Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Candidates Forum

Sunday, October 13th, 2013


Candidates for the Albemarle Board of Supervisors spoke Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. The program was moderated by Bob Gibson. Mr. Gibson is the executive director of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia. He was introduced by SSV Vice-President and Program Director Bob McGrath.

Albemarle Candidates

Listen to a podcast of the proceedings.


The Candidates

Diantha McKeel (I) (Jack Jouett) served on the School Board for 16 years achieving over $2 million in annual cost reductions, implementing the Goldcard Pass program providing seniors free admission to various events, and increasing the graduation rate, SOL and SAT test scores well above state averages. She supports common ground solutions in education, business and job growth, environmental and cost-efficient government.


Phillip Seay (I) (Jack Jouett) will focus on engaging and listening to the concerns of ALL Jouett residents and taking those concerns to work with other Supervisors and County staff with emphasis on ensuring that tax dollars are spent on the goods and services that the County is duty bound to provide: public safety, transportation and pedestrian services, the needs of teachers and students, and concerns of senior citizens.


Brad Sheffield (D) (Rio) is the Assistant Director at JAUNT. With 15 years of experience as a transportation and land use planner, he can forge a collaborative effort among the Supervisors, introducing new ideas that create a productive discussion on decisions of growth, transportation, education and infrastructure investment. He believes that decisions made for the County need to leave a legacy for future generations.


Rodney Thomas (R) (Rio) is a life-long resident of the area, Rodney attended City schools and graduated from Lane High School in 1962. His career in the printing industry began with The Daily Progress and Worrell Newspapers. He earned an Honorable Discharge from the US Army in 1967. Owner of Charlottesville Press, he was appointed to the Planning Commission and served through 2005 and chaired in 2004. He was elected to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors in 2010.


Liz Palmer (D) (Samuel Miller) is a veterinarian, small business owner, mother and citizen activist who has worked on County issues for 15 years. She is currently serving her second term on the board of the Albemarle County Service Authority. She has been deeply involved in local water protection issues and was instrumental in getting the 50 year Community Water Supply Plan approved.


Duane Snow (R)  (Samuel Miller) is a native of Charlottesville, Duane is a graduate of Brigham Young University. Married to Rena Snow he has five children and 14 grandchildren. The CEO of Snow’s Garden Center, for 35 years he hosted the longest running radio gardening show in the nation. He is a former PVCC instructor. He has served on the Architectural Review Board, VA State Agricultural Council, Rotary Club (President), BSA and MPO.


Cindi Burket (R) (Scottsville) has lived in Albemarle County since 1997. With a B.S. in Law Enforcement and Corrections from Penn State University and a Master’s in Public Administration from George Mason University, she has held leadership positions in several Albemarle County organizations including the Newcomers Club of Greater Charlottesville and the Albemarle County Republican Committee.

Jane Dittmar (D) (Scottsville) holds a UVa Economics degree and launched her business career here in Charlottesville. She co-founded organizations that encourage job creation and support career or college ready high school graduates and for nine years was President of the Chamber of Commerce. As a professional mediator since 2001, Jane trains new mediators and supports mediation in all Albemarle County courts.


Charlottesville 1762 to 2012–a 250 Year Celebration

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

meeks_121114What does the Pony Express, Miss America, the Philadelphia Quakers Major League baseball team, Chicago’s Iroquois Theater and Tsing Kiang Pu, China, have in common with Charlottesville?  Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society President Steven Meeks recaps some of Charlottesville’s fascinating history from its first 250 years.  This November 14, 2012 program was moderated by SSV board member Charles Smith.


Steven G. Meeks was born and raised in Albemarle County and Charlottesville. For most of his adult life he has either worked or volunteered as a public servant, striving always to make his community a better place to live and work. He has written extensively about local history including Crozet, A Pictorial History and is currently working on a book chronicling Charlottesville’s first 250 years.  He is also working on publishing Sheridan’s James River Campaign of 1865 through Central Virginia. Mr. Meeks offers lectures on the history of central Virginia and oversees the operation of the Hatton Ferry, the nation’s last hand-poled river ferry.

