On the move
People taking on new leadership roles throughout Virginia
Tom Afferton, president of cyber mission, Peraton Inc., Herndon
John Coleman, president of global defense and security, Peraton Inc., Herndon
Roger Mason, president of space and intelligence, Peraton Inc., Herndon
Tarik Reyes, president of civil and health, Peraton Inc., Herndon
National security contractor Peraton has made massive moves lately, purchasing Perspecta Inc. for $7.1 billion and Northrop Grumman Corp.’s federal IT and mission support services business for $3.4 billion, all in cash. A subsidiary of private equity firm Veritas Capital, Peraton in February divided the company into four sectors — led by Afferton, Coleman, Mason and Reyes. Reyes and Afferton both come from Northrop Grumman, while Mason and Coleman were promoted from within Peraton.
Dr. Danny Avula, state vaccine coordinator, Virginia Department of Health, Richmond
Named the state’s COVID-19 vaccination coordinator in January, Avula is a familiar face in the Richmond area, where he also serves as director of the Richmond and Henrico County health departments. A VCU School of Medicine graduate, he is trained as a pediatric hospitalist and advises medical students at VCU. He’s also comfortable explaining complex concepts, which makes him a natural behind the microphone at coronavirus news briefings.
Devaki Baker, CEO of VeriToll LLC, Ashburn
Baker, who hails from Mexico and founded technology consulting firm Team Verso, is the new head of tolling-as-a-service company VeriToll as of June 2020. Baker’s company developed a similar product and worked with toll road operator Transurban, experience she brings to her new role. With Baker’s hire, the California-based company moved its headquarters to Northern Virginia.
Robert M. Blue, president and CEO, Dominion Energy Inc., Richmond
Diane Leopold, chief operating officer, Dominion Energy Inc., Richmond
Edward H. Baine, president, Dominion Energy Virginia, Richmond
In October 2020, Dominion undertook a leadership shuffle that saw the Fortune 500 utility’s longtime chairman, president and CEO Thomas F. Farrell II, become executive chair. Blue, Leopold and Baine are all familiar names at Dominion and throughout the state, even if they’re in new positions. Baine and Leopold both joined the company in 1995, and Blue, who served as a counselor and director of policy for Gov. Mark Warner, started in 2005. With Dominion’s strong focus on wind and renewable energy, the trio is going to be busy in coming years.
Corrie Bobe, director, Danville Office of Economic Development, Danville
In July 2020, Danville native Bobe was picked to lead the city’s economic development office after serving as its interim leader since January 2020. With one of the state’s first casinos headed to the city, there is a lot of development in the cards for Danville. An updated master plan incorporating the Caesars Virginia casino is in the works, and the city’s Industrial Development Authority allocated funding in January for the continuation of an environmental study of the casino’s Schoolfield site, as well as the White Mill and Long Mill properties — all in preparation for future development, Bobe says.
Sylvia Bugg, chief programming executive and general manager of general audience programming, PBS, Arlington
Last fall, Bugg was tapped to oversee all non-children’s content and to lead PBS’ programming strategy for broadcast and digital platforms, a promotion from her former position as vice president of general audience programming. An Old Dominion University alum, Bugg previously worked with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Discovery Communications networks. This year, she has the added challenge of delayed productions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, although she said in November 2020 that news-focused shows such as “Frontline” and “PBS NewsHour” remain a key focus during the public health crisis.
Jared Chalk, executive director, Norfolk Economic Development Authority, Norfolk
Chalk was named the head of Norfolk’s economic development office in spring 2020, after working for the city since 2005. All systems are go in Norfolk for the Pamunkey Indian Tribe’s casino and the redevelopment of Military Circle Mall, which was sold to the city for $11 million in May 2020. There’s plenty of developer interest in the mixed-use mall project, including a bid from a team including music superstar Pharrell Williams. A decision is expected this summer, Chalk says.
John Collins, chief financial officer, Navy Federal Credit Union, Vienna
In August, Collins arrived at the world’s largest credit union, with total assets of $135.7 billion, after 20 years at Capital One Financial Corp. A University of Richmond alum, he served in executive roles in the capital markets and risk analysis departments at the credit card giant, as well as overseeing two of Capital One’s bank acquisitions and integrations. Collins’ new job now focuses on managing the finances of a credit union with 9 million members worldwide.
Lance R. Collins, vice president and executive director, Virginia Tech Innovation Campus, Alexandria
Collins, who joined Virginia Tech in August 2020 after serving as engineering dean at Cornell University, is the university’s man in the North — Northern Virginia, that is, where early construction work on the $1 billion Innovation Campus started in 2021. He has an impressive fundraising background, a useful skill set for Collins’ new job. In January, alumni Mehul and Hema Sanghani donated $10 million to expand and move Tech’s Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics to the new campus in Alexandria’s Potomac Yard.
Matthew Fine, president, The Runnymede Corp., Virginia Beach
Continuing his family’s tradition, Fine was named president of the 63-year-old commercial real estate development company last April after 30 years on Runnymede’s board of directors. Outside of the family business, the University of Richmond alum is a founding director of Suffolk-based TowneBank. He’s a glass and granite sculptor as well as a screenwriter and director of independent films along with his brother, Jeffrey.
