Palisades Village is led by a highly qualified executive staff and board of directors with decades of high-level experience in a wide range of fields, who tirelessly work to help the organization fulfill its vision. Learn more about our staff and board below.
Andrea Saccoccia, Executive Director
For over a decade, Andrea Saccoccia has been an advocate for senior care issues. She was the former Director of Project Mend-A-House, a volunteer-based organization that provided home repair and home modification services to seniors, persons with disabilities and low-income residents so they could remain safely, independently and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. Under her leadership, Andrea partnered with the local Area Agency on Aging and other non-profit organizations to expand programs and services. As a member of the Fall Prevention Coalition, she secured funding and designed fall prevention workshops and performed personalized fall risk assessments. Under Andrea’s leadership, the organization prospered and received several honors including the Prince William Human Rights Award, Commonwealth of Virginia’s Innovation Award and was recognized by the Catalogue for Philanthropy as one of the finest organizations in the greater metropolitan Washington DC area. Andrea also served on the executive board of the Greater Prince William Coalition for Human Services and is an advocate for senior services and providing accessible housing. Andrea and Ken have been married for over 29 years and have two adult children, Chris and Elizabeth.
Erica Blanton. Office Manager
Board of Directors
John Stiner, President, Spring Valley
John’s has co-owned a marketing, branding and design firm, Breckenridge Design Group, for 30 years and provides clients with strategic marketing advice. The firm also designs and develops marketing products such as logos, websites, annual reports, magazines, advertising and other products. Prior to starting his business, John practiced law with Baker & McKenzie and Nickerson & Stiner. He served in the US Department of Commerce as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Trade and other positions in the 1980s. He was a senior marketing executive at L-3 Communications, focusing on technology and services for the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security.
He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut Law School (Law Review) (1980) and Connecticut College (1974). He is a Member of the DC Bar. John has been a volunteer at Palisades Village for about one year and volunteers at Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind. He has been a resident of DC since 1980 and Spring Valley since 1987. He is married with two adult sons.
Char Mollison, Secretary, Palisades
Char Mollison is currently Senior Fellow of the Center for Nonprofit Management, Philanthropy and Policy and a Member of the Affiliated Faculty at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. She began her career in 1977 at a national advocacy organization called WEAL where she developed the team of volunteers and staff and raised the financial support that resulted in several new laws relating to women’s legal and economic advancement. For the next 17 years she held senior positions at the Council on Foundations, an association of grantmakers, and at Independent Sector, a coalition of US-based nonprofits and philanthropies. She has been teaching graduate courses in nonprofit management for 20 years, first at Georgetown University, then at Johns Hopkins University and George Mason University.
Her current national board service includes the Wise Giving Alliance of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, which sets standards for nonprofit organizations, and Charities Aid Foundation America, which manages the international grantmaking of corporate, foundation and individual donors. Locally, she has served on the boards of Planned Parenthood and the House of Ruth. She is a member of the Pan Handlers, the volunteer chefs for Palisades Village events.
Her late husband was Andy Mollison, a former board president of Palisades Village and leader regionally and nationally in the aging-in-place movement. She lives with her big orange tabby cat in a 1926 Sears kit house in the Palisades and is an opera and baseball fanatic.
Ellen Myerberg, Treasurer
Ellen has 40 years of experience as an accountant or Director of Finance for a variety of non-profit or governmental organizations including the Montgomery Housing Opportunities Commission, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Environmental Law Institute, and the Wellness Community. Her duties during this period varied from overseeing all accounting and finance activities to being responsible for various specialized accounting activities.
I currently volunteer at Palisades Village in the office. I also volunteer with The Smithsonian Associates, Learning Ally, and at the Blackwater Wildlife refuge in Cambridge, Maryland. Ellen holds a BA from Duke University, and MPA from Cornell University and an MBA from University of Maryland.
Lydia Benson, Spring Valley
We are excited to have a new member of the board, Lydia Benson, who co-chaired the 2016 house tour with me. Lydia is a resident of Spring Valley and a Realtor with WC&AN Miller. Lydia has been President of the All Hallows Guild at the Washington Cathedral and a leader in organizing the National Cathedral Flower Mart and many other local events. Lydia and her husband, veterinarian Dr. Randy Benson, raised two daughters in Spring Valley. She will be featured in next month’s issue. Please welcome Lydia to the board and I’m sure you will meet her soon.