More recently, Mr Meeks has demonstrated his interest, competence, and knowledge of historic preservation through the work he has done and continues to do on historic buildings in the Scottsville Historic District.  Since 1990 he has held an elected position as Director of the Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District. His current affiliations include being President and Chief Executive of the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society, a member of the Albemarle County Historic Preservation Committee, Charlottesville Historic Resources Committee, Co-Chair of Charlottesville’s Celebrate 250th Committee, Co-Chair of the Albemarle Charlottesville Sesquicentennial Committee and the Scottsville Architectural Review. He just recently obtained a Certificate in Museum Management. He has also served on the boards of the Albemarle County Fair, the Virginia Association of Fairs, the Scottsville Museum, Albemarle County’s Road Naming Committee, the Scottsville Planning Commission, and the Biscuit Run State Park Advisory Committee.

Program Summary

Steven G. Meeks, president and chief executive of the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society, drilled down through Charlottesville’s 250 year history when he presented this program on “Charlottesville 1762 to 2012–a 250 Year Celebration.” After presenting a mother-lode of facts and figures regarding the history and development of the city of Charlottesville, Mr. Meeks treated the audience to a virtual tour of the permanent residents of the Maplewood Cemetery, established in 1827, the first of two public cemeteries in the city. None of the churches at the time had cemeteries, and so persons were buried in backyards of residences and this was becoming a real health issue.

Maplewood Cemetery is the permanent resting place for a large number of native sons who have had an impact far beyond the confines of Charlottesville. Here’s just one: this gentleman was born in 1827. He attended the Virginia Military Institute and should have graduated in 1849 but he had problems with frequent misbehavior (this was one of the reasons his father had sent him to VMI). He was suspended and joined the U.S. Army. He fought in the Mexican-American war and was injured and so he returned to Virginia where he was readmitted to VMI and graduated. He entered teaching but became dissatisfied. Joined an express company in Alabama and then a surveying company.

In 1859 he traveled west and became interested in the expansion of the postal services. He was one of the founders of the Pony Express and is credited with making the first complete ride along the Pony Express route. But after six months he became argumentative with the other partners and quit. He joined the Pacific Telegraph Company and was instrumental in stringing the first lines, and at this point was responsible for putting the Pony Express out of business.

The Civil War was starting and he returned to Virginia where he joined the Confederate war effort. He served as a purchasing agent for the Confederacy in Europe and as an intelligence officer. He apparently did so well that he was able to purchase Monticello in 1864 (the property was soon confiscated by the Union). He was sent on a secret mission to Washington DC and he was there when Lincoln was assassinated. He was identified as a spy and arrested. He was then released after swearing a loyalty oath to the Union. He headed back west to Texas and started another stage route express line and also founded a town bearing his name. The town became the county seat, but unfortunately it had been constructed in a low lying area and was wiped out by a flood—even including the county court house. Only the cemetery there remains.

In March 1871, while dining in a Georgetown restaurant, he choked on a fish bone and two days later a doctor tried to remove the bone, but in the process severed an artery and he bled to death. His family brought him back to Charlottesville and he was buried in the family plot with a modest marker in the Maplewood Cemetery. So, dear reader, who was this man? Click on the podcast link above to find out.

What Impact Will the Two New County Shopping Malls Have On Us?

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Chris Engel and Mark GrahamNew malls are springing up everywhere in both the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Chris Engel and Mark Graham spoke on the effect of these new developments on city and county planning.

Mr. Engel and Graham spoke at the Wednesday, October 10, 2012 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 secretary Bill Davis.

Chris Engel, CEcDChris Engel, CEcD is the director of economic development for the City of Charlottesville. He has a bachelor’s degree in geography from Mary Washington College and a master’s degree in planning from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is also a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and is a member of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) where he is a certified economic developer (CEcD). An active civic leader, his current leadership roles include: Chair of the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau, and board positions with the Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development and Charlottesville Business Innovation Council. He has also been a Junior Achievement instructor and Comfort Zone Camp volunteer.

Chris has been instrumental in the development and implementation of Charlottesville’s economic development programs, including BusinessFirst, a personal-visit business retention program, the Shop Charlottesville initiative and the Charlottesville Technology Incubator. He was recently recognized with the 2010 CBIC Leadership Award for his work chairing the Tech Tour, an innovative workforce development initiative that connects students to career opportunities in the technology sector.

