Menokin Staff

Meet the Team

SAM McKELVEY
smckelvey@menokin.org

Sam comes to Menokin with over five years of museum management experience. Before coming to Menokin, Sam managed multiple museums within the Henrico County Virginia Historic Preservation and Museum Services section. In addition to museum management, Sam led teams of professionals in event coordination, historic preservation, and historic programming throughout the county. Sam holds a MA in History from Virginia Commonwealth University and a BS in Geography and History from James Madison University.  While Sam’s early passion was for Civil War history; preservation of landscapes, buildings and architecture has always been close to his heart. In addition to his time with Henrico, Sam serves a Trustee to the Virginia Association of Museums.

Originally born in Columbia Missouri, Sam spent much of his youth in northeastern Maryland before coming to Virginia to attend college. Sam moved to central Virginia after meeting and marrying New Kent Virginia native, April. April and Sam have three children, Alden, Sydney, and Isla, as well as a spunky lab named Murphy and an indignant cat, Nash.  Sam thrives on working with new and developing museums and is thrilled to be working with the talented and dedicated Menokin board and staff to take Menokin to the next level.

ALICE FRENCH
afrench@menokin.org

Alice has been working with museums in the Northern Neck since 2007.  Her work has centered around the historic, cultural and tourism community.  Now at the Menokin Foundation as the Director of Education and Programs, she develops and creates programs for 4th grade through lifelong learners about the historical, architectural and environmental attributes of this 500 acre conservation classroom. Alice is effective in organizing collaborative community relationships with an emphasis on preservation, conservation and embracing new technologies. In addition she develops interpretation for exhibit spaces and guided/non-guided tour experiences, assists in event planning, and organizes and oversees work with volunteers and interns. She has a diverse work history in interior design, set design and art retail management.

Alice has a BFA in Sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, and continues to make various types of art, currently in stained glass. She is married to an architect: Forrest and has three amazing kids. She loves to kayak, camp and drink a glass of wine on the river.

JULIANA GRASSIA
jgrassia@menokin.org

Prior to starting at Menokin in 2017, Juliana was with the University of North Carolina at Asheville, where she served in the Division of University Advancement. Her work at UNC Asheville centered on engaging alumni and community members to help them feel connected to the mission and vision of the university. In addition, she previously worked on two local political campaigns where she gained valuable experience in community outreach, relationship building, and advocacy.

Originally from New Jersey, Juliana graduated from UNC Asheville in 2015 with degrees in political science and French. She is currently a graduate student in the Johns Hopkins University Museum Studies program. Juliana is an avid New York Mets baseball fan and enjoys reading, kayaking, and exploring historic places.

PIA SPINNER
pspinner@menokin.org

A lifelong lover of history and museums, Pia has worked at sites such as the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the Lynchburg Museum, and Henricus Historical Park. She has a variety of experience in the different facets of museums: costumed interpretation, docent, trades (historic foodways), and museum education.

A native of Lynchburg, Virginia, Pia graduated from the College of William and Mary in 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in History, mainly concentrating on African-American history. Pia is super thrilled to be a part of the Menokin team as Education Research Assistant.

CLARISSA SANDERS
csanders@menokin.org

Clarissa began her career in museums in 2010.  Prior to joining the Menokin staff, Clarissa worked at the John J. Wright Museum.  As the administrator and sole employee, she was responsible for board development, strategic planning, and community engagement.  Clarissa also worked for Henrico County in the Historic Preservation and Museum Services section as a researcher and interpreter.  Her experience has taught her how to handle the challenges and joys of wearing multiple hats to meet institutional goals.

Clarissa is a native of Spotsylvania, Virginia.  She graduated from Bridgewater College with a BA in History.  She also earned a MA in Museum Studies from the University of Oklahoma and a MA in History from George Mason University.   When she isn’t spending time with loveable Jack Russells, Clarissa enjoys attending concerts or playing board games with her family.