The Mariners’ Museum and Park connects people to the world’s waterways through exploration and engaging experiences.
For over eighty years, the history of the ocean and its relationship with humankind has been told and displayed in one of the largest maritime museums in the world. In 1930, The Mariners’ Museum was brought to life by the shared vision of Archer Milton Huntington and Homer L. Ferguson. Huntington was son of railroad and shipping magnate Collis P. Huntington, who founded Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company just a few miles from the Museum. Ferguson, the head of Newport News Shipbuilding at the time of the founding, also served as The Mariners’ Museum’s first President.
To create The Mariners’ Museum, in 1930 Archer Huntington and his wife, sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington, used 800 acres of land surrounding Watts Creek in Newport News, Virginia. The property belonged to the Old Dominion Land Company, which Archer inherited, whose watershed had previously been used as a source of water for the City of Newport News. The first two years of development were devoted to creating and improving a natural park and constructing a dam to create Lake Maury, which was named after the nineteenth-century Virginia oceanographer Commodore Matthew Fontaine Maury.
Known as the Lion’s Bridge, the dam forming the lake provides a breathtaking view of the James River, as well as a family gathering place to enjoy the Museum Park. The beauty of the dam is enhanced by several fine pieces of statuary designed by Anna Hyatt Huntington. Four stone lions were mounted on the ends of the parapets of the dam in October 1932. Anna also created and dedicated a monument entitled “Conquering the Wild.” The central theme of this monument consists of a man engaged in a titanic struggle to subdue a rearing horse. Elevated on a massive octagonal Indiana limestone pedestal and flanked at four corners by life-size figures representing science, art, learning, and industry, the monument overlooks the Lion’s Bridge, the Park, and Lake Maury.
The first purchases of artifacts in any quantity were made in the early 1930s in New York and New England. Because the Museum was to be international in scope, the search for maritime material expanded throughout the 1930s to Europe, the West Indies and beyond. The Museum’s collection now totals approximately 32,000 objects, equally divided between works of art and three-dimensional objects. Huntington’s personal library of maritime books formed the core of the new Museum’s Library.
Today, The Mariners’ Museum sits in an urban oasis – the 550 acre park is now home to the 167-acre Lake Maury and the Noland Trail – a five-mile shoreline trail with fourteen bridges. Within the Museum itself you will find 90,000 square feet of exhibition galleries including the prestigious International Small Craft Center, and the award-winning USS Monitor Center. This state-of-the-art exhibition and conservation lab houses 210 tons of artifacts from the Civil War ironclad Monitor, which were recovered from NOAA’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary.
The Mariners’ Museum Library and Archives is home to over 78,000 books; 800,000 photographs, films, and negatives; and over 1 million pieces of archival material, making it the largest maritime library in the Western Hemisphere.
Anne Conner was named President of Public Finance and Community Investment, a new division of TowneBank, in May, 2013. Anne is tasked with managing corporate federal tax liability through investment in privately placed tax-exempt bond issues as well as New Markets, Historic Rehabilitation and Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Prior to her new role, Anne was Regional President for TowneBank of Williamsburg from 2005 to 2013.
In addition to her position with TowneBank, Anne serves as Chairman of the Virginia College Building Authority under gubernatorial appointment and also serves as Vice Chairman of the Boards of Directors of WHRO and The Mariners’ Museum. Anne has also been involved in several private equity companies, most recently as Chairman of ivWatch, LLC, a medical device company which has developed state-of-the-art technology to detect infiltration and extravasation of peripheral IV’s.
CEO, US Waterways Transportation LLC
Ed Whitmore grew up in the Sandbridge Beach, Virginia. He attended Elon University in North Carolina where he graduated in 1982. His first significant work experience came as a salesman with a local packaging supply company in Norfolk. In 1988, he accepted a sales position with Maersk, Inc. a large shipping company. He held sales positions in New York City before being transferred to Charlotte, NC where he headed up the company’s regional sales and operations activities. In 1994, he shifted industries when he returned to New York to accept a position at Standard Chartered Bank marketing foreign exchange currencies to large corporations. Here he held sales and management responsibilities over a ~seven year span. In early 2001, Whitmore accepted a position at AIG Trading. In this role he broadened his foreign exchange experience to include structured finance. In the fall of 2003, Whitmore returned to Norfolk where he set out to leverage his considerable experience in the small business arena.
