Our Team

Meet our Mindful Shenandoah Valley managers!

All are long-time students of Shell’s who over the years were inspired to become more involved to help make sure things run smoothly for all during our time on retreat. We are extremely grateful for their love, care, and deep dedication to their own practice and to the students who attend these retreats. 🙏🏽

Ann Deschamps

OUR MAIN MANAGER: Ann Deschamps is a long-time student of Shell’s who has been practicing meditation in the Vipassana tradition for 14 years, and loves creating space for people to practice. She is currently in the Brown University Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher Certification Program, and offers beginning mindfulness classes in Reston, VA., where she lives. She’s also an educator and facilitator who has been promoting meaningful work and community inclusion for people with disabilities for over 30 years. She has two grown children (and is the excited new grandmother to two little baby girls), one beagle mix named Gracie, and a cat, Perseus, who thinks she runs the house.

Holland Keerikatte

OUR ASST. MANAGER: Holland Keerikatte attended her first ever meditation retreat with Shell five years ago and has since become one of her most dedicated students. As a veteran, recovering lawyer, and mother of two small children, Holland embraces the transformational power of slowing down and finding quiet places to listen to our own innate wisdom. She lives in Washington, DC and serves as the privacy officer for a local community hospital. 

Laura Groth

OUR ASST. MANAGER: Laura Groth was a dabbler in meditation until 2019 when a personal crisis (specifically, a dissertation defense) led her to google “can panic attacks give you an aneurism” and “silent meditation retreat Shenandoah”. Luckily she chose Shell’s meditation retreat over an MRI, and has been retreating ever since. When not in silence, Laura would love to talk your ear off about vegetarian food, the latest drama in her crazy coop building, and anything you’ve been reading lately. She lives in Washington DC with two fat cats, and sometimes, foster kittens.

Nate Smith

OUR ASST. MANAGER: Nate Smith has had a dedicated meditation practice for well over a decade, formally beginning in the Shambhala tradition at a center in Baltimore. Returning to his home state of West Virginia five years ago, he’s been blessed with the opportunity to engage with and learn from Shell and the Mindful Shenandoah Valley sangha. He’s a husband and father of three teenagers, a runner, an IT project manager, an ostensible handyman, and a lover of live music and the great outdoors.  He wishes you (and himself) peace!

Charlotte Fremaux

OUR REGISTRATION MANGER: Charlotte Fremaux has been Shell’s student for six years. After pursuing a career as an artist in the DC metro area, she now lives on the Blue Ridge Mountain in West Virginia where she is a Master Naturalist volunteer with Potomac Valley Audubon Society, participating in citizen science projects, working in their four preserves, and publishing their newsletter. She is happiest tinkering in her native garden and studying the working of nature, finding that to be the ultimate source of awe, presence, and peace. She has one grown child in California, and lives with three indoor cats, surrounded by the woods and many species of wild animal friends and neighbors.