Founders

Karen Schell

KarenIn the spring of 1990, while attending Christopher Newport University for Horticulture, Karen went to work with Cooke’s Gardens Center and Cooke’s Landscaping. Over the past 24 years Karen has overseen buying, accounting, managing, payroll, and continues to do the marketing for multiple stores at Cooke’s including the Garden Center, Christmas Store and Landscaping. Karen married Jeff Schell in 1996 and started a family in 1998. They now have 4 children, two boys and two girls.

Over the last 24 years, Cooke’s has grown from having an award winning garden center, to also having a full landscape service company. They provide award winning designs and installation, along with lawn maintenance. They also have a Christmas shop that stays open all year adjacent to the garden center. Along with selling ornaments, wreaths and ribbons they also provide interior and exterior holiday decorating. Having passion for the Virginia mountains they are now developing RockRidge River Retreat, offering rentals in the beautiful land of Alleghany County. Often having kids in tow with her at the shop, she still enjoys staying involved with Cooke’s.

Karen also holds her real estate license with Prudential Towne Realty. Being a life long resident of Williamsburg and second generation realtor, she will bring her history and knowledge to her clients looking to buy or sell in the area.

Deanna Kimrey

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DeAnna Kimrey was born in Doylestown , PA but settled on the Peninsula in 1985 after living in several states the Air Force sent her family. DeAnna graduated from Bethel High School and got a degree from Thomas Nelson Community College. She worked as a bartender at night to pay for her classes during the day.  DeAnna entered the world of banking in 1999 when she went to work as a teller for Crestar . Crestar merged with SunTrust and DeAnna continued with them until 2006 when she went to work for 1st Advantage Federal Credit Union. DeAnna liked the idea of a Credit Union working to make it’s members financially sound rather than a profit for stockholders. She worked her way up the ranks and managed 3 branches before being promoted to Business Relationship Manager.

DeAnna flourished in an environment of working for and giving back to the community and has become heavily involved in volunteering her time to various organizations.  She is involved with committees for the Chamber including the Annual Dinner & Dance, Oktoberfest and Taste of Williamsburg. She is Committee Chair for March of Dimes annual Signature Chef Auction which has raised over $100,000 in donations over the past 4 years. DeAnna is involved with the Compassionate Advocacy Network and through them, organized a gift giving drive for 30 nursing home seniors to make sure each one had a gift under the tree on Christmas morning. She is a member of the Kiwanis of Toano and participates in donation drives for them. DeAnna is Treasurer of the Peninsula Mortgage Lenders Association. She is also on the Career Technical Advisory Council for York County Schools, creating awareness for financial literacy. Five years ago DeAnna and some lady friends in business realized women in business needed a better way to network and BLING was born.

DeAnna recently accepted the position of Commercial Banker with Bayport Federal Credit Union. She is excited about building and maintaining relationships with local businesses, concentrating in Williamsburg, Gloucester and York County. She is also responsible for creating awareness in local communities about Bayport and the many business services they offer.

With a high regard for quality of service and providing the best, DeAnna fits right in with the credit union way of life “people helping people”

DeAnna lives in Hampton with her husband of 15 years and their 14 year old son. In her spare time she loves camping, the beach and anything involving family.

Traci Carlson

Traci  FME professional picture

proximomktgFounders