In late 2003 Whitmore acquired Norfolk Tug Company (NTC), a small general marine towing business in the Berkley section of Norfolk. Following three months of operation, he shutdown the business, tied up its two poor quality assets and laid off everyone while he developed a solid business plan for his new tug operation. By 2004, the “new” Norfolk Tug Company employed 20 mariners and operated four rebuilt tugs. In 2005 NTC acquired A1 Towing, Inc. In 2006 Whitmore began a repower program targeting the installation of tier II engines (very efficient and environmentally friendly) for all towing vessels. In December of 2008, he acquired the “64 Express,” a congestion mitigation initiative that transports containers via barge in the James River between Hampton Roads and Richmond. Today, it is the longest running Short Sea Shipping initiative on the East Coast. In 2009, Whitmore formed Milton Point LLC – a property company that owns and operates various waterfront properties in Hampton Roads. In 2011, he formed US Waterways Transportation LLC (USWT LLC), a holding management company for various ventures and the following year USWT LLC acquired Buchanan Marine L.P. (BMLP). Today the marine related companies manage ~100 dry bulk barges, fourteen tugs, a stevedoring business, and numerous water dependant properties. The Company employs about 150 people working on tugs between Houston and the eastern seaboard north to Long Island Sound. NTC and BMLP are positioned as the most environmentally friendly marine operator in their space, owning and operating more tier II equipped 2000 horse power tugs than any other on the east coast.
President of the Abbitt Group, Inc., Newport News, VA
Mr. Wornom was elected to the Board in January of 2008. He has served on the Executive, Collections, Library & Program, Marketing & Development, and the Ad Hoc Land Committees. Mr. Wornom is the President of the Abbitt Group, LLC. and its subsidiaries. The Abbitt organization has significant involvement in Real Estate Brokerage, Land Development, Real Estate Investment Acquisitions, and Property Management. Abbitt Management, Inc. is a multi-state operation.
He graduated from Randolph Macon College in 1964. Upon leaving Randolph Macon, Charles worked as a chemist for the State Department of Agriculture in Richmond for two years. He then joined the United States Air Force and went through the Officer’s Training Program. He served four years and was discharged with the rank of Captain. After leaving the Air Force, he attended The College of William & Mary and obtained his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Upon completing this program, he joined the Abbitt Organization.
Retired President and CEO, Dominion Enterprises
A native of Norfolk, Virginia, Mr. Hall joined Landmark Communications, Inc. in September 1970 after having worked for the company as a summer intern in 1969. He began in broadcasting at WTAR-TV and Radio, then joined the Landmark corporate staff in 1971 as financial analyst, was promoted to director of management information in 1973 and was named treasurer in 1975.
In 1977, Mr. Hall joined The Virginian-Pilot and The Ledger-Star division of Landmark as vice president and business manager, and later became vice president/circulation director. He then was appointed vice president for operations. In 1981 he rejoined the Landmark corporate staff as vice president/human resources and was named executive vice president and chief financial officer in 1985. In 1989 he was named president of the newly formed Landmark Target Media, Inc.
On April 1, 1991, he became president and chief executive officer of Trader Publishing Company. On September 10, 2006, he became President and Chief Executive Officer of Dominion Enterprises, a new company formed from a reorganization of Trader.
Mr. Hall currently serves on the Board of Directors of Landmark Communications, Inc., ACCESS where he serves as secretary and treasurer, The Greater Norfolk Corporation, The Norfolk Academy, and the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. He is a past president of the VMI Foundation, Inc. where he continues to serve as a Trustee and chairman of the VMI Investment Committee.
Hall’s education includes a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the Virginia Military Institute and a Master of Business Administration from the Darden School of the University of Virginia. He served as an artillery officer in the United States Army from 1966 to 1968.
Mr. Conrad Hall was appointed to Old Dominion University’s Board of Visitors on July 1, 2003, and was reappointed to a second four-year term on July 1, 2007. He currently serves as Chair of the Administration & Finance Committee and as a member of the Audit, Institutional Advancement, and Executive Committees.
Director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, Retired
Captain Barnum was elected to the Board of Trustees in March of 2011 and serves on the Collections, Library and Program Committee.
