Our vestry members serve three-year terms, and we elect a new class of vestrymen and women each year. Nominations are made by a committee and by the parish at large during our annual meeting. We encourage anyone who wants to serve on the vestry to raise a hand and let us know. We draw our leaders from across our parish spectrum, and we don’t want people to be shy about expressing an interest in this kind of service. The eligibility requirement for election to the vestry is as follows:

Canon 11, Section 4.
Only lay persons, who are confirmed adult communicants in good standing of the church, as defined in General Convention Canon 1.17, shall be eligible for election as Vestry members of such church. However, regardless of eligibility of a person for election, no person shall be elected at duly convened congregational meetings to consecutive full terms on a congregation’s Vestry or Vestry Committee.

Class of 2027 Vestry Members:

St. Mary’s elected four members in the Class of 2027 to the Vestry at the Annual Congregational Meeting on Sunday, January 28, 2024.

Andy Howlett

Andy and Katie Howlett chose St. Mary’s in 2015 on the recommendation of their friends Anne and Jesse McCoy. Their family of four knew they had found their church home as soon as they entered New St. Mary’s for the first time and heard John Miller deliver his sermon. Andy officially became an Episcopalian in 2018 by reception. He has been involved in youth mission trips, the discernment committee, and the search committee that called David May as rector of Mary’s.

The Auburn graduate works for Owens & Minor where he is a director of business operations and spends weekends as an “unpaid Uber driver” for daughter LJ and son Graydon, both of whom are active Richmond Kickers soccer players. Andy’s ideal evening is one spent around a fire pit with good friends or at a concert at one of Richmond’s many excellent music venues.

Mary-Taliaferro Keeney

A Norfolk native, Mary-Taliaferro found the Episcopal Church as a University of Richmond student and was confirmed at St. Stephen’s. She and husband Bruce attended All Saints for almost 40 years, then, in 2017, they moved to St. Mary’s. Mary-Taliaferro immediately joined the Fellowship Committee, which she found was a great way to meet people. From there, she joined the Early Education Committee and the Altar Guild and volunteered for Vacation Bible School. A gifted artist, Mary-Taliaferro also enjoys providing the newly baptized with a ceramic cross on behalf of St. Mary’s.

Professionally, she and Bruce ran a public relations and lobbying firm, prior to which she worked in the Virginia General Assembly. Since retiring last year Mary-Taliaferro feels fortunate to be more involved with St. Mary’s and to support its mission and purpose.

Meriwether Roberts

Meriwether’s life at St. Mary’s began at age one when her family moved to Richmond and joined the church. She grew up attending Sunday School, Children’s Chapel, and Vacation Bible School. After being confirmed, she participated in several youth mission trips. In her adult life at St. Mary’s, she has volunteered with the youth and children’s ministries through VBS, Children’s Chapel, Youth Group, and teaching Sunday School. Most recently, she directed the 2023 Christmas Pageant. In addition, she has been a member of St. Mary’s music ministry beginning at the age of four, singing in the Children’s Choir, Treble Choir, and the Adult Choir.

Meriwether graduated from the University of South Carolina with a double major in accounting and supply chain management. She just received her MBA from City, University of London and is a technology and digital transformation consultant. She spends her free time with her golden retriever Ginny and sailing competitively.

Frank Trice

Frank and his family decided to try a new church on Easter Sunday 2009. They loved the service, the campus, and the peaceful feeling of the congregation. And they received enthusiastic approval from their U of R law-student babysitter from Atlanta who accompanied them! Over the years Frank and his wife Charmaine have become more attached to and involved with the church. Frank has served as a lay reader, usher, and lay Eucharistic minister. Daughters Garland and Rainey were both confirmed at St. Mary’s.

Frank is a Board of Directors member at Davenport & Company LLC and heads up the advisory acquisitions efforts for the firm. He believes vestry service is a wonderful opportunity to help with the continued growth and development of St. Mary’s Church and to work with the talented team David has cultivated over the last few years.

Class of 2026 Vestry Members:

St. Mary’s elected four members in the Class of 2026 to the Vestry at the Annual Congregational Meeting on Sunday, January 29, 2023.

Henly DeutschHenly Deutsch

Henly Deutsch is a self-described “Virginia girl, born and raised in Newport News” before leaving for college at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg and then Medical College of Virginia School of Pharmacy in Richmond. Henly has worked for VCU Health as a staff pharmacist in various capacities since 1995. For more than 10 years, Henly has worked in Investigational Drug Services providing pharmacy services for clinical trials.

Henly and her husband, Mark, met in 1995, married in 1996, and joined St. Mary’s in 2000. Since then, they have been a part of St. Mary’s Supper Club, Hospitality Team, Youth Committee, Welcome Committee, Altar Guild, outreach opportunities, and Sacred Ground series. Henly and Mark have two sons, Jack and Davis. Henly and Mark have seen their boys through baptisms, confirmations, acolyting, youth groups, and mission trips to South Dakota, California and Georgia. Henly shared, “I am very excited to enter this next chapter in my life as an empty nester and look forward to turning my focus onto St. Mary’s. I truly feel that the stars have aligned, and God has called me to serve on the Vestry.”

Sandy McDonaldSandy McDonald

Sandy and Vanna McDonald moved to Richmond in August 2012, which was, in fact, their twelfth move together. Sandy often shares that they found their church before they found their home. Driving on River Road to look at houses and neighborhoods, Sandy and Vanna crossed into Goochland and found St. Mary’s at the top of the hill. Sandy shared, “‘Find a church‘ was immediately checked off our to-do list.”

