Feb 122020
 

Annie Marrs speaking at The Center in Charlottesville.

Alzheimer’s Association Family Services Director Annie Marrs spoke at the February meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia about the more than 5 million individuals who are living with Alzheimer’s and 16 million are serving as their unpaid caregivers in the United States alone. The disease is a global crisis that impacts numerous families right here in our community. Alzheimer’s is not normal aging and no one has to face this disease alone or without information.

The Alzheimer’s Association has created an education program covering the basics of Alzheimer’s and dementia to provide a general overview for people who are facing a diagnosis as well as those who wish to be informed:

  • Explores the relationship between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
  • Examines what happens in a brain affected by Alzheimer’s.
  • Details the risk factors for and three general stages of the disease.
  • Identifies FDA-approved treatments available to treat some symptoms.
  • Looks ahead to what’s on the horizon for Alzheimer’s research.
  • Offers helpful Alzheimer’s Association resources.

Annie Marrs is the family services director of the Alzheimer’s Association, Central and Western Virginia Chapter, celebrating over 12 years with the organization. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Annie serves individuals impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in many ways. Annie provides direct services such as facilitating support groups, presenting in the community and to our first responders, as well as providing family and individual care consultations to help navigate the progression of this disease. Annie also provides volunteer training and support to new volunteers joining the Cause to share their own gifts of support, public speaking, event assistance, and more.

Annie lives in Louisa with her husband and two young children. She enjoys a good cup of coffee, taking photographs, and hiking through our state and national parks.

Ms. Marrs spoke at the Wednesday February 12, 2019 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at The Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV board member Sue Friedman.

Jan 082020
 

Dick Whitehead speaking at The Center in Charlottesville.

Hurricane Camille arrived in Virginia on the night of August 19, 1969, one of only three category five storms ever to make landfall in the United States since record-keeping began. One of the worst natural disasters in Virginia’s history, the storm produced what meteorologists at the time guessed might be the most rainfall “theoretically possible.” As it swept through Virginia overnight, it seemed to catch authorities by surprise. Communication networks were not in place or were knocked out, leaving floods and landslides to trap residents as they slept. Hurricane Camille cost Virginia 113 lives lost and $116 million in damages. It also served as a lesson that inland flooding could be as great a danger as coastal flooding during a hurricane.

By ten o’clock on the night of August 19, Camille stretched from West Virginia all the way to Fredericksburg, Virginia, and areas to the north and east of the center of the storm were experiencing very heavy rainfall. The rain landed on the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains, rapidly swelling creeks and exacerbating the effects of the storm. Overnight, rainfall accumulations were measured at about ten inches between Charlottesville and Lynchburg, with Nelson County receiving the brunt of the storm with at least twenty-seven inches of rainfall. So much rain fell in such a short time in Nelson County that, according to the National Weather Service at the time, it was “the probable maximum rainfall which meteorologists compute to be theoretically possible.”

Dick Whitehead, PG, is the resident project representative with Wiley|Wilson, a 100% Employee-Owned engineering firm in Lynchburg. His father, Bill Whitehead, was the Nelson County sheriff during Hurricane Camille. Dick was a teenager during Camille and helped his father look for the bodies of the missing. He will present what he witnessed during and after Camille, and will present archived photos and videos to better convey the massive devastation.

Mr. Whitehead spoke at the Wednesday January 8, 2020 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at The Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Board Member Madison Cummings.

Dec 112019
 

The Honorable John Henry Hager speaking at The Center in Charlottesville.

Former Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, The Honorable John Hager, talks about his career in politics.

John Henry Hager is an American entrepreneur and politician who served as the chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, assistant secretary of the Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, and the director of Virginia’s homeland security under Governors Jim Gilmore and Mark Warner.

Hager was born in Durham, North Carolina. He started a neighborhood newspaper in 1945. While an undergraduate at Purdue University he ran a vending machine business, was an active member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and was a member of ROTC. One term, his course load was 25 credit hours – about two thirds more than normal. He graduated with a BSME (mechanical engineering) in 1958. Hager earned his MBA at Harvard and subsequently served in the United States Army, rising to the rank of captain.

In 1973 he contracted polio when his son was vaccinated for the disease with live virus vaccine. As a result, he uses a non-motorized wheelchair for daily ambulation – and competes in wheelchair races.

After his active duty military service, Hager began work for the American Tobacco Company in Richmond, Virginia. The company retired him after his bout with polio, but he returned – beginning at the bottom again. At American Tobacco, he served as a government affairs representative. Hager was forcibly retired from the American Tobacco Company after the company’s sale in 1994.

Hager is married to Margaret Dickinson “Maggie” Chase and they have two sons, John and Henry. Henry is married to former President George W. Bush’s daughter, Jenna.

Mr. Hager spoke at the Wednesday December 12, 2019 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at The Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Past President Bob McGrath.

Nov 132019
 

Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine and District Engineer for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Culpeper District John Lynch talked about transportation policy in Central Virginia at the November meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia.

Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine (left) and District Engineer for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Culpeper District John Lynch speaking at The Center in Charlottesville.

