Executive Director

Writer and JRW Executive Director Katharine HerndonKatharine Herndon was a fan of James River Writers even before they hired her. She has attended all twelve conferences and well over fifty Writing Shows, and she plans to improve on that number in 2015. She was on the board for several years in a variety of roles, including executive secretary, co-chair of the 2011 conference committee (with the wonderful Valley Haggard), and membership chair. Prior to becoming employed at JRW, Katharine taught middle school language arts for thirteen years. Her favorite bits were Shakespeare and poetry, and she was in a minority in this. Katharine’s work has been published by RVA indie press Sink/Swim in The Great Richmond Zombie Book and appears in the anthology River Town, edited by Eric L. Douglas. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida, Davidson College, and St. Catherine’s School.

Program Director

JeffSadler-1Jeff Sadler has always been tinkering at the intersection of culture and community and experimenting with how the former helps strengthen the latter. His previous work experience involved independent concert and festival promotions, running many of Virginia’s downtown revitalization programs, and opening Richmond’s first 1,500 person concert venue nightclub, as well as a freelance writer on all things music. An avid homebrewer, mildly enthusiastic runner, and under-qualified DIY-er, he has begun work cataloguing the new American Songbook, tentatively titled The 873 Best American Songs. When not trying to get his two boys to tie their own shoes, Jeff serves on the Richmond Planning Commission, the Richmond School Board Facilities Task Force, and as Treasurer of the Virginia Community Economic Network. He works throughout the state with his consulting company, LeadActLocal, and was named (years ago and just in time) one of Style Weekly’s Top 40 Under 40.

Membership Coordinator


Phillip Hilliker tinkered with writing for several years in private, huddled over his computer, not admitting to anyone beyond his wife that he wanted to be a writer. Before becoming JRW’s membership coordinator, James River Writers was the supportive community he needed to fully embrace the authorial side of his personality. Beyond writing, he has spent many years as a freelance illustrator and work-at-home dad while also teaching illustration courses at Visual Arts Center of Richmond. This combination of occupations means he spends a majority of his time thinking about monsters and robots. He lives in a demanding fixer-upper house with his wife and kid.