Prior to his current position in economic development, Chris worked for the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce and as a cartographer and GIS Analyst for private sector firms in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Mark B. Graham, P.E.Mark B. Graham, P.E., has been the Director of Community Development for Albemarle County since that department was created in 2004 and was instrumental in making it a “one stop shop” for all development permitting and oversight by the County. He brings a somewhat unique set of skills to this position having worked in both the private and public sector, combined with a back ground that includes both an MBA and almost thirty years as a licensed professional engineer. As the Director of Community Development, Mark has been directly involved with most of the large projects approved in the County since 2000, including: Hollymead Town Center, Stonefield (Albemarle Place), Avon / 5th Street (Wegmans), Biscuit Run, Cascadia, Rivanna Village, and many others.

Prior to working for Albemarle County, Mark worked in private industry as a professional engineer and managed development projects in Northern Virginia and Tennessee. His experience also includes working for Arlington County, Virginia as an environmental programs manager and the Texas Department of Highways (now Texas Department of Transportation) as a construction engineer. He has been registered as a Professional Engineer in Virginia since 1984.

Mark holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a Masters of Business Administration from Virginia Tech.

Program Summary

“What Impact Will the Two New County Shopping Malls Have On Us?” Answers to this question were provided by Chris Engel, CEcD, director of economic development for the City of Charlottesville, and Mark B. Graham, P.E., director of Community Development for the County of Albemarle. In order to get all the answers, please listen to the entire presentation on the Charlottesville Podcasting Network (link above).

Retail trends in Charlottesville can be tracked by looking at the various shopping areas. Barracks Road Shopping Center opened in 1957 with over 487,000 square feet of retail space and 113 stores and restaurants. The downtown pedestrian mall opened in 1976 with over 1.5 million square feet, 192 stores and restaurants and structured parking. In 1980 Fashion Square Mall opened with over 572,000 square feet and 80 stores and restaurants. Hollymead Town Center opened in 2003 with over 600,000 square feet and 35 stores and restaurants.

What’s developing now? Hollymead Town Center (Area A–Near Kohls); Albemarle Square (Fresh Market); Shoppers World (Stein Mart); Stonefield (Shops at Stonefield: opening November 2012 will be the Regal Cinema, Trader Joes, Pier One, closely followed by Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, Langford Market, Travinia Italian Grill, Crate & Barrel/Pottery Barn, Burton’s Grill, Hilton and Hyatt Place Apartments).

What’s in the future? 5th Street Station in 2014/2015 with Wegmans; then at indeterminate times: Crozet (Old Trail Village Center and downtown); North Pointe (Route 29 North); Village of Rivanna (Glenmore); and Northtown Center (across 29 from Lowes). The County has estimated that enough property is already zoned to handle anticipated growth for the next 20+ years. Additionally, many existing developments could redevelop or expand (e.g. Fashion Square, Albemarle Square).

Retail growth is a function of rooftops, so retail growth needs residential growth and residential growth needs jobs. Finally, consider the future of commercial development (e.g. wireless Internet, smart phones, social media).

An Overview of the 2012 Legislative Session

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Senators Creigh Deeds and Bryce Reeves provided their perspectives on the 2012 legislative session and other current issues facing Virginians. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV President Sue Liberman.

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Creigh Deeds

Senator Creigh Deeds

Creigh Deeds represents the 25th Senate District, which includes the counties of Albemarle (part), Alleghany, Bath, Highland, Nelson, and Rockbridge, and the cities of Buena Vista, Covington, Charlottesville, and Lexington. He serves on three Senate standing committees: General Laws, Privileges and Elections, and Transportation.

Sen. Deeds’ public service career began in 1987 when he was elected to serve as the Commonwealth’s Attorney of Bath County. In 1991 he ran against an incumbent and won in the 18th District in the House of Delegates. After serving 10 years in the House, Sen. Deeds was elected to the Senate in a special election in 2001. Senator Deeds was the Democratic nominee for Attorney General in 2005 and for Governor in 2009.

Senator Deeds serves on the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation, the Virginia Sesquicentennial for the American Civil War Commission, the Small Business Commission, and the State Water Commission. For his work on behalf of crime victims, he was awarded the Warren Stambaugh Award from Virginians United Against Crime. He also has received the Leadership in Public Policy Award from The Nature Conservancy, the Preservation Alliance of Virginia Delegate of the Year, and the Virginia Association for Parks Legislator of the Year. His legislative work and accomplishments have also been recognized by the Fairfax Coalition of Police, the Virginia Conference of the American Association of University Professors, and BikeWalk Virginia.

