The Sweet Virginia Foundation is creating a happier, healthier planet – one bee and one student at a time. By teaching kids about the humble honeybee, Sweet Virginia inspires children to engage with the natural world, appreciate Mother Earth’s symphony of life, and grow into stewards of the environment. Our children are the future, and by teaching them about the beauty and power of honeybees, our kids can save the world.
Sweet Virginia offers teachers an exciting and interactive Hive Alive Curriculum designed to bring to life the magic of honey bees for elementary school students. Teachers can access our lesson plans and Ask a Beekeeper online forum for FREE on our website. There they will find guided activities, step-by-step instructions, background information and links to resources.
In the coming year, we will be launching an interactive Virtual Reality honey bee experience in classrooms across the country! Building off of the Hive Alive Curriculum, the Sweet Virginia team will be hitting the road in our brand-new Bee Liner, a traveling bee-mobile, giving kids the opportunity to imagine life as a bee and to develop a new appreciation for the role they play in our world. We look forward to driving the Bee Liner to your neighborhood soon!
Over the past 25 years, Dan has served as Founder, Chairman, Chief Executive, Board Member and Advisor to multiple technology startups that created hundreds of jobs and hundreds of millions in revenue. Now he’s turned his attention to education, focusing on opening young eyes to the beauty and order in nature. Dan believes that today, separated more than ever from the natural world, we must consciously foster in children love and appreciation for the symphony of life in nature. Dan graduated summa cum laude from the University of Maryland and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Helen is a lifelong learner fueled by an innate curiosity and exploration which she contributes to growing up on her parents’ small Maryland farm. She is a nonprofit executive with more than 20 years of management experience working for two high-profile trade associations, an education foundation (K-12), professional membership societies and a private nonprofit (pre-K). She holds a Master of Science, Information & Telecommunications Systems Management and a Bachelor of Science, Food Science from the University of Maryland. In her spare-time, you can find Helen biking/hiking through Rock Creek Park or helping out on the family farm.
Jen is dedicated to creating innovative educational opportunities for people of all ages. After spending three years building academic partnerships as the head of academic affairs at the Israeli Consulate in Boston, she joined the Sweet Virginia team to drive new strategy and program development. She graduated from Brown University with degrees in History and Education.
Jeanette is an educator dedicated to making learning more engaging for students of all ages. Much like a honey bee, she has held a number of different jobs, but is always found at the intersection of students, animals, and nature. She was a founding teacher at an Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound school and created a disaster relief program that rescued over 1000 animals from natural and man-made disasters. She holds a Master of Arts, Education in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Colorado.
Ian spent many years in the Philippines keeping honey bees, but was met with few opportunities to pursue this passion professionally upon his arrival in the U.S. Luckily, his love of bees never left him, and he came upon the Sweet Virginia apiary by chance. He immediately knocked on Dan’s door, eager to get involved, and shared his story with Sweet Virginia’s founder. The rest is history, and Ian has been our dedicated beekeeper ever since.
Jacqueline is a dedicated naturalist and ecologist who grew up in Northern Virginia. She has worked at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and its Prairie Ridge Research Facility, and has conducted research in a range of topics from ecotourism in Costa Rica to invertebrate diversity. She is excited to be educating future generations about the issues bees face, why they’re important, and what we can do to help. Jacqueline graduated magna cum laude from Salem College and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies-Conservation Ecology.
Maureen is an energetic development professional with more than a decade of experience in fundraising. She brings her energy and dynamic thinking to drive annual funding, donor relations, cultivation, stewardship, major gifts and corporate partnerships. She oversees a variety of special events and fosters strong and lasting relationships with our donors. Maureen has tremendous ability to organize and execute on funding the mission. She holds a Master of Arts, Education & Human Development from The George Washington University.
President, Florida Association for the Gifted
Master Beekeeper, Prince William County Beekeeper Association
Partner , Nixon & Vanderhye, P.C.
Co-Founder, Purple Feet Foundation
Vice President, Discovery Education
Owner, Founding Farmers Restaurant Group
Chief Executive Officer, ILM Capital