Junior Assembly Cotillion is a Richmond-based, woman-owned, family business and has operated continuously for over 77 years.
Meet The Owners: Katherine Byer and Liz Stanko
Like their predecessors, current owners and sisters Mrs. Katherine Byer and Mrs. Liz Stanko are focused on ensuring that Junior Assembly Cotillion provides the best experience possible for their students and families.
Like their parents, both women attended Junior Assembly Cotillion from sixth through ninth grades and worked as Junior Assistants through their high school years. Both women graduated from Douglas Freeman High School and the University of Virginia.
Byer’s career took her to New York, where she worked for Conde Nast Publications and then to Atlanta where she worked for Arthur Andersen. Her husband then took a job in their hometown, Richmond, VA and then on to St. Louis, MO. She is the proud mother to three teenage daughters. One of them attends the University of Georgia and one attends Denison University and is on their women’s golf team. In addition to her passion for cotillion, she teaches fitness classes and loves to help others organize and live efficiently.
Stanko’s career in Special Events took her to both Atlanta and Richmond where she worked for Goldman Sachs, SunTrust Bank and RiverFront Investment Group. She’s a proud mom to a son and daughter, both at Virginia Tech, who share her love for dancing, cooking and college sports. After sixteen years as a single mother, Liz recently got remarried to a wonderful man who was worth the wait. Bon Appetit, Wahoowa and Go Hokies!
Meet Our Dance Instructor: Greg Thorp
Greg Thorp is a Junior Assembly Cotillion institution all on his own. He attended Junior Assembly Cotillion as a student for four years and also served as a Junior Assistant. We’re proud that he’s served as our Dance Instructor for more than 35 years. He recently celebrated 51 years with JAC from the time he started as a 6th grade student. Impressive! He’s married with two teenage sons, so he knows his audience well!
Meet The Directors: Liz Stanko and Alfreda Beach
Liz Stanko and Alfreda Beach direct the dances each season. Like Katherine and Liz, Alfreda is a native of Richmond and took part in Junior Assembly Cotillion from sixth through ninth grade. She, too, attended Douglas Freeman High School and graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is very excited to be a part of this Richmond tradition. After owning a clothing store, Alfreda and her husband started a family. They are blessed with four boys, three of whom are in cotillion with the other one coming soon. When she is not on the field watching her sons, Alfreda enjoys cooking, taking an active role in various school organizations and spending time with family and friends.
“We have so many wonderful memories for the last 13 years with all five of our children participating in the Junior Assembly Cotillion. They learned so much and made lasting friendships. They certainly know how to meet and greet with confidence!”