Senator Deeds attended Virginia’s public schools and graduated from Bath County High School in 1976. After completing undergraduate work at Concord College, he received his law degree from Wake Forest University in 1984. Senator Deeds lives in Bath County. He is an attorney in private practice and a visiting professor of law at Washington and Lee University. He has four grown children.


Senator Bryce Reeves

Bryce Reeves represents the 17th Virginia Senate District which includes all of Orange County and the City of Fredericksburg, and parts of Albemarle, Culpeper, Louisa and Spotsylvania Counties. He serves on four Senate standing committees: General Laws and Technology, Courts of Justice, Privileges and Elections, and Rehabilitation and Social Services.

Senator Reeves is President of Bryce Reeves Insurance and Financial Services, and President of Reeves Asset Management Group, a commercial real estate development firm with holdings in Stafford County, Virginia.

Senator Reeves joined the United States Army as an enlisted soldier but ultimately earned the rank of Captain and served as a United States Army Ranger, our country’s oldest elite special operations force. He worked for the Prince William County Police Vice/Narcotics Bureau as a front-line detective and served on a joint jurisdiction drug interdiction taskforce of Northern Virginia and Maryland.

Senator Reeves serves his community as a small group Bible study leader and deacon at Spotswood Baptist Church in Fredericksburg and is also an International Mission team leader that helped to spread humanitarian aid and resources to the less fortunate in Romania, the Republic of Moldova, and Jamaica.

He served as the regional chairman for Americans for Prosperity.

Senator Reeves holds a Master of Public Administration in Public Policy from George Mason University and Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M University in Industrial Education, a discipline focused on designing optimal manufacturing workspaces to maximize worker efficiency. He lives in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, with his wife Anne and their two children, Nicole and Jack.

Program Summary

Senators Creigh Deeds and Bryce Reeves provided their perspectives on the 2012 session of the General Assembly.

In their opening remarks, Senators Deeds and Reeves focused primarily on the effects of partisanship and on issues related to the budget. Senator Deeds said that he has served during 21 sessions of the General Assembly, and although he still gets a thrill to sit where Jefferson and others have, this session was the least productive he’s been through. It was off to a bad start and didn’t get any better given the 20/20 tie in the Senate and with members thrown off of committees—-something that has never happened before in the history of the General Assembly.

In the past there was power sharing. He is proud to be as nonpartisan as possible, but this session was a partisan nightmare. Instead of talking about jobs and job creation, time was spent on talking about the Personhood amendment, or forcing a mandated medical procedure on women. Virginia became the late-night talk show laughing stock. You’ve got to work together, yet the false majority could not pass a budget.

He sees the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) as a way to incentivize people to work in the public sector, and we need to keep the faith of those already in the system and protect their money. The unfunded liability for VRS has to be fixed, but the system has been changed in a pretty radical way—-new employees will pay more and get reduced benefits. These changes will help keep the faith but do not provide the incentive to work in the public sector. One positive coming out of the session is that a constitutional amendment will be on the ballot increasing the protection of property rights by limiting eminent domain. Senator Deeds summed up by saying that overall, the process was hurtful and ugly.

Senator Reeves opened by stating that he thought this session was productive in spite of his observation of one thing he has found about serving in the General Assembly—-that there is a thing like mold, and it is called “politics.” It attaches to everything you do. If we could get rid of some of the partisanship, we would be able to move a lot further than we are. Considering that over 2,800 bills were introduced this year, he sees that the Senate has by and large remained a pretty civil place. He has built some great relationships on both sides of the isles. We do a pretty good job to assure that safety nets are in place and Virginia remains number one in jobs and growth. As long as we can keep our budgets in balance, we’ll be in pretty good shape. He concluded his opening remarks by saying that the Senate functions very well, much better than the House.

Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Candidates Forum

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Candidates seeking election to three vacancies on Albemarle County’s Board of Supervisors presented their views on a number of topics of local interest. Each candidate was asked to provide a short statement containing any combination of biographic, qualification, and policy position information and a photo. These appear below listed alphabetically by name.