Shannon Valentine was appointed by Governor Ralph Northam in January 2018, and oversees a $5 billion multimodal transportation system crossing seven agencies with more than 10,000 employees. As secretary, she also serves as chair of the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB).

Valentine is a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates, serving on the House Transportation and Courts of Justice Committees. Her legislative priorities focused on transportation, economic development, education, and ethics. She led bipartisan efforts to create transparent government, expand clean energy production, and invest in intercity passenger rail service for the first time in Virginia’s history.

Following an assignment as a director of the Transportation Policy Council in 2013 for then Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe’s transition team, Valentine was appointed as the Lynchburg District representative to the CTB in May 2014. During this time she created the first Regional Connectivity Study in Virginia that correlated transportation decisions with workforce, business expansion and recruitment and investment, covering eight modes of transportation. For more than 25 years, she worked to create economic opportunity through housing, education and transportation. Valentine was named 2017 Transportation Woman of the Year by WTS Central Virginia Chapter. She has been honored with the Humanitarian Award by the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, Democracy in Action Award by the League of Women Voters, Freedom Fighter Award by the NAACP, Woman of the Year in Government by the YWCA, and the Commonwealth Autism Services Award.

She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Virginia in economics. She graduated from the Sorensen Institute at UVA, and completed Education for Ministry, a four-year theology course through Sewanee University’s School of Theology. Secretary Valentine is married to Dr. Mike Valentine, and has three children, Catherine, Jack and Brooke.

John Lynch is the district engineer for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Culpeper District, a position he has held since June 2013. He is responsible for VDOT’s construction, maintenance and operations programs in nine Piedmont Virginia counties, from Fauquier south through Albemarle. Lynch has successfully led the development and delivery of several major highway improvement projects, including the $250 million Route 29 Solutions program in Albemarle County.

Before coming to Culpeper Lynch served as regional transportation program director for VDOT’s MegaProjects Office in Northern Virginia. In that role he was responsible for administration and oversight of a transportation program valued at more than $5 billion, including the I-95 and I-495 Express Lanes projects and the extension of Metro Rail to Dulles Airport. From 2008 to 2010 he was assistant district administrator for construction in the Northern Virginia District, providing oversight for the largest construction program in the Commonwealth. Prior to that Lynch served as the Northern Virginia District location and design engineer from 2003 to 2008. Before joining the Virginia Department of Transportation in October 2003, Lynch worked in the private sector for over 20 years as a department head, section manager, project manager and design engineer for several consulting engineering firms. He started his career with Caltrans in the Los Angeles area. Lynch received his Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Delaware and completed a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from George Mason University in the spring of 2004. He is a licensed professional engineer.

The candidates spoke at the Wednesday November 13, 2019 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at The Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Secretary Peppy Linden.

Oct 092019
 

Candidates for Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney and Virginia Senate Districts 17 and 25 faced off at this Senior Statesmen of Virginia Candidates Forum. For Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney: Jim M. Hingeley (D) and Robert N. Tracci (R). For Virginia State Senate District 17; Amy J. Laufer (D) and Virginia State Senate District 25; Elliott M. Harding (I) and R. Creigh Deeds (D).

The candidates spoke at the Wednesday October 9, 2019 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at The Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV president Rich DeMong and Daily Progress editorial page editor Anita Shelburne.

Sep 112019
 

Candidates for contested Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Virginia House of Delegates Districts 25 and 58 participated in this Senior Statesmen of Virginia forum. For Albemarle County Board of Supervisors: Ann Mallek (D) and Steve Harvey (R) (White Hall District) and Donna Price (D) (Scottsville District). For the 25th district: Janice Allen (I) and Jennifer Kitchen (D). For the 58th district: Elizabeth Alcorn (D).

The candidates spoke at the Wednesday September 11, 2019 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at The Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV president Rich DeMong.

Aug 142019
 

The candidates speaking at The Center in Charlottesville.

Candidates for Charlottesville City Council Bellamy Brown (I), John Hall (I), Paul Long (I) and Michael Payne (D) spoke at the forum.

The candidates spoke at the Wednesday August 14, 2019 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at The Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV board secretary Peppy Linden.

Jun 122019
 

Nicole Hemmer speaking at The Center in Charlottesville.

The images of torch-lit marches and white-power terrorism that flowed out of Charlottesville in August 2017 shocked the nation. But for many Charlottesvillians, it was not unexpected: the city had been under siege for months during what anti-racists activists called “The Summer of Hate.” Why did this group of neo-Nazis and alt-right activists target Charlottesville? How did they build a base here? And where do they fit in the city’s history of black life, white supremacy, and progressive politics?

Nicole Hemmer, a presidential historian at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, covered the events of August 11 and 12 for Vox, where she is a columnist. She is the creator, producer, and host of the podcast series “A12: The Story of Charlottesville,” named by The Guardian as one of the best podcasts of 2018.

