Brenda A. Richards-Henley
Administrative Assistant and Financial Coordinator
Brenda have held Administrative positions for the past 10 years! Professionally, she is an energetic individual who interfaces well with all levels of management and has a solid history of achievement. In her past positions, she has managed effectively, understood workflow and believes in customer satisfaction.
Brenda is a native Virgin Islander who was born on the island of St. Thomas. She received her elementary schooling at the Seventh-Day Adventist School and she completed her high school education at the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School. Mrs. Henley has a quest for continuous learning and because of her interest in science she studied Chemistry at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, where she obtained her Bachelors of Science Degree. Currently, she is pursuing a Masters of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership.
Brenda’s career is one of diversity, from the laboratory of wet chemical procedures, to the classroom educating the Virgin Islands child, to currently executing Administrative functions; she enjoys being in a position where she can be a “service to all mankind.” As a community oriented person, she volunteers for the American Red Cross and as a volunteer, she assists in disaster services and helps out with various campaigns. Socially, she intermittently dances Quadrille with the St. Thomas Heritage Dancers.
As the newest member of Synagogue’s Staff, Brenda’s primary responsibilities are financial management, member communication, and administrative support.
Administrative Assistant and Life Cycle Events Coordinator
Stella moved to St. Thomas from New Jersey in early 2013 with her husband of over 30 years. With three grown children and a grandson, family is an important part of her life. Educated as a Legal Secretary, she worked in that field until devoting full time to raising a family. After they all entered grade school, she began working at More Than Dance in Jackson, New Jersey, becoming the office manager in charge of all aspects of running the office and organizing recitals, managing schedules, doing payroll and administering the billing functions. She worked at the studio for 14 years.
Stella became the Administrative Assistant at the Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas in July, 2013, shortly after relocating to the Virgin Islands. Although her primary responsibilities originally consisted of administrative tasks including correspondence and communication with members and non-members, her role has greatly expanded. She is the Life Cycle events coordinator, helping families with all aspects of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah and Weddings. Answering all of their questions, making the families feel comfortable and welcomed, and ensuring all synagogue activities are in place for their event.
Stella has taken on the role of managing the tasks necessary for the continued success of the Synagogue’s annual fund raising Antiques, Art & Collectibles Auction. She is also responsible for the production of the High Holidays Book of Remembrance, seeking the necessary information from regular members and Chai members, and ensuring a high-quality, professional looking end product. She is also the primary person organizing the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration, which includes selecting high school seniors from each of the public and private high schools on St. Thomas and St. John as recipients of scholarship rewards from the Synagogue.
Agnes ‘Agi’ Rampino Bio
Gift Shop Manager and Event Planning Coordinator
Agi has lived on Water Island since 1986 and been a homeowner here since 1983. She has been attending the Synagogue on St. Thomas since 1986 and raised her only daughter, Rachel (now 25-years old), in the islands. The Hebrew Congregation played a significant role in both their lives; Rachel began Religious School at the Synagogue at the age of five and attended Eisner Camp, along with other youngsters from the Congregation, for a number of years. She had her Bat Mitzvah right here in our Synagogue.
Agi moved to Water Island from New York City, where she worked as a Producer for Metromedia Television and for Wold Communications as Eastern Sales Manager. Her clients included ABC, CBS, NBC, and ESPN; the production work centered entirely on live events such as football games, baseball games, live concerts, etc. She continued working in the production field in the Caribbean for the past 30-years as the owner of and Producer for Sunbow Location Services. Over the course of her career in the islands, Agi worked on countless movies, TV commercials, TV shows, and commercial photo shoots for fashion magazines and advertising. She wore many hats in addition to the Producer’s such as: Location Manager, Set Decorator, Prop Department head, Casting Director, Script Supervisor, and Location Scout. Producing everywhere between the U.S. Virgin Islands and Aruba, Agi is very knowledgeable in the logistics-end of any job.
Agi began work at the Hebrew Congregation on August 26, 2016, stepping into the role of Gift Shop Manager and Event Planning Assistant. Her role is to manage the gift shop from soup to nuts and to assist Rabbi, Stella, and Brenda as needed. She is responsible for coordinating the meals and attendance for Congregational events; Agi is also working on public relations between the Synagogue and the community by communicating with the hotels and cruise lines in order to increase the number of visitors we receive at the Synagogue.
Buildings and Grounds Superintendent
Michael Fuertes has lovingly taken care of our Synagogue for over 20 years! He performs most of the maintenance of our property; from anything mechanical to sifting the sand on the floor, polishing the brass and silver and cleaning the chandeliers. He prepares the synagogue for all services, even laying out the proper prayer books, and sets up, assists during and cleans up after all dinners and events that we have at our Lilienfeld House . He also maintains the grounds and happily assists the rest of the staff with any special requirements. Tourists love him as he is both knowledgeable and charming.
Michael was born and raised on St. Thomas and his parents are originally from Puerto Rico. Besides his life at the Synagogue, Michael has 2 teenage children, takes care of his parents, helps friends and family on weekends, loves woodworking, antiques and makes extremely realistic spiders out of palm trees and coconuts.