Now Reading
Locals We Love: Women Making a Difference in the Community

Locals We Love: Women Making a Difference in the Community

Written by Shayda Windle

There is no doubt that an entire magazine could be dedicated to stories of the inspiring women who make Hunt Country so special. Since we can’t fit them all in this issue, we asked around for nominations of women who embody the spirit of our community for Women’s History Month. Read on to learn about these exceptional women who make a meaningful impact in the lives of those who call Hunt Country home and elicit smiles from all who cross their paths. 

Peggy Simmons. Photo by Caroline Gray.

Peggy Simmons, Lead Clerk at the Middleburg Post Office 

Peggy Simmons, lead clerk at the Middleburg Post Office, knows most people by name, as she engages with customers daily over the counter and in the lobby. Postmaster Terrance says she is one of the most knowledgeable individuals he has ever met. “You can ask Peggy a last name and if it registers as a person in our system, whether it be a route that goes out of our system or a P.O. box, she can almost spot-on tell you without a moment’s notice,” he adds. “Not only do most folks prefer speaking with Peggy, but she’s also probably one of the most detail-oriented people I’ve ever worked with. It’s been a phenomenal career for her.” Simmons has served the Middleburg postal service for over 40 years. 

Betsy Crenshaw. Photo by Joanne Maisano.

Betsy Crenshaw, Administrative Assistant at Trinity Episcopal Church 

Betsy Crenshaw at Trinity Church in Upperville has been an administrative assistant to the church since 1990, providing support to the clergy and staff for the past 34 years. Crenshaw makes Middleburg more vibrant by advocating for those in need with the Churches of Upperville, a group of four churches that have come together to sponsor outreach projects for the wider community. She is a former chairperson of the Trinity Church Stable Tour and is currently a serving member of the Stable Tour planning group. Richard Jones, director of operations for the church, has worked alongside Crenshaw for the past three years. Of working with her, he shares, “Betsy loves to serve others: members of the Trinity Church, visitors to the church, especially the wider community, and those most in need. She has frequently facilitated vital support to an individual or family who may find themselves in dire circumstances and makes a practical difference for good in the lives of locals.”

Kayse Small. Photo courtesy of Le Boudoir.

Kayse Small, Owner of Le Boudoir

As the owner of Le Boudoir in Middleburg, Kayse Small has touched the lives of countless women with her bra fitting services and “infectious smile,” as Lee Ann Adams Mikeman, owner of The Middleburg Bride, says. She continues, “She has that big smile, one of the biggest smiles in town. And her energy is unbelievably positive. She’s an optimist.”

Small is a veteran of the United States Air Force, a mother of six children, and grandmother of six grandchildren. Adams Mikeman says, “She is a fabulous mother, amazing wife, and really great friend.”

“Another thing I love about her is [that] she is a mentor. She has a young staff, young women that she is mentoring.”

Le Boudoir Sales Associate Jordan Gensurowsky echoes Adams Mikeman’s sentiments. “I have had the privilege of working for Kayse for the past few months and she is one of the kindest people I have ever met. She has a genuine compassion for others and aspires to lift women up through her amazing store and bra fitting experience. She has created a space in Middleburg that makes women feel beautiful and confident.”

As Le Boudoir’s website says of the in-store experience, “All women who come through the doors will leave happy, lifted, and confident.” The same can be said of a simple interaction with Small, who has the ability to light up the room with her smile and spread joy with her laugh. Adams Mikeman concludes, “She’s inspirational. She’s fearless. She’s resilient. I feel very fortunate to know her.”

Louise Ross. Photo by Joanne Maisano.

Louise Ross, Bank Teller at Atlantic Union Bank in Middleburg

Louise Ross has served as a bank teller for Atlantic Bank in Middleburg for the past 23 years. She works behind the counter and in the drive-thru, and chances are if you have banked at Atlantic Bank, you have crossed paths with Ross. Branch Manager Natalie Lacaze says, “Everyone knows that Louise is in the drive-thru, and she gets to know locals through community events on behalf of the bank. Her laugh and sense of humor are the best. She knows most of our clients and treats them very well.”

Kay Colgan. Photo by Shannon Ayres.

Kay Colgan, Owner of Middleburg Pilates

Kay Colgan is a nationally certified Pilates and fitness professional who has been teaching for the past 40 years, 28 of which have been in Middleburg. After a breast cancer diagnosis, Colgan shares, “Opening the studio was the driving force to get through cancer treatment, which happened in January 2003.” She adds, “Life can get hard, and Middleburg Pilates is a place to come and breathe and let go.” Her clients share how Colgan’s practice has not only helped them physically but also been a source of community support.

Dr. Janice Blanchard was grateful to come across Middleburg Pilates, where she was able to find relief for her hip arthritis and scoliosis. “Kay is different. She tries to help you with your specific needs. She has a lot of clients who are older and with injuries and [she] understands them… I look forward to the sessions, which are so important in helping to stay motivated.” 

Melanie Hitchen echoes Blanchard’s sentiment, saying, “Meeting Kay for Pilates has been life-changing for me [in] terms of managing my back pain and fitness. Not to mention her personality is very uplifting and motivating, and that makes you never want to miss a class.”

And Jean Perin endorses, “All around total fitness training with the most professional Pilates instructions! Clients of all ages and levels of ability!” 

As for her work in the community, Alison Firestone Robitaille says, “Kay is such an asset to the Middleburg community, and it’s incredible how she remembers so many details of each client’s life.”

Robert Duvall adds, “Kay has helped me for the better for many years. Her exercise work has helped the community and made us aware of better things and times to come. We need her, and we thank her for her expertise. Three cheers and more!” 

But perhaps Cricket MacDonald puts Colgan’s impact most succinctly: “Lots of laughter and a good workout are what you can find at Kay’s!”

Nicky Perry. Photo courtesy of Andrew Stifler.

Nicky Perry, Philanthropist

Nicky Perry is an active member in the community and supporter of so many organizations that keep Hunt Country flourishing, like the Middleburg Community Center, where she is an emeritus board member and former board chair, and Trinity Episcopal Church, where she is a trustee and former Vestry member. She’s a “quiet force in the community,” says Joe Fargis, a friend of Perry’s who helps her riders with show jumping. “Everything she does in the community is done quietly and beautifully.”

Perry is a thoroughbred owner, a patron of the show jumping world, and a supporter of equestrian athletes and their horses. She is a Capital Campaign committee member for the Upperville Colt & Horse Show, and a supporter of the Piedmont Environmental Council, the Windy Hill Foundation, and the Fauquier Free Clinic in Warrenton, to name a few.  

Daphne Alcock, who has worked for Perry for many years, adds, “She comes to the shows and is a cheerleader for the show jumpers. She is so nice to people, no matter their status, and patient when things don’t go perfectly. She is a kind soul.” 

Heather Reed. Photo by Caroline Gray.

Heather Reed at The Upper Crust 

The Upper Crust is known for its homemade baked goods like croissants, pies, and cookies that keep customers coming back for more. But there’s also one employee who stands out, greeting customers each day “with a smile,” according to bakery owner Scott Stine. “Heather has been a great employee for many years, and goes above and beyond to ensure customers are satisfied.” While she is busy making soups, salads, sandwiches, and more, “Her smile makes Middleburg,” he shares. Next time you are visiting The Upper Crust, be sure to look out for Reed.

While you are out and about in Hunt Country, consider stopping by to say “Hi” to these women who make such a meaningful impact on the community. There is no doubt it will brighten their day, and yours. ML

Published in the March 2024 issue of Middleburg Life.

Scroll To Top