County Candidates

The candidates spoke at the September 14, 2011 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Charlottesville Senior Center. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Secretary Bill Davis.

Kenneth C. (Ken) Boyd

Kenneth C. (Ken) Boyd

Kenneth C. (Ken) Boyd – Rivanna District – Republican For over 30 years Ken Boyd has been a part of our community. Ken and his wife Brenda raised 4 children (Casey, Patrick, Kelley and Cory) who all attended Albemarle public schools. It was Ken’s longtime commitment to the Albemarle school system that led him to chair his children’s PTOs and then on to winning a seat on the School Board. From coaching youth sports to his current service on the Computers4Kids’ board, Supervisor Boyd has always tried to make a positive difference in preparing our children for the future.

Since being elected to the Board of Supervisors, Ken’s focus has remained on improving the quality of life in Albemarle County for all. By working to bring the new Martha Jefferson Hospital to the county and helping to secure quality jobs at the DIA and NGIC, Ken has labored to keep our local economy strong. His leadership in shaping the Board of Supervisor master plan, limiting growth to 5% of the county’s landmass, has allowed roughly 80% of the county to remain forested. His transportation solutions like the Meadowcreek Parkway and now the 29 bypass will help ease congestion and better serve local residents and businesses for decades to come.

Christopher J. Dumler

Christopher J. Dumler

Christopher J. Dumler – Scottsville District – Democrat Christopher Dumler is an attorney and UVA Law graduate with his own practice who lives and works in Scottsville. In addition to his private law practice, Christopher also serves as a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps. He has been appointed by the Board of Supervisors to serve on the Board of Directors and as chairman of the Finance Committee of the Region Ten Community Services Board, and he is also a member of the Albemarle Natural Heritage Committee, a stakeholder in the Biscuit Run State Park master planning process. He also serves the community as a volunteer firefighter, a member of the Scottsville Government Services Committee, and a member of the Scottsville Chamber of Commerce. Christopher is running to ensure that Albemarle and the Scottsville District have an accountable, collaborative, responsive government that focuses on issues that actually matter to the residents of the district: economic development and job creation for citizens; smart investments in our schools to ensure our children receive a world-class education that will keep us competitive in the global market; and smart growth and development to preserve our agricultural heritage, environmental treasures and the pristine beauty of Albemarle County.

Ann Mallek

Ann Mallek

Ann Mallek – Whitehall District – Democrat I am descended from a 13th c Irish lady pirate, the granddaughter of a Rachel Carson environmentalist, and daughter of a veterinarian. I wear many hats which use different skills and interests. Farmer, biologist by training, teacher — all provide me with experience to support my major goals as supervisor — representation and collaboration.

I am proud to be a citizen activist, with sole allegiance to residents and to our county. I stand up for open, accessible processes and transparent decision making, as I believe these are essential to build and maintain the public’s confidence in local government.

There are many critical issues facing our district and our county right now-economic development and employment, success in our schools, transportation priorities and the Western Bypass, zoning concerns, air and water quality, water capacity planning, and the county use of tax funds, to name a few. I actively listen to citizens, bring varied opinions together, and represent the majority of the citizens in our district. Please share your views with me by calling or e- mailing. Invite me to speak with your neighborhood or homeowners association, or community group.

Cynthia Neff

Cynthia Neff

Cynthia Neff – Rivanna District – Democrat It seems I have spent my whole life preparing for this role on the BOS. I was a small business owner then transitioned to one of the most successful companies in the world. At IBM I learned what it took to be a leader, to make tough decisions and to make thoughtful analyses. I learned to balance the needs of customers, the marketplace, employees, and the bottom line. I worked my way up from account specialist to the executive ranks where I was accountable for running a global operation.

I plan to live the rest of my life here in Albemarle County. I want to help our community not only survive, but thrive. Someone needs to stand up for the residents of the Rivanna District and Albemarle County, listen to them, engage them and work with them to build a sustainable, integrated community for everyone.

We are at a defining moment in the history of our community. Strong leadership is required that proactively listens to all parties, understands there are no simple solutions nor room for rigid ideology, plays well with others and gets the job done. I can do that job well. I ask for your support, help and your vote.