Captain Steven Barnum retired as the Director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, where he served as the nation’s chief hydrographer, responsible for overseeing NOAA’s hydrographic services, including the mapping and charting of all United States navigational waters. Barnum began his career with NOAA, in 1980 and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Louisiana Tech University, a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from University of Maryland, and a Master of Science degree in software engineering from Johns Hopkins University. Barnum has received numerous awards which include two US Department of Commerce silver medals, the NOAA Corps commendation medal, the US Coast Guard achievement medal, and several NOAA sustained superior achievement medals.
President/CEO of Credit Control Corporation
After attending Chowan College, Mr. Bayne went to work for Credit Control Corporation. Since 1983 he has served as President/CEO of Credit Control Corporation which is located in Newport News, Virginia. Credit Control Corporation provides healthcare clients on a regional basis and telecommunication clients nationally with a host of receivable management services. His primary responsibilities include overall operations and planned growth of Credit Control Corporation into new markets. Professional Associations: Healthcare Financial Managers Association American Collectors Association Boys and Girls Club Virginia Peninsula Foundation Board Member Virginia Collectors Association Board Member Past Board Member State Fair of Virginia and SouthTrust Bank Mr. Bayne currently resides in Poquoson with his daughter Hunter Elizabeth an upcoming freshman at Virginia Tech and daughter Jessica Michelle a second year kindergarten teacher in Newport News. He enjoy sport fishing up and down the east coast on his boat and spending time at his farm house in Charles City.
President and CEO, Bay Electric Co., Inc.
John F. Biagas started his career as an electrician trainee about the same time he started elementary school. The youngest of 14 children, John joined his brothers and sisters working in the family’s business, Biagas & Sons’ Electric, owned and operated by his father, Alvin Biagas, Sr. After studying business management and accounting and playing on the college baseball team at McNeese State University, he joined three of his older brothers in Maryland. There they formed their own Electrical and General Contracting business, AVA Electric. At AVA, he not only fine tuned his skills as an electrician, but he also learned to manage a fast-paced contracting company. In 1997, John purchased Bay Electric Co., Inc. and moved his family to Newport News, Virginia, home of Bay Electric.
As a compliment to Bay’s humble beginnings, John remains a very strong advocate of the Small, Women & Minority Owned business program. Bay Electric continues to demonstrate support by providing an amplitude of subcontracting opportunities to fully qualified small businesses in all categories. Additionally, Bay Electric extends mentorship programs and sponsors events and conferences that open a plethora of varied opportunities to Small, Small Disadvantaged, Women-Owned, HUBZone, Service Disabled Veteran Owned, and Veteran Owned business concerns.
Currently, John serves on numerous boards both local and statewide such as An Achievable Dream, Boys and Girls Club, Virginia Apprenticeship Council and the York Foundation for Public Education. John is a founding Member/Board Director of Virginia Company Bank and the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) Virginia Chapter, and serves on the Board of Visitors for Old Dominion University.
John lives in Yorktown, Virginia, with his wife Tricia and their two daughters.
Partner, Williams Mullens
Charles Cabell is a partner in the Real Estate Section at Williams Mullen, where he concentrates his practice in commercial real estate. His experience includes the acquisition, development, zoning, financing and leasing of commercial property with an emphasis on mixed use projects containing office, light industry uses, residential units and retail shopping centers. His business background facilitates his practice in construction finance and loan workouts for the lenders and borrowers.
College of William & Mary, J.D. – 1977
Hampden-Sydney College, B.A. – 1974
American Bar Association, Real Property and Business Law Sections
Richmond Bar Association, Real Property Section
Virginia State Bar
Brookfield Home for Girls, Board Member and Treasurer
The Cabell Foundation, Board Member and President
Ducks Unlimited, Board Member
Hampden-Sydney College, Board Member
Riverside on the James Condominium Association, Board Member and Counsel
President Emeritus, University of Virginia , Charlottesville, VA
John Casteen served as president of the University of Virginia 1990-2010. The initiatives of these years included major institutional planning programs (Virginia 2020 and others); increases in the numbers of students and faculty members; construction of new buildings in Charlottesville, Wise, and elsewhere; expansion of international programs for research and for learning; increases in the University’s endowments and other non-state funds; and significant growth in the University’s stature. In this period, also, the University was recognized for its leadership in educating minority students, for its equity programs generally, for the quality of its undergraduate teaching and programs of financial aid for students with need, and for its success in refinancing itself following historic reductions in state tax support at the beginning of the decade.
