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.

Jan 092019
 

Kate Acuff speaking at The Center in Charlottesville.

Albemarle Schools are ranked #3 in the state but continue to have significant disparities in achievement and discipline. Although Albemarle County had a very successful school referendum two years ago (with 75% voter approval) and the last of those projects will be completed in a few months, Albemarle Schools are still working to catch up with our capital needs after the last recession and a decade of under funding capital during which 1000+ students were added to the rolls. Topics discussed include the legality of regulating symbols and hateful words on clothes in schools and Albemarle Tech, an innovative learning environment for our high school students

Kate Acuff was elected to the Albemarle County Public School Board in November, 2013, as the representative from the Jack Jouett Magisterial District. Ms. Acuff, who is a health policy consultant, serves on the Board of the University of Virginia Physicians Group, on the Board of Mental Health America-Charlottesville/Albemarle and on the Steering Committee of the Community Mental Health and Wellness Coalition. She previously was a consultant to the Virginia Supreme Court’s Commission on Mental Health Law Reform, an adjunct assistant professor in Emory University’s School of Public Health and a vice president of policy and education with the National Public Health and Hospitals Institute.

Ms. Acuff is a strong advocate for providing safe and healthy learning environments in schools. Among her priorities is to support collaborative programs among students, parents, school staff and other members of the community to continue the division’s progress in its bullying prevention programs. Ms. Acuff also believes that access by students to pre-K instruction should be expanded to reduce the opportunity gap among children in Albemarle County.

A native of the Midwest, Ms. Acuff is a graduate of the University of Tulsa. She received her Master’s in Microbiology & Immunology from the University of Colorado and her Ph.D. and a M.P.H. in Public Health and Public Policy and Management from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She also earned a J.D. from Georgetown University.

Ms. Acuff spoke at the Wednesday January 9, 2018 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.

Nov 142018
 

Terry Cooper speaking at The Center in Charlottesville

Senior Statesmen Vice President and Program Chair, Terry Cooper, talked about several trends in politics that have gone largely unnoticed.

Mr Cooper was a long-time Republican political consultant specializing in issues and opposition research. Terry’s current business is political analysis. He is a native of Charlottesville and a graduate of Episcopal High School, Princeton University and the University of Virginia School of Law.

Notes from Mr. Cooper’s presentation can be viewed here.

Mr. Cooper spoke at the Wednesday November 14, 2018 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV president Rich DeMong.

Oct 102018
 

Richard DeMong

Can we count on Social Security? Did Baby Boomers save enough?  What about Gen X and the Millennials? What is the future of 401(k)s, IRAs, mRAs? Will retirees have sufficient funds for health care and nursing home care? Are there any solutions other than working until you drop? Find out the answers to these and many more questions in this interesting podcast.

Rich DeMong is the University of Virginia’s Virginia Bankers Association Professor Emeritus after teaching investments and corporate finance at the McIntire School of Commerce for 37 years. He has a PhD from the University of Colorado, an MBA from William & Mary, and a BA in Political Science from California State University at Long Beach. He has authored or coauthored many research papers, books and monographs on investment and finance topics.

In addition to having retired from UVa, Rich retired from the United States Air Force as a colonel. He flew C-130s in Viet Nam and was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross and many other medals and ribbons.

Rich has a CFA charter and has taught investment, 401(k), and retirement seminars in the U.S., Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Thailand, Kazakhstan, and the U.K.

Rich is the president of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia and is on the board of The Center, Charlottesville Committee on Foreign Relations, Innisfree, and the University of Virginia Physicians

Mr. DeMong spoke at the Wednesday October 10, 2018 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV board member Bob McGrath.