Hemmer is an expert on the history of American politics and media. As an assistant professor in Presidential Studies at the Miller Center, she works on a wide-ranging set of projects, both scholarly and public. She works in the Presidential Recordings Program, focusing on the Nixon administration and its media relations. Her broader scholarship focuses on the history of conservatism and media. Her first book, Messengers of the Right, Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics, charts the history of conservative media activism in the United States, and her current work-in-progress is a history of conservatism in the 1990s.

Hemmer is also an active public intellectual, appearing frequently in print and on air. She is founder and editor of the Washington Post’s “Made by History” blog, a contributing editor to Vox, and she also writes as a syndicated columnist for Fairfax Media in Australia. She co-hosts and produces the popular history podcast Past Present. Her commentary on U.S. politics has appeared in numerous national and international outlets, including the New York Times, Politico, Atlantic, New Republic, Vox, Los Angeles Times, and NPR’s Morning Edition. She provides regular analysis to Australian and American broadcast outlets, on both radio and television.

Hemmer holds an appointment as a research associate at the United States Studies Center at the University of Sydney, where she was a postdoctoral fellow in 2011-12. She received her PhD in U.S. history from Columbia University, and previously taught at the University of Miami. In 2015, she was a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Ms. Hemmer spoke at the Wednesday June 12, 2019 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at The Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV past president Bob McGrath.

May 082019
 

Creigh Deeds (left), Steve Landes and David Toscano speaking at The Center in Charlottesville.

The Senior Statesmen of Virginia presented their annual recap of the recently concluded Session of the Virginia General Assembly with reports by our local legislators. Senator Creigh Deeds (D) and Delegates Steve Landes (R) and David Toscano (D) spoke at the meeting. Delegates Bell and Fariss and Senator Reeves declined to participate.

The three spoke at the Wednesday May 8, 2019 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at The Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV vice president and program committee chair Bonnie Brewer.

Apr 102019
 

Bob Inglis speaking at The Center in Charlottesville.

Former United States Congressman Bob Inglis talks about conservative economics and ethics principles for climate action.

Bob Inglis was elected to the United States Congress in 1992 where he represented Greenville-Spartanburg, SC, from 1993-98 and from 2004 to 2010.

In 2011, Inglis went full-time into promoting free enterprise action on climate change and launched the Energy and Enterprise Initiative (E&EI) at George Mason University. In 2014, E&EI re-branded to become republicEn.org, a growing grassroots community of over 5000 members educating the country about free-enterprise solutions to climate change.

For his work on climate change Inglis was given the 2015 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. He appears in the film Merchants of Doubt and in the Showtime series YEARS of Living Dangerously (episodes 3 and 4). He has given talks at the TEDx Jacksonville and TEDx BeaconStreet events and has been interviewed on various national news programs.

He was a resident fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics in 2011, a visiting fellow at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment in 2012, and a resident fellow at the University of Chicago’s Institute for Politics in 2014.

Inglis grew up in the Low country of South Carolina, graduated from Duke and the University of Virginia School of Law and practiced commercial real estate law in Greenville, S.C., before and between his years in Congress. Bob, his wife, and five children live on a small farm in Greenville County.

Mr. Inglis spoke at the Wednesday April 10, 2019 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at The Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Past President Bob McGrath.

Mar 132019
 

Thomas A. Dukes, Jr. speaking at The Center in Charlottesville.

What are the major cyber security threats and challenges facing us in 2019 and beyond? What are the Federal Government’s primary roles and responsibilities? What is the Commonwealth of Virginia doing to tackle cyber security? Find the answers to these questions and more in this interesting podcast.

Thomas A. Dukes, Jr., is the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Virginia National Guard, as well as an adjunct professor of cyber law and policy at the University of Virginia and the University of Tartu, Estonia.  He previously served as the U.S. State Department’s Deputy Coordinator for Cyber Issues, as a senior trial attorney in the U.S. Justice Department’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, and as an active duty U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate.  He earned a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law and a BA from the University of Maine at Farmington.

Mr Dukes spoke at the Wednesday March 13, 2019 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at The Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV president Rich DeMong.

Feb 132019
 

Sunshine Mathon (left) and Stacy Pethia speaking at The Center in Charlottesville.

What are the roles of the City and County in the growth of affordable housing? Does location matter? “Rural vs. Urban” or “Rural plus Urban?” What can they do to help. Find out in this interesting podcast.

In December Stacy Pethia became the principal planner for Housing for Albemarle County. Previously she coordinated Housing Programs in the City and managed Charlottesville’s Affordable Housing Fund. Stacy has a PhD in Urban Regeneration Policy from the University of Birmingham and a BA in Sociology from the University of Pittsburgh.

Sunshine Mathon became executive director of the Piedmont Housing Alliance in 2017. The mission of Piedmont Housing Alliance is to create affordable housing opportunities and foster community through education, lending, and equitable development. Prior to that Sunshine served as the director of real estate development for Foundation Communities in Austin, Texas. Sunshine has a Master of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin and a BS in Physics from Bates College.

Stacy Pethia and Sunshine Mathon spoke at the Wednesday February 13, 2019 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at The Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV board member Peppy Linden.