Town Council Member Bios
(Jay) Harry Lee Arnold, Jr., Recorder
Bio to come
Donna Marie McDonald, Town Council Member - Ward 1
Bio to come
Diane Harrison, Town Council Member - Ward 2
I have always had an interest in town and county issues since I moved here over 14 years ago. I soon learned that if you spoke it, you owned it…. That became my philosophy – if I had to complain about an issue, I also wanted to have an idea on how to solve it. It is easy to find fault with things but another to be able to come to the table with ideas of resolution. I believe a strong, vibrant downtown is key to the survival of a town. Having a vibrant downtown and small industry on the outskirts helps keep our taxes in check while still being able to maintain and make improvements within our neighborhoods and surrounding areas giving everyone a good quality of life. There are always challenges to this, but I believe we have a good team with our town staff and council that will help ensure this happens. I serve on three committees – Public Safety, Community Development, and Chair Streets and Utilities.
My husband, Russ, son, Liam, and I moved here going on 15 years. Our home is in the historic district – yes, that does relate to being in upgrade a great deal of the time. I operate our family art, pottery, and soap business from our home on S. Church Street and we are part of the Top of Virginia Artisan Trail. The household became one of only two this year as our son started at VCU Arts in Richmond. During my time here in Berryville, I have volunteered in a variety of positions including the school on PTO, Board and Chair of Berryville Main Street, Barns of Rose Hill, coordinated three Clarke County Studio Tours, and served on the board of Opus Oaks. I have been on the board of Chesapeake Area Alaskan Malamute Protection for eight years and currently serve as treasurer. I also am in my second year on the Clarke County EMS Commission as co-chair.
I started work while still in high school and stopped traditional work when my son turned three. I worked for UMass – Amherst in Administration and Finance and Shepherd College in the same department. My husband and I moved to Colorado where I took a position of executive assistant to the president of Vectra Bank Colorado and then moved into the marketing department when he left the company. Being a stay-at-home mom left lots of time for volunteer duties which turned into graphic design work and websites for non-profits. About seven years ago, I ventured into the realm of pottery and in the last two years, have been working from our shop/studio in our home. Last fall, I started creating soap and grooming products which we also sell from the shop, farmers markets, shows, and retail locations.
Lots of things have brought me to this point in my life and my position on Town Council. I believe each of those things has made me ready for this position to serve with an open mind, a listening heart, and the drive to bring it all together.
Erecka Gibson, Town Council Member - Ward 3
Erecka Gibson began her first term as Town Council Member – Ward 3 in July 2016. Council member Gibson serves as Chairperson of the Budget and Finance Committee and as a member of the Personnel, Appointments, and Policy Committee. She is honored to serve the citizens of Berryville.
Erecka has resided in Berryville since February 2006. She lives with her daughter Olivia and her mom Lynn. Professionally, she is an Accounting Director at The George Washington University in Ashburn, VA where she has worked since February 2005. She has previously worked at IBM Business Consulting Services, PwC Consulting, and SallieMae. She earned her B.S. degree from Towson University and is a licensed C.P.A.
Kara C. Rodriguez, Town Council Member - Ward 4
Kara C. Rodriguez was elected to represent Ward 4 on the Town Council on May 1, 2018, with a term beginning July 1, 2018. Her term will expire June 30, 2022.
Rodriguez's interest in being on the Town Council stems from a desire to serve the community the way she knows best -- by taking an active role in ensuring its prosperity. Rodriguez and her husband Ipolito moved to Berryville in June 2013 to start their family, and are the proud parents of three children. Her desire to maintain Berryville as the best, and one of the last true, small towns in Northern Virginia is rooted in the need to ensure it's the best place to raise a family.
Rodriguez chairs the Community Development Committee, a re-branded committee that has as its main areas of focus economic development and enhancements that contribute to the town's vibrancy and vitality. She is also a member of the Budget & Finance Committee, with a keen focus of hers being a process-oriented budget that anticipates future projects and challenges and plans for them. Prior to joining the council, Rodriguez was a member of the Tree Board and the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Professionally, she is a reporter for Loudoun Now, a weekly, community-owned newspaper, where she covers the Town of Leesburg municipal government and business features. She is a graduate of New York University where she studied journalism. Rodriguez is originally from Chantilly.
Rodriguez's passion lies in her desire to serve and represent her neighbors and she encourages constituents to reach out to her with any concerns or suggestions.