James C. Norwood

James C. Norwood

James C. Norwood – Scottsville District – Republican

  • B.A. Economics University of New England… presently a Trustee
  • Independent business owner in Albemarle county for 12 years
  • Private business owner 25 years of 45 year career
  • Married to Joan for 43 yrs , five children, seven grandchildren
  • Past President of Charlottesville American Heart Association
  • Past President American Cancer Society, Charlottesville


  • FOR-Freedom, Liberty and Rights
  • FOR-Common sense fiscal responsibility
  • FOR-Extending CAT service where needed
  • FOR-In classroom investment for education
  • FOR-Safe rural roads
  • FOR-Manage county revenue to avoid raising taxes
  • FOR-Buy Local and expand present businesses from within to create jobs
  • AGAINST-Partisan politics
  • AGAINST-Internet sales for products available locally

Program Summary

Rivanna District incumbent Ken Boyd (R) said that after his extensive involvement in education (as the PTO president, founding member of the parent council, and school board member) he was elected to the board of supervisors eight years ago. He identifies the following as important issues: education; fiscal responsibility (people living on fixed incomes just can’t pay any more taxes now); good, high-paying career ladder jobs; and the environment. He is very proud that we have actually lessened the size of the growth area and added over 1,000 acres of park land.

Rivanna District challenger Cynthia Neff (D) left retirement to speak out for people who do not have a voice–persons with AIDS, abused children, the environment, and the working poor. Giving citizens the chance to be part of decisions and providing regular input is one of the main reasons she is running. Open, transparent government means giving citizens a voice before decisions are made. Economic vitality is critical, but it means more than just growth and development.

Scottsville District candidate Chris Dumler (D) sees potentially unchecked and unplanned for growth threatening to clog our transportation infrastructure and overcrowd our schools. He understands what works and doesn’t work in education (both parents are teachers), and the difficulties of opening a small business. We need a holistic, comprehensive vision of what our county will look like. We deserve a government that is collaborative and works with UVa, the city and the surrounding localities to solve regional issues.

Scottsville District candidate James Norwood (R) supports funding for education so we can promote highly qualified students to compete on a world-wide stage, but also to look after all children who need to be better prepared for life after school. He will lead the charge to expand our present businesses and generate jobs through those expansions to meet our revenue needs. He supports the 29 bypass and improvements to Rt 20 and Rt 53.

White Hall District incumbent Ann Malleck (D) is running for reelection unopposed. In the last election cycle in 2007 the county was growing and changing at a very fast pace, but now the economy is slowing and the need is to cut the budget. Albemarle also faces the State government’s desire to devolve its highway responsibilities to us. We need to stand shoulder-toshoulder with other counties to tell the General Assembly, “No!” To maintain thousands of miles of roads in Albemarle County would be a huge expense.

Educating for the Future

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

School Superintendents Rosa Atkins (Charlottesville) and Pam Moran (Albemarle) examined the state of education in Albemarle’s and Charlottesville’s public school systems.

Rosa Atkins and Pam Moran speaking before the June 8th meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia

Rosa Atkins (left) and Pam Moran speaking before the June 8th meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia.

Atkins and Moran spoke at the June 8, 2011 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Charlottesville Senior Center. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Vice President Bob McGrath.

Rosa Atkins

Rosa Atkins

Prior to coming to Charlottesville in July, 2006, Rosa Atkins served as assistant superintendent in Caroline County. She has previously worked as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, director of leadership development, and director of instruction. A former fellow in Educational Leadership and Ethics at Oxford University, Rosa was named Henrico County Instructional Leader of the Year in 1999. Her breadth of experience spans urban, suburban, and rural settings; she has worked closely with refugee, homeless, and extraordinarily precocious children.

Rosa received a bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Virginia State University. She received a master’s degree in Special Education, and a master’s degree in Administration and Supervision, also from Virginia State. She received her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Policy from Virginia Tech.

Rosa was named 2011 Superintendent of the Year for Region 5 of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents and 2011 Virginia Superintendent of the Year.

Rosa has provided inspiring and innovative leadership in her urban school district of 3,800 students. She has reduced the achievement gap between her advantaged and disadvantaged students on the state’s standardized tests, while simultaneously elevating her district’s academic standards to better prepare her students for enrollment in higher education and successful employment in a globally competitive economy.