Earl T. Granger III, chief development officer, Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg
Granger was named chief development officer at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation last summer. He joined the foundation in August as the pandemic continued to impact Colonial Williamsburg, which had furloughed or placed on administrative leave more than 700 employees during the pandemic’s early months. Bolstered by a move to outdoor programming and the return of furloughed employees, Granger says the world’s largest living history museum, which has faced declining revenues and visitation in recent years, has “cause for cautious optimism” in 2021.
Nancy Grden, executive director, Hampton Roads Maritime Collaborative for Growth & Innovation, Norfolk
Last September, Grden was named the first executive director of the newly formed Hampton Roads Maritime Collaborative for Growth & Innovation, an umbrella organization that aims to bolster the region’s maritime industry. Grden, who most recently served as the associate vice president of Old Dominion University’s Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, says the collaborative will be “action-oriented” as it focuses on maritime economic development and innovation, as well as initiatives involving offshore wind, coastal resilience and talent pipelines.
Jehmal Hudson and Angela Navarro, State Corporation Commission judges, Richmond
Hudson, who held several roles at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, was appointed to the three-member Virginia State Corporation Commission last June as its first Black judge. Navarro, former deputy secretary of commerce and trade under Gov. Ralph Northam and previously deputy secretary of natural resources, joined the commission in January.
D. Jermaine Johnson, Greater Washington Area and Virginia regional president, PNC Bank, Washington, D.C.
With 25 years of industry experience, Johnson honed his skills at Bank of America and GE Capital prior to joining PNC 15 years ago. Tapped last August as PNC’s D.C.-region president, he is responsible for $18 billion in local deposits and 1,600 employees in the bank’s corporate, business, retail, real estate and financial institutions groups. He has big shoes to fill in a slot previously held by regional banking icon Richard Bynum, who was promoted to PNC’s chief responsibility officer.
Dr. Thomas Kayrouz, president and chief medical officer, Riverside Medical Group, Newport News
In September 2020, Kayrouz was named president and chief medical officer by the Riverside Medical Group, a multispecialty group practice for Newport News-based Riverside Health System. He oversees the group’s more than 600 providers and 100 practice sites. With a career in pediatric critical care medicine and physician-led health care leadership, Kayrouz previously served as executive vice president and chief physician executive for AnMed Health in South Carolina. He also held roles at Piedmont Health Partners, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical and Carilion Children’s Hospital in Roanoke.
Kathryn Keller, president, The Harvest Foundation, Martinsville
Keller took the helm of The Harvest Foundation in July 2020, following a 20-year career with Cincinnati-based health foundation Interact for Health, where she worked in strategy, policy and external relations. Founded in 2002 with proceeds from the sale of Memorial Hospital, The Harvest Foundation seeks economic development opportunities for the Martinsville-Henry County area. In the past year, the foundation has focused on assisting small businesses hard-hit by the pandemic as well as promoting racial justice. This year, the foundation plans to formulate a new strategic plan, Keller says.
Kevin Leslie, executive director, Hampton Roads Biomedical Research Consortium, Norfolk
A William & Mary grad who holds a doctorate in biophysics from Virginia Commonwealth University, Leslie was tapped in November 2020 to lead this new partnership between Old Dominion University, Eastern Virginia Medical School and Sentara Healthcare. HRBRC’s mission is to strengthen and initiate research collaborations among ODU, EVMS and Sentara as well as to find solutions for making health care in Hampton Roads more efficient and less expensive. Leslie previously served as associate director of VCU’s health care startup arm, VCU Ventures.
Mark Nantz, president and CEO, Valley Health, Winchester
A former chief administrative officer and Atlantic group president for Bon Secours Mercy Health, Nantz started his job in June 2020, in the early months of the pandemic. Overseeing six hospitals and 50 medical practices in the Shenandoah Valley, Nantz immediately had to contend with financial shortfalls due to cancellations of elective surgeries. However, the health system avoided layoffs. In December 2020, Valley Health finalized a contract extension with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Virginia, after months of tense negotiations with the insurer, which covers about 40,000 area residents.
Elizabeth Porter, health group president, Leidos Holdings Inc., Reston
Porter, who previously held leadership positions at Lockheed Martin Corp., was promoted to president of Reston-based federal contractor Leidos’ $2 billion health group in August 2020, after serving as the division’s acting president for five months. In February, Porter’s division landed a $2 billion contract to provide nonmedical counseling to military service members and their families through the Department of Defense’s Military and Family Life Counseling (MFLC) program.
Doug Wagoner, president and CEO, LMI, Tysons
Hired as president and CEO of Tysons-based government and defense consultancy LMI in August 2020, Wagoner previously served as sector president at Reston-based Science Applications International Corp. In that role, which he had held since 2013, he oversaw SAIC’s operations and its 15,000 consultants and engineers. Wagoner helped oversee the 2013 split of SAIC into two publicly traded companies, Leidos and SAIC. He also previously worked for DSA Inc., ChoicePoint (now LexisNexis) and Electronic Data Systems (now part of DXC Technology).
Gregory Washington, president, George Mason University, Fairfax
In July 2020, Washington became GMU’s eighth president. An innovator in the field of dynamic systems, he was the first in his family to attend college, earning his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University. While serving as dean of the engineering school at the University of California, Irvine, Washington increased school enrollment and diversified the faculty. Among the projects on his plate are GMU’s $250 million Institute for Digital InnovAtion (IDIA). Set to open in 2025, the institute will foster the tech talent pipeline and anchor an “innovation district.”
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