Janet Bullinger, Palisades
Janet is a native of a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, and arrived in Washington, DC, in 1965. She has lived in the Palisades since 1976 and formerly worked as a legal assistant in law firms and then part-time until retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court Reporter’s Office. Currently she is a docent at the U.S. Supreme Court, a volunteer at Sibley Hospital, and the treasurer of the Widowed Persons Outreach Service through Sibley Seniors. She is also actively involved with a lawyers’ wives group on a local and national level. For fun and exercise she enjoys walking her Tibetan terrier, Mickey Mouse, through the streets and pathways of the Palisades. Her other interests include reading, gardening, and needlepoint.
Ted Chaconas, Palisades
Ted is Managing Partner of Chaconas & Wilson, CPAs in Washington, DC where he has been in practice for over 40 years. He is a graduate of The American University. Ted is past president of the Rotary Club of Washington and The American University Alumni Association, and past director of the Greater Washington Board of Trade.
George Farr, Wesley Heights
As a director of the Division of Preservation and Access at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), George created and administered a series of federal grant programs that helped preserve and ensure access to important cultural holdings in the nation’s libraries, archives, and museums. He also established funding categories for the support of major encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, databases and other digital resources of significance to the humanities. In 2005, the Society of American Archivists honored George’s “distinguished career” at NEH by giving him its J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award, “in recognition of his groundbreaking work and its national impact on the preservation and access of archival and library materials.” He and his wife, Judith Farr, moved to the Palisades in 1997, after living in the Washington area for over twenty years. George was a member of the Senior Executive Service and served as the Deputy Chairman of NEH in 1999-2000. He holds a B.A. and Ph.D. in English from Yale University.
Carol Lynn Halal, Kent
Carol Lynn holds a Masters in Social Work and is a licensed independent clinical social worker. She served as Director, Patient Services, Dupont Dialysis Center for ten years, and thereafter as Vice President of Programs for the American Kidney Fund for eighteen years.
Margaret Lewis, Palisades
Margaret was born in the North of England, near the area known as the Lake District. Prior to moving to Washington, she and her family lived in London, England, Uganda, Africa and Newfoundland and Montreal Canada. She arrived in Washington DC in 1977 and has been an active and enthusiastic promoter of the Palisades community ever since. Margaret studied nursing in Edinburgh, Scotland, becoming a practicing state-registered nurse, specializing in children’s care. Following relocation to the US she became a Realtor and worked for the Frank Phillips Company until its closure. Currently she is a Realtor at WC and AN Miller, a Long and Foster Company.
Phil Potter, Palisades
Phil has been a resident of the Palisades community since 1978. Phil was raised in Oklahoma, and practiced law in Colorado before coming to Washington in 1969. He was appointed Dep. Asst. Secretary for Congressional Relations/International at the U.S. Treasury Department in 1970-71, and moved to be a founding member of the lobbying firm Walker/Potter Associates in 1973. Later, Phil started the Law Offices of Philip H. Potter and continued his legal and legislative practice where he focused on International Trade and energy related issues, retiring in 2009.
Phil serves as Chair of the Church Council of Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church which is part of a three-church parish. Phil holds a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma Law School. He lives with his wife, Peggy Pagano, in the Palisades.
Elizabeth Schueler, Palisades
Lizzie joined the Board in December 2012. She lived in the Palisades from 2000-2003, and recently moved back in 2010. She is a Senior Director of Markets Transformation at the World Wildlife Fund where she has been since 2008. Beforehand, she was with Microsoft, based in Istanbul and then in Redmond, WA where she led two different global Corporate Social Responsibility Programs for the company. Lizzie also has worked for USAID, Waste Management International and the United Nations Environment Program, based in Nairobi.
She started and chaired the Lewis and Clark County Community Foundation, and has been a board member of the Yellowstone Parks Foundation and a Member of the Corporation of the Winsor School. She is a native Bostonian, and holds a BA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and an M.A.L.D. from Tufts’ Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.