the Victim Witness Assistance Center in the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office; and a Case Worker for the Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services in the Child Protective Services, Foster Care, and Adoptions Units.

Robin serves on several regional committees related to child welfare, was a gubernatorial appointee to the State Council on Child Abuse and Neglect, and is a Master Trainer for Maryland’s Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Cohort.

Robin has lived in Easton since 1985 with her husband, Scott Patterson, and their two daughters, Kendall ’01 and Becca ’04. While their daughters attended TCS, Robin was a room parent, House Manager for TCS’s annual productions, and a member of the Diversity Committee.

 

Sidney Davenport-Trond

A native of North Carolina, Sidney graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in Speech Communications. Upon graduation, Sidney moved to Richmond, VA, where she worked in advertising and public relations for 7 years before following her passion for cooking to The French Culinary Institute in New York City. With a goal of becoming a food writer, she wanted to get first-hand knowledge of the food industry by “working the line” in an upscale kitchen, so she moved to beautiful Nantucket Island and was hired as a line cook at the critically acclaimed Topper’s at the Wauwinet.

During her first summer, she met her future husband, and her work goals shifted. Together, they helped build a new island restaurant favorite, Oran Mor. After five years, a bitter winter on Nantucket and a desire to remain close to the water in a town known for good food led them to the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 2000. In 2001, they opened Gourmet by the Bay, an upscale catering and retail food market, in St Michaels.
 
Sidney has served on the Country School Parents Association Board for four years, as Member at Large and, most recently, as CSPA President. In addition to serving as a Trustee, Sidney is a member of the Board of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and has served as Vice-Chair of the St Michaels Planning Commission, as Chair of the St Michaels Ethics Commission, and as Treasurer of the St Michaels Business Association. Sidney lives in St Michaels with her husband, Jim, and their daughter Keeley (’25).

       

Chad Hill '94

Chad Hill was born and raised in Easton, Maryland, and is a member of The Country School Class of 1994. He is a 1998 graduate of The Hill School in Pottstown, PA, and a 2002 graduate of Elon University, where he earned a Business degree with a concentration in Marketing.

Upon returning to the Eastern Shore, Chad lived in Salisbury, where he owned and operated a successful full-service car wash. In 2010, Chad married Lindsey Moore. They moved to Easton in 2014 and now have two children: Laurie (Class of ’26) and David (age 4). 

Chad is vice president of Hill Hospitality, a hotel management and development company based in Easton, which operates a number of hotels along the East Coast. He is vice president of Caulk Management company, which manages various commercial buildings and businesses in Maryland. He serves as a Board member for Channel Marker, Inc. and is passionate about mental health awareness and advocating for the fight against the stigma of mental illness. He is also a proud and active volunteer for Character Counts and Junior Achievement.

Chad’s many interests include playing golf, traveling, surfing, and spending time with family and friends at the beach.

John Hockmeyer

John is a lifelong advocate of education as a vehicle for people to improve their lives. John has a B.A. from Vanderbilt University, M.Ed. from George Washington University, and M.B.A. from Johns Hopkins University. John taught high school level English in Charleston, SC, at the county magnet school for at-risk youth. He then changed career fields and worked for MedImmune-AstraZeneca, a global life sciences company, for 17 years. He held several roles of increasing responsibility in Sales & Marketing, Corporate Development & Strategy, and Biologics Manufacturing Operations Strategy. John and his family moved to Talbot County in 2013 from Bethesda, MD. John left the pharmaceutical industry and now manages agricultural properties. He has two young children at The Country School, Boden and Grace.

   

Dorothy Johnson

Dorothy Johnson was born in Caroline County and grew up in Denton, Maryland, and Bennington, Vermont. Dorothy currently resides with her husband C.O., son R.P. (‘21), and daughter Reagan (‘24).

Dorothy has been well involved in The Country School in many capacities, from being a Room Parent, CSPA President, and many other volunteering needs. Of those, her passion was serving on the CSPA Board and her
involvement with the student/parent body.

Prior to dedicating her time to The Country School, she was the Logistics Director at Paris Foods Corporation for 14 years.

  

Harriette Lowery

Harriette is an active affiliated member of St. Stephen’s A.M.E. Church in Unionville (Easton, MD) and a member of St. Ann Catholic Church in Baltimore.  She was born and raised in Talbot County until her family moved to Baltimore, MD at the age of 14.  She was married (47 years) to Eric Lowery and they have one son, Bomani, daughter-in-law, Jacqueline and two awesome grandsons, Brendon & Cameron.  Harriette has spent most of her career working for the City of Baltimore, 25 years in the Baltimore City Health Department as Assistant Training Coordinator for Sexually Transmitted Disease and 10 years as Executive Assistant to the Directors of Budget & Finance at City Hall.  In 1998, her family moved back to the Eastern Shore of Maryland (Talbot County).  For the last 16 years, she has worked at Chesapeake College encouraging and supporting the academic and social growth of the student population.  Two programs in particular are the SAIL program (Success And Interactive Learning) for first semester college students and FOCUS (First-Generation student Opportunity for Career and Ultimate Success) design for first-time male students.  Both programs offer strategies on how to navigate and be successful in college, academically and socially.
 
Harriette’s labor of love has been working with the Frederick Douglass Honor Society in partnership with other organizations on the Eastern Shore to educate, promote and preserve the history and the contributions of African-American citizens past and present on the Eastern Shore, especially in Talbot County.  It all began when she learned of the 18 Civil War Union soldiers (free and former enslaved blacks) who founded the village of Unionville, are buried there, and of which she is a direct descendent. 