Pam Moran

Pam Moran

For more than 30 years, Pam Moran has held a wide variety of teaching and leadership roles in elementary, middle, and high schools as well as at the district level including middle and high school science teacher, staff development and instructional coordinator, middle school associate principal, elementary principal, director of curriculum and instruction, assistant superintendent for student learning, and superintendent.

Pam holds a B.S. degree (1974) from Furman University and a master’s degree (1981) in Curriculum and Instruction and a doctoral degree (1997) in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Virginia. As an adjunct instructor for the University of Virginia, she has taught over 10 different instructional and leadership courses across the state, including a recent virtual course on “Reimagining Education in the 21st Century.”

Connecting with other public school educators to make sense of needed transitions in our field as we close in on the second decade of the 21st Century is a passion. Pam is energized by conversations with young people who relish emerging technologies as learning and communication tools, and see themselves as contributors to the communities in which they live.

Pam is the current president of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents for the 2011-12 School Year and serves as a member of the Governor’s Commission on Higher Education. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, military history, poetry, and writing.

Program Summary

At the June 8 SSV meeting, Rosa Atkins and Pam Moran, school superintendents of Charlottesville and Albemarle, provided an overview on “Educating for the Future.”

Dr. Atkins described the goal of developing a global school system–going beyond this region to connect students and teachers with resources, and to prepare students with the skills they will need anywhere in the region, state, nation or world. This involves connections; partnerships; innovation; academic rigor; professional excellence; and learning for life. She also discussed a number of legislative issues that need to be addressed. These include benefits; evaluations of staff; time for instruction; alternative modes of instruction and learning; curriculum; and funding.

Dr. Moran introduced guests including a former teacher at Western Albemarle High School (WAHS) and a WAHS graduate (who will be going on to UVa) to discuss how important it is that all students graduate college-ready, citizenship-ready, and workforce-ready. The school places an emphases on leadership, community service, and how to purposively integrate technology into the curriculum.

Dr. Moran looked at the perspective through the lens of who are we in the world. We hear a lot in the media about our schools not being up to snuff in comparison with the rest of the world. However, in some countries only populations with low levels of poverty are tested. Also, the majority of kids in many other countries don’t go past middle school. Another factor is that females in our system have the same access to education as boys, and students with special needs are not shunted to the side. Indeed, when comparing apples to apples, our kids are ranked number 1 in the world. We are about equal opportunity. Yet just because of sheer numbers, if you take only the top 15% of the students in China, that number is greater than all the kids in US schools. What this means is that we can’t afford to educate just our middle class students well, but rather all of our students must receive a world class education in order for us to compete around the globe.

The State of the City and County

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Ann Mallek, chairman of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, and Dave Norris, mayor of the City of Charlottesville spoke at the March 10, 2010 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia held at The Charlottesville Senior Center. Following brief opening remarks by the participants, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV board member Jim Perkins.

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Ann Malleck

Ann H. Mallek, was elected for her first term to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors beginning in 2008 representing the White Hall District. She was elected chairman earlier this year.

Ann grew up in Albemarle County and graduated from Albemarle High School. She received her B.A. in Zoology from Connecticut College. Since 1983 Ann and her husband, Leo, a general dentist with a practice in Earlysville, have managed the family farm in Earlysville where they raised their two daughters. The farm produces grass-fed beef and pesticide-free vegetables.

Ann is the educator and program coordinator for Central Virginia for the Virginia Museum of Natural History.

She is a member of the following boards, commissions and committees: the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission; Albemarle County Fire Rescue Advisory Board; Piedmont Workforce Network Council; Acquisition of Conservation Easements; and the Building Committee.

Ann is a member of the League of Women Voters; Albemarle County Farm Bureau; Charlottesville-Albemarle Chamber of Commerce; Piedmont Environmental Council; Southern Environmental Law Center; Rivanna Conservation Society; Ivy Creek Foundation; and the League of Conservation Voters.

Ann cites her experience on County boards focused on zoning, transportation, development, and conservation, and describes herself as a strong protector of the environment and rural spaces, and of growth areas that are developed only after rational, long-term planning and proper funding of necessary public services.