After teaching English at the University of California (Berkeley) and the University of Virginia, and service as UVA’s Admissions Dean, Mr. Casteen became Virginia’s Secretary of Education in 1982. He served until 1985. While secretary, he directed reforms in both secondary and higher education, revamped Virginia’s college desegregation efforts, and initiated programs of state support for research. From 1985 to 1990, he was president of the University of Connecticut.
Mr. Casteen has been a director of the American Council on Education, a director of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, trustee and chair of the College Entrance Examination Board, commissioner of the Education Commission of the States, member of the Board of Control for the Southern Regional Education Board, commissioner of the New England Board of Higher Education, and chair of the Association of Governing Board’s council of presidents. From 1991 to 1993, he chaired the National Board on Oceans and Atmosphere.
In 1997, Mr. Casteen completed a term as chair of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) as well as a term as president of SACS. In 2000-2002, he chaired the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). He chaired the Association of American Universities (AAU). He is currently serving on AGB’s National Commission on College and University Board Governance and the Academy of Arts and Science’s Lincoln Project: Excellence and Access in Public Higher Education.
Mr. Casteen’s business career has included service on corporate boards including the Wachovia Corporation, Strayer, the Altria Group, Sage Publications and Echo360. He serves as a Director of the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, The Mariner’s Museum, Virginia Intermont College, the Leifur Eiríksson Foundation and the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia. He served as chair of Universitas 21 and was a member of the Board of Directors of U21 Global Pte Ltd. From 2005-2013, he was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
Mr. Casteen was named the Outstanding Virginian of 1993. The state conference of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) presented its Jackson Davis Award to him in December 1993. In February 1996, he received the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Athens (the National and Kapodistrian University). In 1998, he was named the University of Virginia’s outstanding alumnus of the year. In December 1998, he received the Gold Medal of the National Institute of Social Sciences. In November 2002, Mr. Casteen was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention’s Presidents Leadership Group Award. The Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects awarded him its Architecture Medal for Virginia Service in 2004. He is a Fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Mr. Casteen recently received the University of Virginia’s Thomas Jefferson Award, the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Paul Goodloe McIntire Citizenship Award, and the 2010 Virginia Press Association Virginian of the Year award. In July 2011, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh. In March 2013, he received the John Hope Franklin Award from Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. In 2014, he received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration Award.
A collection of his short stories received the 1987 Mishima Award for fiction. His current writing has had to do with public policy issues affecting universities and colleges.
Mr. Casteen is a University Professor. His current courses include intellectual history courses on Venice, a multiyear series of graduate seminars on governance of colleges and universities, and introductory courses in Old English and Old Icelandic literature.
Mr. Casteen holds three degrees in English from the University of Virginia (B.A., high honors, 1965, M.A., 1966, Ph.D., 1970.) His wife is Betsy Foote Casteen. They have five (5) children and four (4) grandchildren.
A native of Norfolk, Va., Kenneth (Kenny) Crofton was raised in the maritime community. His father Juan F. Crofton founded Crofton Diving Corporation in 1949, and Kenny began working in the family business while still attending high school. After graduating, he began his career as a commercial diver. Over the years, Kenny has worked with his family to expand the company’s service capabilities beyond commercial diving to include marine construction as well as heavy lift and rigging services. These service divisions, now known as Crofton Industries, work together to provide comprehensive maritime services to the commercial and industrial segments of the Hampton Roads and Mid-Atlantic regions and serve as an employer to a team of over 125 personnel.
Kenny is a staunch supporter of the maritime community and serves on many boards that promote the Port of Hampton Roads. He is presently Chairman of Norfolk Festevents, an advisor to the board of Directors of the Norfolk Propeller Club, is a board member of the Virginia Maritime Administration and is a past board member for Nauticus in Norfolk, VA.
A Tidewater Virginia native, Chris founded Bluewater Yacht Sales in 1968 after developing a proven set of business management skills as the president of a large manufacturer’s representative company. Born a waterman, Chris parlayed his personal and competitive passion for sailing and powerboat racing to unfalteringly advance Bluewater Yacht Sales through strong and weak economies to where the company is currently positioned 40+ years later – one of the most successful yachting businesses in the United States.
