By Bob Craycraft 

As fall turns to winter, change is in the air at Waterfront Village, a nonprofit organization that supports Southwest and Navy Yard residents who wish to age in place. On Dec. 2, the Village welcomed Southwest resident Len Bechtel as its new executive director. 

Len comes to Waterfront Village after 33 years of federal service. Most recently, he served as the Chief Financial Officer of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in the Department of Transportation. Prior to that role, he held numerous management roles at the Department of Commerce, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

After years of managing federal government programs, Len was looking for an opportunity to apply his skills locally and connect with people in the community on a regular basis.

“I am really excited to have an opportunity to serve my neighbors in Southwest and look forward to working with the Village’s dedicated Board and wonderful team of volunteers,” Bechtel said.

Len has lived in Southwest DC since 2015 and worked 12 years in the neighborhood while with the EPA. He is a member of St. Vincent’s Roman Catholic Church where he serves as a lector, Finance Committee member, and Food Bank volunteer. You may see him running around the neighborhood or swimming at nearby pools in his spare time.

The Village also brought on four new board members this year:

  • Ed Peterman, a Capitol Hill resident who joined the board in 2019, founded TrustEd Champions for Seniors in 2017, which serves seniors and caregivers in DC and Maryland. Ed is a Certified Dementia Practitioner and a Certified Senior Advisor who comes to the board with decades of leadership experience in the federal government, with a focus on ethics and compliance.  
  • Peter Eicher, a Southwest resident who joined the board in 2019, is a retired U.S. Foreign Service officer who served in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Pacific. He specialized in political affairs, particularly human rights, conflict resolution, and international organizations. Peter is currently vice president of Friends of Southwest DC and has been involved with the Village since its inception.  
  • JoAnn Lamphere, DrPH, a Southwest resident who joined the board in 2019, retired in 2018 from New York State service, where she served as deputy commissioner, Division of Person Centered Supports, in the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities. She continues to advise clients as a healthcare consultant, and she currently serves on the board of Special Olympics of New York and the Capital Park IV Condominium Association.  
  • Judith Winston, a Southwest resident who joined the board in 2019, comes to Waterfront Village with decades of experience in law, education, and civil rights. She served as general counsel and undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education from 1993 to 2001, and she also served as executive director of One America: President Clinton’s Initiative on Race. Judith retired from the active practice of law in 2007, but occasionally consults with non-profits, universities, and school districts.

If you’re interested in becoming involved with the Village as a member or volunteer in 2020, contact

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