   

Ereni Malfa

Ereni Gleason Malfa became the first alumna head of school for St. Paul's School for Girls in July 2019. Prior to returning to SPSG, she was head of the Upper School at Roland Park Country School, an independent school for girls in preschool through grade 12, where she had an exemplary tenure as an administrator and faculty member. Ereni is a lifelong science
educator and school administrator with 28 years of service. A Baltimore native, Ereni earned a Bachelor of Arts in Earth and Planetary Sciences and a Master of Science in Education, both from Johns Hopkins University after graduating from SPSG. Ereni currently serves on the Board of The Heads Network and the Board of Governors for the IAAM (Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland). She has volunteered her time for the Sally Nyborg Foundation and The Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins. She and her husband, Todd, are the proud parents of Tommy, a seventh grader, and Emmalina, a fifth grader.

   
Justin Nonemaker is co-founding partner of ShoreGate Partners, a privately held real estate company based out of Easton, Maryland.  ShoreGate invests and manages a real estate portfolio for close family and friends with a wide range of holdings including commercial, multi-family and self-storage properties located throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast United States.  Prior to founding ShoreGate Partners, Justin was a Managing Director for Meritage Properties, a private equity firm focused on commercial real estate investment, and also spent nearly four years with Goldman Sachs working within the Equities Division.  Justin graduated from Colgate University in 2002 with concentrations in both Economics and Spanish. Outside of professional experience, Justin has served six previous years on The Country School Board of Trustees, with five of those years as the Board Chair.  Justin also recently completed a six year tenure on the Board of Trustees for the Avalon Foundation in Talbot County.

Justin met his wife, Chesley, in Manhattan in 2005 and they married on April 5, 2008.  They have three children, Camilla '23, Sage '25, and James '27.  Justin and his family moved to Talbot County in June of 2013 from Potomac, Maryland, and currently live in Saint Michaels.
 

Lori Ramsey

Lori is a native of San Diego, CA, and has lived in Los Angeles, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Barcelona, New York, Durham, NC, and St. Michaels, MD. She earned an MBA from Erasmus Rotterdam School of Management and worked in business development and as a management consultant for over 25 years. Lori enjoys working in start-up operations where creating new products/programs and revenue streams are encouraged and mentoring non-profit organizations. She served on Wye River Upper Schools’ Strategic Planning Committee in 2018/2019 and on the recent WRUS Head of School Search Committee. She is most proud of
founding The Shared Table, a partnership of churches where people of all colors would join together to break bread and discuss community issues. Lori is currently on the advisory board of the Talbot County Senior Centers and a trustee and EMT for the St. Michaels Volunteer Fire
Department. She has also served on the board of Talbot Village Connections and the MRYC Foundation. She is the Executive Director of Temple B’nai Israel in Easton, MD where she recently produced a Contemporary Art Series featuring curators from the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, The Brooklyn Museum, and The Jewish Museum of New York. Lori, her wife, Kristen, and son Andrew are avid sailors and reside in St. Michaels, MD. Andrew graduated from The Country School in June of 2021.

   

Mike Roman

Mike has served as Director of the Horn Point Laboratory of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science in Cambridge since 2001. He joined the faculty at Horn Point in 1983 having previously worked at the University of Miami and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Mike is an oceanographer who presently studies climate change effects on ocean life. Mike currently serves as a Trustee of the U.S. Consortium of Ocean Leadership, on the scientific steering committee of a United Nations program on climate change effects on the ocean, and previously served as President of the International Oceanography Society. Mike attended Deerfield Academy (class of 67); Lake Forest College (B.A. in Biology,1971), The City College NY (M.S. in Oceanography,1973) and the University of New Hampshire (Ph.D. in Zoology, 1976).
 
Mike lives in Royal Oak with his wife Jennie. Their daughters Alexandra (2004) and Rachel (2005) both attended The Country School K through 8th grade.

   

Richard C. Tilghman, Jr.

Richard Tilghman was born in Baltimore, MD In 1947. He graduated from Gilman School in 1965 and received his BA in History, with honor, from Union College, Schenectady, NY, in 1969. He served in the US Naval Reserve, Submarine Service, from 1969 to 1975.  Mr. Tilghman received his JD with honor from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1975, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as an editor of the Law Review.  After serving as law clerk to the Honorable Frederick J. Singley, Associate Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, he joined the Baltimore law firm of Piper & Marbury (now known as DLA Piper) in 1976.  He became a partner in the firm in 1981. He was a member of the Corporate & Securities Department, serving as Vice Chair for a number of years.  He specialized in the Federal securities laws, representing public companies and securities underwriters, as well as the Maryland and Delaware corporate laws.
 
He retired from the firm in 2006 and moved permanently to Talbot County in order to oversee his family’s ancestral home, Wye House, a property acquired by one of his ancestors in 1659. He and his wife have devoted many hours to restoring the gardens on the property and making sure that the main house and numerous outbuildings are properly maintained.
 
Mr. Tilghman has served on the Boards of Trustees of a number of not-for-profit organizations on the Eastern Shore and in Baltimore.  These include Gilman School, Roland Park Country School (where he was Chair of the Board), Maryland Historical Society (now Maryland Center for History and Culture), Talbot Historical Society and Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.
 
He has been married to the former Beverly Wheeler since 1976.  They have one daughter, Elizabeth.

   
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