Even though Chris has assembled an impressive team of sales, service and support staff to run daily operations, he is still very involved with the Bluewater operations. However, he has more time these days to pursue other interests as well. He serves on several executive boards, and is deeply involved with the boating industry and community at large. His passion for boat racing and automobile racing add to his many achievements. Together, the Bluewater Team of Chris and his younger brother Earle enjoyed a calling to race 2.5 and 7-litre hydroplanes – winning seven world and national titles. Chris and Team Bluewater have also enjoyed being on the leaderboard of some of the East Coast’s most notable sportfishing tournaments thanks to being equipped with highly skilled crews and some of the industry’s best performing boats from the brands Bluewater has represented over the years such as Viking Yachts.
In running their own and showcasing the various boating brands that the Halls have sold in Bluewater’s spanning history, they formed enduring relationships with almost everyone that had a hand in the construction of the world’s finest boats. From the many who toiled tirelessly behind the scenes to Viking’s pioneering Healy family, the Halls’ desire to have an entrenched understanding of every aspect of boat construction, performance and innovations, resulted in personal relationships that provide Bluewater customers with unparalleled access to- and support from their motoryacht and sportfish brands of choice.
Through old fashioned determination, Chris has ensured through the decades, that Bluewater Yacht Sales is synonymous with superior product and friendly service. Now a multi-faceted and wildly successful group of operations, the Bluewater Network employs the same hands-on approach that Chris has put forth from Day 1 – always go the extra mile to ensure the company only represents the finest brands and that a customer’s boat stands out in a crowded market.
Chris and his wife Judy call Hampton, Virginia, home and have enjoyed sharing the boating lifestyle with their children and their families. Son Chris Jr. is a member of Bluewater’s management team and daughter Kathy is a college professor in Abu Dhabi. Chris and Judy enjoy spending their free time cruising the nearby waters of the Chesapeake Bay estuary, and extended trips along the Mid-Atlantic and beyond.
Chairman and CEO, The PENROD Group
Mr. Heidt has 40 years of experience in international trade, manufacturing and distribution. He joined The Penrod Company as a log buyer in 1969 and managed various positions until becoming president in 1983. He rose to Chairman and CEO in 1999. Over the course of his career, Heidt has overseen the company’s expansion into international markets as well as the development of innovative products, helping establish Penrod as a global competitor in the forest, metal and PVC products industry. Penrod has company locations in North America, Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa.
Professionally, Heidt has served as Chairman of the Hardwood Plywood & Veneer Association, and holds membership in an array of professional associations. He also served on the US Department of Commerce Industrial Trade Advisory Committee and the board of Media5 in Sherbrooke, Canada. He serves as Chairman of The PENROD Company and its subsidiaries.
As a volunteer interested in global health, Heidt currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. He sits on the Governing Board of the International Federation of Red Cross (in Geneva) representing the United States and the American Red Cross. He is Chair of the Intemational Movement Advisory Council. He also serves on the University of North Carolina Board of Visitors. Past assignments include National Vice Chairman of the American Red Cross, Chairman of Physicians for Peace, Chairman of the Children’s Health Foundation and various senior Red Cross volunteer positions leading groups with oversight on disaster and biomedical operations.
Heidt’s professional and personal endeavors have taken him all over the world. He holds a BA degree from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and has three children and four grandchildren.
President & CEO, T. Parker Host, Inc. Norfolk, VA
Mr. Host has been on the board since January of 2008. During that time he has served on several board committees and accepted the position of Board Chair in January 2014.
Mr. Host is a Newport News native. He graduated from Hampton Roads Academy, and Hampden Sydney College. Mr. Host has been with T. Parker Host, Inc. since 1977 serving in the following capacities: President and CEO (2002 – Present); Executive Vice President (1993-2002); Assistant Vice President Operations (1982-1993); Export Manager (1979-1982); Agent (1977-1979) and in 2011 he became Chairman and CEO.
President and CEO, W. M. Jordan Company, Inc.
Mr. Lawson began his career with W. M. Jordan Company as a Field Engineer in 1975 after graduating from Virginia Tech with a BS in Geophysics. Under his leadership, W.M. Jordan Company has become one of the largest Construction Managers in Virginia, with annual revenues of $500 million dollars and a ranking in Engineering News Record’s Top 400 Contractors in the United States for the past 29 years.
