Junior Assembly Cotillion is a Richmond-based, woman-owned, family business and has operated continuously for over 70 years.

Meet The Owners: Katherine Byer and Liz Williams

Like their predecessors, current owners and sisters Mrs. Katherine Byer and Ms. Liz Williams 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 daughters and recently crossed the New York Marathon finish line holding hands with her husband, a fellow runner and training partner. Persistence pays off!

Williams’ 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 single mom to a teenage son and tween daughter who share her love for dancing, cooking and University of Virginia sports. Bon Appetit and Wahoowa!

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 30 years. He’s married with two sons – one a tween and one a teen, so he knows his audience well!

Meet The Directors: Liz Williams and Alfreda Beach

Liz Williams 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 then 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 were blessed with four boys, two of whom are in cotillion with the other two 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.

Liz Williams and Katherine ByerGreg ThorpAlfreda Beach and Liz Williams

“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!”

– Sandy & Stan Furman