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People - August 2019

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After five years, the head of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation plans to bow out. President and CEO Mitchell B. Reiss is stepping down in October when his contract ends. During his tenure, Reiss led a restructuring of the foundation, which was facing declining revenue and visitors to the Colonial Williamsburg Historic Area. The foundation controls assets worth more than $1 billion. (

Douglas L. Smith, Norfolk’s city manager, recently was named president and chief executive officer of the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, effective September 2019. (Suffolk News-Herald)

Warren County supervisors appointed two members to the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority board in June. Following nominations from Tom Sayre, supervisor for the Shenandoah District, and Dan Murray, chairman and supervisor for the North River District, which did not receive seconds, Tony Carter, supervisor for Happy Creek District, nominated Greg Harold and Jeffrey Browne. Both men received unanimous approval from the supervisors. (Northern Virginia Daily)

Courtney Cacatian became the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau’s new executive director starting Aug. 1. Cacatian was executive director of the Bristol Tennessee/Virginia Convention & Visitors Bureau. (The Daily Progress)

The Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants has established the Ruth Coles Harris Advancing Diversity & Inclusion Award to be given to VSCPA members who champion diversity and inclusion in the profession. The first recipient is Ruth Coles Harris, CPA, the first African-American woman to pass the CPA exam in Virginia. She taught accounting at Virginia Union, serving as the first director of its Sydney Lewis School of Business. (News release)

Former Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Herring has started work as a litigation partner at law firm McGuireWoods. He will split his time between the firm’s Richmond and Washington, D.C., offices and will represent clients in government investigations, commercial litigation and white-collar defense cases. (Bloomberg Law)

Perry J. Miller has been tapped as the new president and CEO of Richmond International Airport and is set to start in August. Having most recently served as interim CEO of the Jackson (Mississippi) Municipal Airport Authority, Miller worked in management for the Houston Airport System for more than 25 years and succeeds Jon Mathiasen, who is retiring. (

Rachael Rothman became executive vice president and chief financial officer of Richmond-based Apple Hospitality REIT Inc. in July. She succeeds Bryan Peery, who will continue as an EVP with Apple Hospitality and will take on the position of the REIT’s chief accounting officer until he retires in the first quarter of 2020. (

Former Martin Agency CEO Matt Williams has become an equity partner and managing partner at Brand Federation, a new Richmond-based venture to connect independent branding and marketing specialists across the country with companies that need their skills for temporary project work. He joins co-founders and fellow managing partners Kelly O’Keefe and Dennis Duffy. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Karen R. Jackson, a former state secretary of technology under Gov. Terry McAuliffe, has been named interim executive director of the New College Institute in Martinsville. Jackson, who also served as deputy secretary of technology under Govs. Tim Kaine and Bob McDonnell, is the president of Apogee Strategic Partners, a company focused on providing technology consulting and advisory services. She replaces Leanna Blevins, now assistant vice president for health, science and technology education at the Virginia Tech-Carilion campus in Roanoke. (Martinsville Bulletin)

Jeffrey V. Haley, president and CEO of Danville-based American National Bank & Trust, has been named chairman of the Virginia Bankers Association. He succeeds Scott C. Harvard, CEO and director of First Bank, to become VBA’s 127th chairman. (Danville Register & Bee)

The Danville-based Institute for Advanced Learning and Research has appointed Jackie Gill Powell to the Institute’s board of trustees for a three-year term. As the new president of Danville Community College, Powell will serve with voting privileges and lend educational and workforce development expertise to economic transformation efforts. (

Danville Community College recently announced the hiring of Justin Nichols as full-time research analyst and assessment coordinator in the college’s Center for Organizational Excellence & Data Analytics. Nichols, a 2016 graduate from DCC and a lifetime resident of Southern Virginia, previously worked as a part-time research assistant to the director of institutional planning, effectiveness and research. (

Victor Hoskins, Arlington’s director of economic development, has been named president and chief executive officer of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. He helped lead a successful regional effort to land Amazon’s second headquarters. In Fairfax, Hoskins will succeed Gerald L. Gordon, who retired late last year. Hoskins’ appointment is effective Aug. 5. (

Kathy J. Warden, the CEO of Falls Church-based Northrop Grumman Corp., has been elected chairman of its board of directors. The change will take effect on Aug 1. She succeeds Wes Bush, the company’s former CEO, who has been chairman since July 2011. (

John W. Wells became Emory & Henry University’s 22nd president in July after serving as provost and chief academic officer at the private college. Prior to coming to Emory & Henry, Wells served seven years as executive vice president and chief academic officer at Mars Hill University in North Carolina. He earned his master’s degree and doctorate in political science from the University of Tennessee. Wells replaces former president Jake B. Schrum, who retired in June after a six-year term. (News release) 

Cynda Johnson and James Smith are being inducted into the Junior Achievement of Southwest Virginia’s Business Hall of Fame. Johnson was the first dean of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Smith is the founder of Smith/Packett, Harmony Senior Services and Wessex Capital Investment. (The Roanoke Times)

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