He is married to Paige and resides in Newport News with his 19 year old son, Taylor; 18 year old daughter, Tess; and 15 year old son, Jack. In his leisure time, he enjoys boating, college football, golfing, skiing, art and history.
Mr. Lawson is the Chairman for Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, Fort Monroe Authority, Christopher Newport University’s $42 million Comprehensive Campaign, and the Virginia Kappa Alumni Corporation, Virginia Tech Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon. He currently serves on the board of TowneBank, Myers-Lawson School of Construction at Virginia Tech, CEO Roundtable, and the Virginia Tech Foundation. He is the Past Rector of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors, Past Chairman of the Mariners’ Museum, Virginia Economic Development Council and was Co-Chair for the Virginia Tech $1 Billion Comprehensive Campaign.
Founder of Earl Industries, CEO of Fairlead
Since founding the company in 1998, Jerry Miller has guided the growth of The Miller Group and its affiliated companies as Owner and CEO. A 1977 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, he also served seven years as a Surface Warfare Officer. Jerry co-founded Earl Industries in 1985 and purchased the company outright in 1989 leading the company through many years of success and ultimately to its sale to General Dynamics in 2012. Over this period he acquired, integrated, and operated companies in many various business and markets including information technology, data mining, defense technology systems, and commercial real estate in the Tidewater area. In 2012 he sold the three ship repair divisions to General Dynamics and organized the manufacturing and power and controls division of Earl Industries into Fairlead and serves as Chief Executive Officer.
Vice President for Operations & Engineering for Smithfield Food
Mr. Morris currently serves as the Vice President for Operations & Engineering for Smithfield Foods. He and his wife have visited the museum, they live in Riverside and are very eager to engage and be involved with The Mariners’ Museum.
Mr. Morris is a graduate from Texas A&M University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He has served the meat industry for 43 years, as Plant Engineer with Owens Country Sausage, Vice President Engineering for Smithfield Packing and Vice President Operations for Smithfield and Gwaltney during his first 17 year tenure at Smithfield Foods. He rejoined Smithfield Foods in 2004 after nine years with ConAgra Foods where he was the Senior Vice President of Manufacturing for the Processed Meats Group. His current responsibilities include Operations and Engineering oversight for Global Smithfield, including all plant operations worldwide.
Corporate Vice President and President of Newport News Shipbuilding
Matt Mulherin is corporate vice president of Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) and president of Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) in Newport News, Va. Named to this position in 2011, he is responsible for all Newport News Shipbuilding engineering, operations and programs, to include the most complex ships in the world: nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines. Newport News Shipbuilding has approximately $4 billion in revenues and more than 23,700 employees.
Mulherin also has responsibility for Continental Maritime, a San Diego shipyard that services and supports U.S. Navy ships on the West Coast; AMSEC, a full-service provider of engineering, logistics and technical support services to the U.S. Navy; and The S. M. Stoller Corporation, a provider of technical, ecological, waste management, remediation and consulting services within the Department of Energy arena.
Before being named president of NNS, Mulherin served as vice president and general manager of site operations at Newport News as part of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. His responsibilities included programs for the company’s Newport News operations, where he successfully led the sector’s aircraft carrier design and construction programs, carrier refueling and overhaul programs, and the submarine program.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Virginia Tech in 1981 and began his career at Newport News the same year as a nuclear test engineer. Since then, he has held increasingly responsible positions, including nuclear project manager for Los Angeles-class submarines, director of facilities, director of nuclear engineering and refueling, and director of carrier refueling and overhaul construction. He also served as director and vice president for the next generation of aircraft carriers, the Gerald R. Ford class, and vice president of all programs to include shipbuilding and repair, Department of Energy and commercial energy.
Mulherin serves on the board of directors for the Shipbuilders Council of America and the Naval Submarine League. He also serves on the board of trustees for The Mariners’ Museum, is a committee member of Greater Peninsula NOW, is a member of the Hampton Roads Business Roundtable, and a member of the Peninsula TowneBank Board. In 2013, Mulherin was appointed by the governor to serve on the board of directors for the Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority.
Huntington Ingalls Industries designs, builds and maintains nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and provides after-market services for military ships around the globe. For more than a century, HII has built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. Employing nearly 38,000 in Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana and California, its primary business divisions are Newport News Shipbuilding and Ingalls Shipbuilding. For more information, please visit www.huntingtoningalls.com.