Sandy and Vanna have been members of St. Mary’s for more than 20 years. For much of that time, Sandy traveled internationally for work. Since retirement, he and Vanna have enjoyed spending more time at St. Mary’s. Both Vanna and Sandy are members of the Pastoral Care Team 2 and volunteer as ushers for services and funerals. Sandy is also a member of Saint Mary’s Welcoming Committee. Sandy shared that St. Mary’s has become their “spiritual home.” He and Vanna have seen two of their children married and their two grandsons baptized in the church.

Celeste StallingsCeleste Stallings

Celeste and her family moved to Richmond from Raleigh, N.C., in 2010. Celeste shared that her family “felt God’s love, presence, and joy at St. Mary’s and feel very grateful to be a part of this wonderful church.” Celeste currently volunteers in the church office and is a member of the Grief Group.

In Raleigh, Celeste was a founding member of Holy Trinity Church, where she wore various hats, including organizing bible studies and teaching youth Sunday School.  Additionally, she has served on the Parents’ Committee for both the University of Virginia (Will ’18) and The University of the South (Emily ’21) when her children were students.

Geoff SimrilGeoff Simril

Geoff Simril was raised in St. Louis, Missouri, in the Lutheran Church. He later graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and Harvard Business School, and he served three years as a Naval officer. Geoff married his wife, Patsy, in 1998, and they have three children Peter Vick, Jane Vick, and Henry Simril. They also have three grandchildren.

Geoff was confirmed in the Episcopal Church in 1999. He and Patsy joined St. Mary’s in 2016. He serves as a Lay Eucharistic Minister, lector, and usher. He also volunteers for parish breakfasts, participates in the Men’s Spiritual Practice, and leads the Men’s Meal Ministry.

Class of 2025 Vestry Members:

St. Mary’s elected four members in the Class of 2025 to the Vestry at the Annual Congregational Meeting held Sunday, January 30, 2022.

Jeff Allende, Senior Warden

Jeff’s first Episcopalian memories are participating as an acolyte and being confirmed at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Beckley, W.V. When he moved to Richmond after college, he attended St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church where he and his wife Page were married, and their kids, Ashe and Kaki, were baptized. When Ashe was a middle schooler, he became less eager to join the family at church and they realized that perhaps St Stephen’s had become too big a congregation for their family. The Allendes began searching for a church home where they truly felt they belonged, and, thankfully, found St. Mary’s. That was 12 years ago, and they couldn’t be happier. Both Ashe and Kaki were confirmed at St. Mary’s, and Ashe and his wife, Catherine, were married by David May in 2021. Page’s passion for fostering newborns has led to many “baby blessing” services in Little St. Mary’s as well. Jeff has been honored to have served on the St. Mary’s vestry previously, to have taught youth (middle school) Sunday school, participated in the outreach and CARITAS committees, led a pastoral care team, and to have participated in two discernments.


Ros Bowers

Over the years, St. Mary’s Church has been a part of many joyous and tragic times for Ros. He and his three sisters were baptized at St. Mary’s. In 1971, Holt Souder buried his father. A few years later, his mother and stepfather Armistead Talman were married at St. Mary’s. Throughout Ros’ childhood, John Miller shepherded him and his sisters through confirmation classes and acolyte duty. Then two of his three children were baptized at St. Mary’s and all three were confirmed and have been acolytes. He and his wife Didi have been Sunday School teachers, prayer readers, and ushers. They’ve enjoyed participating in CARITAS and other St. Mary’s outreach programs. Ros served on the vestry once before and was previously co-chair of the annual stewardship campaign with Jim Crawford. In addition, he has served on the finance committee and is currently a member of the legacy committee. In 2018, his stepfather Armistead Talman was buried in the churchyard at St. Mary’s. But then in 2020, his mother Peggy and Austin Brockenbrough were married by David May at St. Mary’s in a beautiful, outdoor service in the midst of a pandemic.

Linda Hyslop

Linda is a lifelong Episcopalian, who has attended St. John’s in Hopewell, Wicomico Parish in the Northern Neck, and Hickory Neck in Toano (her grandmother’s church). She graduated from St. Mary’s College in Raleigh and Louisiana State University in New Orleans. Linda and John married after his first year of medical school at Tulane. Following that, Linda worked in IT (long before it was called IT) in New Orleans and Richmond until John completed his residency. Prior to joining St. Mary’s, they were members of Forest Hill Presbyterian Church, but then became members of St. Mary’s in the mid-1990s with four young children. Linda initially volunteered with Sunday School and later served with the fellowship committee, CARITAS, altar guild, joined a pastoral care team, and became an usher. She treasures the friendships made working with these groups and is grateful for the dedicated staff and others who faithfully work to make St. Mary’s such a special place.

Barbara Tavenner, Junior Warden

Barbara Tavenner is a cradle Episcopalian who was raised at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Greenville, N.C. She’s been married for 31 years to Bill Tavenner, also a cradle Episcopalian, and they have three sons: Jack, Cab, and Ben. Barbara attended UNC-Chapel Hill, majoring in finance, and worked as a banker for First Union Bank before becoming a stay-at-home mom. Barbara and Bill settled in his hometown of Richmond 20 years ago after six corporate moves and fully enjoy calling Virginia their home. In her free time, Barbara enjoys traveling, playing pickleball, needlepointing, volunteering, and walking their golden retriever. Currently, she co-chairs the St. Mary’s welcomers’ committee with Patsy Simril. Barbara also works part time with Naborforce helping senior citizens by providing social interaction, support for errands and transportation to appointments.