Board of Directors


Angelita D. Reyes, PhD
Founder & President

Angelita ReyesDr. Angelita Reyes is the founding director and CEO of Literacy InterActives, Inc. Reyes earned her doctorate from the University of Iowa in comparative literature and anthropology (1985). An award-winning author, teacher, and education consultant, Reyes is a distinct voice in today’s national and global arena of new approaches for social and organizational transformation. She began primary and field research on vernacular architecture and material culture in southern Virginia that produced the Patrick Robert “Parker” Sydnor historic log cabin site as a community and regional civic and public history project. The historic site is now listed on the prestigious National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia National Register.

Peter Bergstrom, PhD
Vice President

Peter BergstromDr. Peter V. Bergstrom hails from Wisconsin. Now residing in Greensboro, North Carolina, he continues his research pursuits in Virginia. After receiving his doctorate in early American history from the University of New Hampshire (1979), he spent ten years as a research associate with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. He has held teaching appointments at Illinois State University, the College of William and Mary, Hampton University, and Old Dominion University. Bergstrom is the author of Markets and Merchants: Economic Diversification in Colonial Virginia, 1700-1775 (1985) and has been a long-time contributor to the Virginia Biographical Dictionary project sponsored by the Library of Virginia. He lectures on Virginia history and genealogy for numerous historical and genealogical societies in Virginia, New Hampshire, and Illinois. Peter serves also on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Forum.

Alexandria J. Reyes, Esq.

Alexandria ReyesAlexandria J. Reyes, Esq., is an attorney at Robins Kaplan LLP in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has experience in contract disputes, products liability defense, financial litigation, class action lawsuits, and other complex business litigation. Reyes earned her Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude; and her Juris Doctor degree from Wake Forest University. She is a co-organizer of the Philando Castile Memorial Scholarship and is a board member of the St. Paul Central High School Foundation. A recipient of numerous awards for professional achievement and community service, she has also traveled to 33 countries in Europe, Central America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Dorothy M. David

Dorothy DavidDorothy M. David is the CEO of D. M. D. Tax & Accounting Services, LLC. She is a certified tax consultant who has a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in accounting. David works with virtually 160 clients on an annual basis and manages the accounting practices of several established small businesses and non-profit organizations. In addition to her civic engagements, David is a member of the American Association of Notaries and a Certified ProAdvisor for QuickBooks Online. David brings her distinctive accounting expertise and business acumen to the advancement of LIA.

Board Members

Mattie M. Cowan

Mattie CowanMattie Cowan is a life-long resident of Halifax County, Virginia. She attended Danville Community College where she studied Business Administration. Cowan recently retired from CenturyLink Telecommunications with 39 years of service in management positions. Cowan is active in the business community and serves as vice-chair of the Halifax County Planning Commission; she is president of the Halifax County Business and Professional Council; and past president of several community organizations. She was appointed by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam to serve on the Henrietta Lacks Commission, which will develop the Henrietta Lacks Life Sciences Center. Cells taken from Henrietta Lacks, an African American who lived in Halifax County, formed an immortal cell line in global medical research. Mattie Cowan brings her business expertise and extensive organizational skills to the Board.

Inez Arnett-Ferrer
Event Coordinator

Inez Arnett-FerrerInez Arnett-Ferrer recently retired to southern Virginia from New York City after 39 years in project management, staff development, and organizational leadership. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Iona College in New York. Through diligence and commitment to her profession, she attained a Six Sigma Black Belt in Business. Inez brings a skill set in management that inspires and sustains peak performance. In addition to volunteering as a computer teacher for senior citizens and serving as the Executive Director of a community children’s summer camp, Inez is excited about LIA. She is enthusiastically a part of “bridging our communities” in her new home place. With her husband, Allan Ferrer, Inez is the recipient of the 2019 Mecklenburg County NAACP Certificate of Appreciation for Community Service.

Doris Hester
Charter Member (2007-2018)*

Doris HesterDoris Hester was a native of Clarksville, Virginia and graduated from the HBCU, St. Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, Virginia. She received her Master of Arts degree in Higher Education from Longwood University and a Master of Arts degree in Education Mathematics from Syracuse University. Retired, Mrs. Hester practiced as a teacher and high school principal in Virginia for more than forty years. Her extensive range of participation and policy-making within community agencies include serving on the Board of Directors of the YMCA, the Sixth Multi-Jurisdictional Grand Jury, and the United Negro College Fund committee. Mrs. Hester was an anchor in Mecklenburg County, Virginia for bridging communities in diversity, patience, and understanding.

Douglas Sydnor, FAIA

Douglas SydnorDouglas Sydnor, FAIA, is the founding principal at Douglas Sydnor Architect & Associates, an architectural firm founded in 1993. Sydnor received his Masters in Architecture at Harvard University. He has practiced architecture for over 40 years with 225 completed commissions. His numerous design awards include the Governor’s Heritage Preservation Honor Award (2018). Sydnor’s professional and civic involvement is extensive with service on over 200 boards, committees, and design charrettes. Sydnor is a direct male descendant of Fortunatus Sydnor, the first Sydnor immigrant, an Englishman, to come to the Colony of Virginia in 1653. Doug has served on the LIA board of directors since 2013.

LIA at Work