President, Boat Owners Association of The United States
Podlich began at BoatUS in 1994 as the Director of the former BoatUS Clean Water Trust, now part of the member-funded 501(c)3 non-profit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. She was promoted in 2005 to the position of Vice President Government Affairs, where she led the association’s advocacy efforts on issues such as the Clean Boating Act, increased ethanol in fuel, the possible loss of GPS as a critical safety tool, as well as state issues such as the loss of boating access and Florida anchoring issues. Margaret Bonds Podlich was named President of Boat Owners Association in 2011. Her role with the Association broadens her responsibilities to include external communications encompassing Government Affairs and Public Relations as well as other association programs, benefits and services. This includes developing the association’s official policy positions and leading the advocacy efforts on behalf of the nation’s recreational boat owners.
Upon her promotion to President, BoatUS CEO Bill Oakerson said, “Margaret’s passion for boating and ‘messing around in boats’ shows in her results and commitment to BoatUS, our members, and the nation’s boat owners. She’s a brilliant and effective public policy analyst who achieves results, making the boating lifestyle better for all of us by fighting unfair and onerous regulation, and giving boaters a voice in government. We look forward to this energy being tapped for a wide array of programs within BoatUS.”
Shareholder and Secretary of the law firm of Jones, Blechman, Woltz & Kelly, P.C.
Mr. Sheild has practiced law with Jones, Blechman, Woltz & Kelly, P.C., since 1969. He previously served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Peninsula Region Bank Board for RBC Centura Bank from 1999 to 2003, and was a member of the Board of Directors of First Coastal Bank from 1997 to 1999, before it was acquired by Centura Bank. Mr. Sheild was formerly Chairman of Christopher Newport University School of Business Board of Directors.
Mr. Sheild has been active in many community organizations, and has been Chairman of the following Boards on the Virginia Peninsula, to include The United Way of the Virginia Peninsula, The United Way-Campaign of the Virginia Peninsula, the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, Virginia International Terminals, Inc., Riverside Behavioral Center Hospital, Peninsula Family Services/Travelers Aid, Virginia Living Museum, and WHRO Public Broadcasting Foundation.
He also has served on Boards for the two schools he attended, Virginia Episcopal School and Washington and Lee University. He received the award as the “Distinguished Citizen for the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce” for the year 2000, the NCCJ Humanitarian Award in 2004, the Colonial Virginia Council Boy Scouts of America 2013 Citizenship Award, and the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus Award from Washington & Lee University.
Currently he is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Virginia Company Bank and Riverside Behavioral Center Hospital.
President, University of Virginia , Charlottesville, VA
Teresa A. Sullivan was elected eighth President of the University, effective Aug. 1, 2010. Before coming to UVA, President Sullivan was the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Michigan. She was also Professor of Sociology in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Prior to coming to the University of Michigan, Ms. Sullivan was Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the University of Texas System, a position she held from 2002 until May 2006. In that role, she was the chief academic officer for the nine academic campuses within the University of Texas System. Her responsibilities included developing tuition-setting procedures, initiating and supporting educational and research collaborations among the various campuses, and developing external collaborations. Ms. Sullivan first joined the University of Texas at Austin in 1975 as an instructor and then assistant professor in the Department of Sociology. From 1977-81, she was a faculty member at the University of Chicago. Ms. Sullivan returned to Texas in 1981 as a faculty member in Sociology. In 1986 she was named to the Law School faculty as well. Ms. Sullivan also held several administrative positions at Texas including: Vice President and Graduate Dean (1995-2002), Vice Provost (1994-95), Chair of the Department of Sociology (1990-92), and Director of Women’s Studies (1985-87). Ms. Sullivan’s research focuses on labor force demography, with particular emphasis on economic marginality and consumer debt. The author or co-author of six books and more than 50 scholarly articles, her most recent work explores the question of who files for bankruptcy and why. Ms. Sullivan has served as chair of the U.S. Census Advisory Committee. She is past secretary of the American Sociological Association and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. A graduate of James Madison College at Michigan State University, Ms. Sullivan received her doctoral degree in sociology from the University of Chicago.
Senior Vice President of Sales, Ferguson, Ferguson Enterprises
Keith VanderVennet is responsible for developing Ferguson’s sales strategy and talented group of sales associates, while building upon the company’s foundation of world-class customer service.
