On May 13, 2021, a quorum of the membership of the Arlington Historical Society voted for this slate of officers and members of the Board of Directors for the 2021-2022 year.

Cathy Hix: President

Cathy is returning for another term as president. She joined the AHS board in 2016. Cathy is an Arlington native who attended Arlington Public Schools. She was a social studies teacher and specialist in Arlington for 34 years, and before retiring, was the K-12 Social Studies Supervisor for Arlington Public Schools for five years. In addition to her AHS Board responsibilities, Cathy currently works as an educational consultant.

Gerald Haines: Vice President

Gerry will be returning to the board for another term and his second as vice-president. He has been a member of the AHS board since 2017. He was Chief Historian of the Central Intelligence Agency from 1998 to 2002, Chief Historian of the National Reconnaissance Office of the Department of Defense from 1994 to 1998, and a historian at the National Security Agency from 1986 to1992. After retiring from the CIA, Gerry taught Latin American Relations and U.S. Intelligence at the University of Virginia for 12 years.

Sean Denniston: Secretary

Sean will be returning to the board for a third term and his second as secretary. He is originally from Boston but has been a Crystal City resident since 2007. A licensed attorney, Sean works as a project manager at the Federal Aviation Administration. He has a master’s degree in history and is a docent at the Arlington Historical Museum.

John Tuohy: Treasurer

John is returning for another term as treasurer. He is a Certified Public Accountant and long-time resident of Arlington. John has also served as Treasurer of the Warren G. Stambaugh Foundation, CrisisLink, and the Arlington Red Cross. He also is Union officer reenactor with the 28th Massachusetts Company B Civil War reenactment unit.


Annette Benbow

Annette is returning to the board for another term. She is the Chair of the Ball-Sellers House Committee, is on the Events Committee, and heads the AHS social media team. She is a retired government employee. She lived in Arlington briefly but has worshipped in the county for more than 30 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of New Hampshire.

Charles Clark

Charlie Clark is a longtime journalist in the Washington, D.C. area who writes the weekly “Our Man in Arlington” column for the Falls Church News-Press. He has written two books, Arlington County Chronicles and The Hidden History of Arlington County, both published by The History Press. In July 2019, he retired as senior correspondent for Government Executive Media Group, part of Atlantic Media. He previously has worked as an editor or writer for The Washington Post, Congressional QuarterlyNational Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. This will be his first term on the AHS board.

Tom Dickinson

Tom is returning to the board for another term. He served as president of AHS from 2010 to 2012 and as a member of the board from 2003 to 2013 and from 2016 to the present. Tom is active in historic preservation in the county and has created a photo exhibition on the transformation of early Arlington houses. He is a retired Department of Defense employee. Tom has been a member of AHS since 1981 and serves as a docent at the Arlington Historical Museum. Recently, he led the recent effort to preserve the historic Febrey-Lothrop-Rouse estate.

Patrick Hope

Patrick will be returning to the board for another term.  Patrick is a member of the Virginia General Assembly as the Delegate from the 47th District and was re-elected for his sixth term in 2019. An Arlington resident, Patrick is a health care attorney.  He has been involved in numerous community activities and was the founding President of the Buckingham Community Civic Association. He is also active in several Arlington organizations and has been a member of the Arlington Historical Society since 2015.

Tracy Hopkins

Tracy will be returning to the board for another term. She has been membership coordinator for AHS and a Ball-Sellers House docent since 2015 and was named AHS Volunteer of the Year in 2018. Tracy is a US Navy veteran and studied environmental engineering. She is retired from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Other volunteer efforts include the Military Women’s Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.

Jessica Kaplan

Jessica will be returning to the board for another term. She is a long-time resident of Arlington with a Master’s degree in American history. For more than 20 years, Jessica worked as an archivist and freelance historical researcher. She researches and writes about Arlington history for the Arlington Historical Magazine, including “The Bottom: An African-American Enclave Rediscovered,” and ‘”I Was a Union Man’: James and Lewis Marcey’s Civil War Experience.” Last year, she became editor of the Arlington Historical Magazine.

Annette Marrero-Oliveras

Annette will be returning to the board for her second term. She was born, raised, and completed science studies in Puerto Rico. Buildings that dated back to the 1600s on that island captured her attention and instilled in her an appreciation for history. Before living in Arlington, she lived in Montgomery County, Maryland. She is currently a project analyst for the National Institute of Health. She is a docent at the Ball-Sellers House.

Lara McCauley

She is Global Vice President, Business and Change Communications at Mars, Inc. She is a corporate affairs professional with more than 15 years of experience working in Management Consulting with strong communications, reputation, process improvement and project management experience and she has worked for both public and private sector clients in management consulting, spanning many functions within business including finance, research and development, manufacturing and corporate affairs. In her current role, she leads Global Business and Change Communications for Mars, Incorporated. She is returning for a second year on the AHS board and lives in Arlington.

David Pearson

David is a lifelong Arlingtonian and he fondly remembers visiting the Arlington Historical Museum growing up. He went to William & Mary, worked as an accountant, and then went to the University of Virginia School of Law. He recently retired from The Carlyle Group, where he was in-house counsel for 18 years. His duties included negotiating the legal terms of Carlyle’s multi-billion dollar investment funds with investors around the globe. David has three children–two at Yorktown High School and one at Dorothy Hamm Middle School, where his wife is the PTA President. David is an Eagle Scout, was the Cubmaster for Cub Scout Pack 149 at Cherrydale United Methodist Church and is currently a volunteer with Boy Scout Troop 149. He has also coached soccer and T-ball teams and was previously a director of America Scores, a national organization providing after school activities in inner-city middle schools. David is returning to the AHS board this year and currently serves as the Docent Coordinator for the Arlington Historical Museum and is also a docent there.

Michael Schaffner

Michael Schaffner is a long-time resident of Arlington County, a retired federal employee, an avid amateur historian, and a member of Company B, 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. He has given presentations to Civil War Round Tables in Charleston, South Carolina; Harpers Ferry; Baltimore; and Rock Creek Park; as well as at the Museum of Civil War Medicine and to the Arlington Sesquicentennial Committee. The subjects of his Arlington Continuing Education classes have included Civil War paperwork, tactics, the “Battle of Washington,” and the decisive impact of African American soldiers and civilians on U.S. victory in the war. He is also a writer and his publications include the novel War Boys and the poetry collection The Good Opinion of Squirrels, as well as poems in a recent anthology written in Arlington. He is currently spending a lot of time with the regimental books of the 2nd United States Colored Infantry, organized in Arlington over the summer and fall of 1863, and hopes to produce a history of the regiment. This would be his first year on the AHS board.

Karl VanNewkirk

Karl will be returning to the board for another term. He has served four terms as president of AHS (1991-92, 1994-95, and 2015-17), has been a docent at the Arlington Historical Museum since the early 1990s, and was the editor of the Arlington Historical Magazine from 1992 to 2015. He has taught an popular course on Arlington history for Encore Learning since 2003 and is a frequent speaker on Arlington history throughout the county.  He is a former member of the board of directors of the Arlington Black Heritage Museum and volunteers with the archaeology department at Gunston Hall. Karl is retired; during his working career he spent almost 40 years in the intelligence and national security community.