Leadership is the capacity to
translate vision into reality.
-Warren Bennis

Pam Kloeppel, President

Before retirement Pam was the Senior Coordinator for Guidance in Norfolk Public Schools, supervising 144 counselors and now works in a small family commercial real estate business.

Her  love, though,  is community involvement. She’s  past chairman of Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority board and former chair of the Portsmouth Museum and Fine Arts Commission. She chairs the Cedar Grove Cemetery Foundation, is a member and former president of the Elizabeth River Garden Club, a member and former chair of the Swimming Point Civic League, founding president of the Todi Music Fest and former vestry member of Trinity Episcopal Church. Pam is now president of People for Portsmouth PAC.

She is married to Pete Kloeppel and  they have two sons, Pete Jr. and Mark,  and a grandson.

Joe Wright

Joe attended IC Norcom and is a lifelong  Portsmouth resident except for his tour of duty at the end of the Korean War as a US Army infantry paratrooper.

Joe worked for both the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and U.S. Postal Service. During this time he also volunteered as a little league coach for 17 years and as manager for the Cavalier Manor Swimming Pool for 8 years.

Joe is best known for his 32 year involvement on the Cavalier Manor Police and Community Relations Board, a Neighborhood Watch  organization.  He is also a 24 year Court Watcher and attends Portsmouth Criminal Courts and nonviolent drug courts twice a week.

Joe and his wife, Betty, have been married  for 58 years, have three grown children and reside in Cavalier Manor.  They are the first  African American couple in Who’s  Who in American Jr. Colleges and on the Dean’s  List while earning Business Management degrees at Tidewater Community College.

Maurice Slaughter

A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana Maurice Slaughter is well known around the area because of his three Harley-Davidson dealerships including Bayside Harley-Davidson in Portsmouth.

With a soft spot for Louisiana, he specializes in restoration and management of historical properties in New Orleans. His current projects are the rehabilitation of an apartment complex damaged by Hurricane Katrina and restoration of a mixed use property which will feature an art gallery thats intended for local artists to exhibit their work.

Maurice is a proud member of the Norfolk Chapter of the Guardsmen, and the Virginia Beach/Chesapeake Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. He serves on the Board of Directors at BB&T Bank and the Portsmouth Partnership. He also serves as a Board Member to the ODU Foundation and the Elizabeth City State College Board of Visitors and is a Board Member for the colleges School of Business.

Fred Schoenfeld

Born and raised in Norfolk, Fred attended the University of Cincinnati and graduated in 1967 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. When he returned to Tidewater in 1968, he built his first theatre (the Plaza) in the Churchland section of Portsmouth, which opened in 1970.

Currently Fred owns and operates the Commodore Theatre in Portsmouth which he restored between 1987 and 1989. The Commodore was the first and still is the only theatre of its kind to offer high quality food within the auditorium. Fred lives in Old Towne in a historic 1880 home.

As treasurer of People for Portsmouth, he is responsible for all monies received, payment of all expenses and filing the required quarterly reports with the State Board of Elections.

Connie Hartung, Secretary

Born and raised in Portsmouth, Connie was married for 47 years to Bootsie Hartung and had two sons.

Connie’s career path always involved helping others. She worked in accounting for Springwood Psychiatric Hospital and later dispatched fire and rescue responders for Loudoun County. She even volunteered as an EMT with the Rescue Squad for eight years.

After her husband’s  retirement as an air traffic controller, they moved to the Outer Banks. Connie, still active, served on the board and as secretary for Cape Hatteras Anglers’  Club and was a member of an all women’s  fishing team. She fished every chance she could, except when attending Little Grove Methodist Church and acting as its treasurer.

After her husband’s death, Connie returned to Portsmouth to be closer to family. She had a pivotal role in organizing the Railroad Museum of Virginia, and became its manager. Connie is now employed by the Portsmouth’s  Sheriff’s  Department in Community Corrections and Pretrial Services and serves as People for Portsmouth’s secretary.

Lee Cherry

Lee Cherry is a Portsmouth  native who  attended Churchland High School, Hargrave Military Academy and Elon College.

Lee was  vice president of Cherry Carpets for 26 years,  and president and owner  of Lee Cherry Carpet Sales  for 13 years. He also owned and operated  Cherry Point Stables  for 20 years.

Currently  Lee is a  captain in the Portsmouth Sheriff’s Office where he serves as a Criminal Investigator and Public Information Officer.  He has been married to Sue Bradshaw for 46 years. They have three daughters and five grandchildren.

Randolph Boothe-Pharr, Education Liaison

Randolph Boothe-Pharr was born in Hampton Virginia and educated in North Carolina and New England. He earned a B.A. from Norfolk State University and graduate work took him to New York, France and the United Kingdom. Randolph received a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship for study at the University of the Gambia, West Africa as well as a Fellowship sponsored by the African-American Cultural Centre.

In New York City Randolph was professor of history at New Platz and Associate Executive Director of Health and Hospital Corporations.  He also served as a lieutenant in the United States Army.

Randolph returned to Virginia to be with his family.  Here he taught history at both Tidewater Community College and Paul D. Camp Community College before retirement in 2014.  He has been a Portsmouth resident for 19 years
and married Vivian, a Portsmouth native, in 2005.

He serves on the vestry of Trinity Episcopal Church and as People for Portsmouth’s education liaison.

Randi Strutton, Candidates Chair

Randi Strutton grew up in Cradock and now lives in Churchland. She earned a B.A. degree in English from University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and earned her masters degree in English at ODU.

While Randi’s work history includes teaching English, she is best known for her work to establish, develop, and operate Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve in Churchland.  She led the way to conserve the natural resources of the 142-acre parcel of “wilderness” for public education and recreation.  In 1997, she became Executive Director of the Foundation, a position she held until she retired in 2013.

Randi has also devoted time in Portsmouth as a volunteer.  She tutored  for the Tidewater Literacy Council and served on the Portsmouth School Board’s  Community Oversight Committee.  She, with others,  initiated Save Our Buffers, forcing local officials to comply with the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Act.

She is married to Ray Strutton and they have one son, Mark and two granddaughters.