VanderVennet grew up in Newport News, spending many days at The Mariners’ Museum and in the Park. He attended Hampton Roads Academy, Hampden-Sydney College and Harvard Business School and has been with Ferguson since 1987. VanderVennet had prior roles in Baltimore, Orlando, Atlanta, Memphis, Newport News and most recently Toronto. He currently serves on the boards of Hampton Roads Academy and Habitat for Humanity.
Senator District 7
Frank W. Wagner was elected to the State Senate of the Virginia General Assembly during a special election in December 2000, winning nearly 70% of the electoral vote. He currently represents the 7th Senatorial District in Virginia Beach, having won re-election in 2003, 2007 and 2011. Prior to his election to the State Senate, Frank served in the Virginia House of Delegates for over a decade, representing the 21st District in Virginia Beach.
During his tenure in the House of Delegates, Frank served on several committees including Conservation and Natural Resources, Corporations, Insurance, and Banking, Education, Finance, General Laws, and Militia and Police. Currently, he serves on, Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services; Commerce and Labor; Finance and Transportation Committees. He is on four Finance Subcommittees: Claims; Health & Human Resources; Public Safety; and Transportation. He sits on the Commerce and Labor Subcommittee on Worker’s Compensation.
He served on the Governor’s Commission on Climate Change, the Governor’s Economic Development and Jobs Creation Commission and the Virginia Attorney General’s Regulatory Reform Task Force. Frank also serves as the Chairman of The Joint Commission on Administrative Rules, Chairman of the Virginia Manufacturing Development Commission and is a member of Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay Commission; Coal and Energy Commission; Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia, Board of Trustees; the Federal Action Contingency Trust (FACT) Fund Approval Advisory Commission; the Hampton Roads Transit District Commission, the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization Board; the Health Insurance Reform Commission; Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability; the Mariners’ Museum, Board of Trustees; and the Unemployment Compensation Commission. His most recent appointments include 3 subcommittees of the Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability (JCTA). He is chairman of the Vehicle Subcommittee of the JCTA and sits on the Tolling Subcommittee as well as the Technology Subcommittee of the JCTA.
Frank is perhaps best known for his visionary Virginia Energy Plan, legislation that passed in the 2006 Virginia General Assembly session. This legislation directs the Commonwealth to create a comprehensive plan for the development of energy resources, including clean coal, oil, natural gas, wind, solar, tide, current, geothermal, nuclear, alternative fuels coupled with conservation and energy efficiency measures. The ultimate goal of the plan is to achieve energy independence in an environmentally safe and responsible manner. He has spoken at a variety of energy conferences and meetings in Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky, California, Washington, Washington, D.C., Nova Scotia, Canada and Oslo, Norway and has testified before Congress on energy matters.
More recently, he has become a key figure in Transportation. He was the driving force on the comprehensive Transportation Plan during the 2013 General Assembly Session. As a Conferee on HB2313 (The Transportation Plan), Frank’s tireless efforts in finding compromise and working together with others, made it possible for the first major transportation plan to pass the Legislature in almost 30 years.
The American Council of Young Political Leaders selected Frank as an “Outstanding Young Legislator” in 1995. In 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 he received the Virginia Manufacturers Association’s “Industrial Strength Leadership Award”, given to one Delegate and one Senator each year to recognize outstanding leadership on key industry issues during the Virginia General Assembly session. In October 2009, Frank received the Virginia Retail Merchants Association’s Legislator of the Year award. In May 2012, he received the Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s (VCC) Legislator of the Year award. In May 2013, he received the VCC’s Economic Competitiveness Award. Most recently, in April 2014, the Hampton Roads Global Commerce Council awarded him the 2013 Commerce Builders Award and in May the VCC awarded him the Military and Veterans Affairs Advocate Award as well as the Champion of Free Enterprise Award.
Frank Wagner is a 1977 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, receiving a B.S. in Ocean Engineering. He served in the United States Navy as a diving and engineering officer. After his service in the Navy, Frank went into business with his father and started a ship repair firm, Earl Industries, in Portsmouth, Virginia.
Today, he is the President of Davis Boat Works, Inc., one of Virginia’s premier small boat repair firms, located in Newport News, Virginia.
In his spare time, Frank enjoys golf, diving, camping, theater and playing the piano.
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