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People - December 2018

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Brian Plum, the president and CEO of Blue Ridge Bankshares Inc. and CEO of Blue Ridge Bank in Luray, became chairman of the Virginia Association of Community Banks in October. A 2001 graduate of Eastern Mennonite University, he joined the bank as its chief financial officer in 2006 after working for accounting firm PBMares LLP in Harrisonburg. (News release)

Christopher Castle has joined The Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach as director of food and beverage. He was director of restaurants at the Williamsburg Inn in Williamsburg. (

Groundworks Cos. has appointed George Frates to lead JES Foundation Repair, the largest of five foundation services companies in the Groundworks portfolio. Frates, who has been with the company for 10 years, was senior vice president of sales and general manager of the Virginia Beach branch. (News release)

Virginia Beach-based Fintech FinFit has hired Paul Grosch as chief technology officer. Grosch was the vice president of information technology for Gold Key|PHR. (

After leading the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development for more than 11 years, director Warren Harris resigned abruptly in October. No reason for his departure was given. (The Virginian-Pilot)

Michael W. Hatfield started a new job in October as Wise County’s administrator. Hatfield worked for the last 14 years for several engineering companies in Florida. A native of Wise County, Hatfield has a civil engineering degree from Virginia Military Institute. (Virginia Town & City)

Victoria “Cori” Stamper has joined HomeTrust Bank as an assistant vice president, manager at the bank’s Bristol office.  Stamper has more than a dozen years of banking experience. Prior to HomeTrust Bank, she worked at Bank of Marion as a business development officer. (News release)

Charlie White, a former employee of Virginia Community College System, has stepped in as Virginia Highlands Community College’s interim president following the removal of former President Gene Couch. With more than 44 years at VCCS, White has spent most of his career working at community colleges in professorial and administrative positions, including at Wytheville Community College from 2006 until 2015. (Washington County News)

Roanoke businessman Mary Strauss has made a $1 million gift to the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute that will be used to endow the public lecture series. Executive Director Michael Friedlander said the series will be renamed in the benefactor’s honor. The first lecture in VTCRI’s Maury Strauss Distinguished Public Lecture Series took place in October. (The Roanoke Times)

Betty Jo Foster has been named interim president of Danville Community College effective at the beginning of 2019. Foster worked at DCC for 36 years before retiring as academic vice president in 2004. She has been interim president of Central Virginia Community College, in Lynchburg and interim president and CEO of the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce. (News release)

Michael Elliott has been appointed interim CEO of Lynchburg-based Centra Health. He previously was the health system’s senior vice president and chief operating officer. Elliott succeeds E.W. Tibbs who stepped down as CEO in October.  (News & Advance)

Colonial Downs Group has named Aaron Gomes chief operating officer and John Marshall senior vice president and general manager. The new owners of Colonial Downs hope to open a casino-like gambling facility at the New Kent County track in March, with live horse racing expected to return in the fall of 2019. The track has been closed since 2014. (News release)

Vincent J. Nadder, CPA has been named tax department practice leader at Richmond-based Keiter, effective Jan. 1.  He serves on the firm’s executive committee and is the partner in charge of the its cost segregation services and historic rehabilitation tax credit services. (News release)

David L. Roberts of Charlottesville has been named to the Advisory Board on Radiological Technology. Roberts is the manager of the University of Virginia Health System’s Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging. (The Daily Progress)

Three Northern Virginia executives nabbed spots in the top 100 of the Harvard Business Review’s global list of 2018’s top-performing CEOs. The highest-rated local exec is outgoing Northrop Grumman Corp. CEO Wes Bush, who came in at No. 11. Bush is stepping down from his position on Jan. 1. Capital One’s Richard Fairbank was No. 27, while DXC Technology Inc.’s Mike Lawrie grabbed the 31st spot on the list. (Washington Business Journal)

Jeff Kaczmarek, executive director of the Prince William County Department of Economic Development, has announced his retirement after a six-year run. Kaczmarek, 70, said in November that his last day will be Jan. 1. He plans to move to Arizona, where he and his wife expect to build a new home and spend more time with their five grandchildren. (Washington Business Journal)

AbleVets LLC, a Chantilly-based government contractor, has promoted its chief growth officer to president, effective immediately. Hildi Pineda is tasked with helping the health IT consulting firm transition from a small to mid-tier business. (

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