Dave Norris

Dave Norris was first elected to the Charlottesville City Council in 2006 and was elected mayor in 2008. He is the executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge and previously was the executive director of PACEM. Other positions include the associate director of Madison House, interim director of PHAR (the Public Housing Association of Residents), founding director of the Connecting People to Jobs Initiative (a joint venture between PHAR and Piedmont Virginia Community College), and coordinator of the Virginia Economic Development Corporation’s Micro Loan Program for low-income, minority and female entrepreneurs.

Dave has served on a number of boards and commissions including the Charlottesville Redevelopment & Housing Authority, Monticello Area Community Action Agency, PHAR Advisory Board, Piedmont Housing Alliance, Westhaven Nursing Clinic Coalition, Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless, and the Jefferson Area Board of Aging 2020 Community Plan for Aging.

Dave graduated from high school in Stuttgart, Germany, and received a B.A. in Politics & History from Curry College in Milton, MA, and an M.A. in Government from the College of William and Mary. He recently bought an old house in Belmont and is happy to call Belmont home. He has two children, Eli and Chloe.

Dave is a graduate of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Charlottesville program and a graduate of the Quality Community Council’s Explorations in Excellence leadership development program. He was named one of the Distinguished Dozen by the Daily Progress and was honored as Virginia Citizen of the Year by the Virginia Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors for his work with PACEM.

Program Summary

Ms. Mallek identified several areas of progress over the past several years including the inclusion of the entire county for 100 foot stream buffer; adoption of consistent driveway standards; improvements to erosion and resettlement regulations; master plans and their careful revision every five years; and a county budget process that helps supervisors understand the will of the people. An immediate challenge is the proposed state budget cuts of 8 percent in the Senate budget and 15 percent in the House (and up to 30 percent for the city).

Mr. Norris discussed the many constraints on relationships: Virginia is a Dillon Rule state which greatly restricts what a city can do. Virginia is also the only state with independent cities. This is a dysfunctional system and creates inefficiencies and antagonisms. He would prefer to do away with the system of independent cities and he strives to implement ways to share services with the county. Still, a lot has been accomplished and there has been good progress in the four primary issues he identified in his campaign: affordable housing; environmental sustainability; race and poverty; and youth opportunity and education.

Audience questions pertained to reversion to town status; revenue sharing and school funding formula; the impact of the university; solid waste; Rio Road and Meadowcreek Parkway; annexation; the need for mutual city-county transportation planning; city-county support for the YMCA; why it takes so long to make decisions (e.g., water supply system); and the rebranding of the Charlottesville Transit System.

Martha Jefferson Hospital: The Old and the New

Monday, February 16th, 2009

James E. Haden, president and chief executive officer of Martha Jefferson Health Services, was the featured speaker at the February 11, 2009 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia.


James E. Haden was named president and CEO of Martha Jefferson Health Services in 1993. Mr Haden received his master’s degree in Public Health/Health Services Management from UCLA in 1971. He completed his administrative residency at Scripps Hospital in LaJolla, California, and received the 1988 Alumni of the Year Award from the UCLA Health Services Management Alumni Association. Mr. Haden served as president and CEO of Queen of the Valley Health Services in West Covina, California, from 1986 – 1993. Prior to that, he served as chief operating officer of Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, California, from 1978 to 1986. Mr Haden served as associate administrator at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, California, from 1976 – 1978. In 1992, Mr. Haden was chairperson of the California Association of Catholic Hospitals and was a member of the Hospital Council of Southern California from 1988 – 1993.

Mr. Haden served as a board member on the Federal Reserve Board of Richmond from 1998 – 2003, serving on its Executive Committee from 2002 – 2003. He is a former board member of the Charlottesville United Way, the Piedmont Virginia Community College Foundation and Charlottesville Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Haden served as a preceptor at the UCLA Health Services Management Program from 1981 – 1987 and currently serves as a preceptor for VCU’s Masters Program in Health Care Administration. In 2003 Mr. Haden was the recipient of the American Heart Association, Charlottesville Chapter, Billy Gitchell Award. In 2006 he was the recipient of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Blue Ridge Chapter Silver Hope Award. Mr. Haden is the 2008 recipient of the Beta Kappa Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau, UVa School of Nursing Community Service Award. Mr. Haden is married to Sue Haden. They have three children.