“I suppose I should start with how I felt about being appointed to the Board. It was a real thrill and honor to be appointed. It also meant to me that someone outside my immediate circle of caver friends had noticed that I have a passion for caving and preservation/ conservation of our precious karst and caves. It also meant that someone thought I had something to contribute to the Board and that is a huge compliment to me personally.

Caving involves so much more than just exploring underground. We have stabilized many, many cave entrances since I got involved in caving just eight years ago. We do this both to preserve the entrance from freeze/thaw cycles and to make a potentially dangerous sinkhole safe again. We ridge walk many properties and when we find new caves we map and photograph them and share this with the owners. In the process we make many new friends. I expect to have the same kind of experience from serving on the Board. There is a lot of experience in that group and I hope to learn as much as possible from them while serving.

And hopefully I will make a meaningful contribution to the Board’s work. That is my goal.”
Mark Hodge
Cave Board
“My name is Jennifer Gillyard and in August 2018 I had the honor of being appointed to the Family and Children’s Trust Board of Trustees. The process of applying for an appointment seemed simple, but the outcome of actually receiving one seemed slim given the many experts within the Commonwealth. However, I chose an opportunity that not only suited my background but my passion. This board represents the work of protecting, preserving and improving the lives of children and families throughout the Commonwealth. Being in the field of social work and public policy for 11 years I have learned that the family network can thrive behind posed risk as long as opportunities are created within a given community to promote resiliency.”

When I found out about my appointment, I was thrilled to know and hear from future board colleagues that we would be addressing gaps in knowledge and services for some of Virginia’s most vulnerable populations.
Jennifer Gillyard
Family and Children's Trust Board of Trustees
“I am honored to serve as a citizen member on the Board of Nursing. I am an audiologist at the University of Virginia, in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery. I served on the Department of Health Professions (DHP) Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology from 2010-2018, and became familiar with general board activities, promulgation of professional regulations, and DHP complaint and disciplinary processes. I was elected as the Allied Health Professional (AHP) Representative to the Clinical Staff Executive Committee at the University of Virginia in 2013, and as such, I represent a constituency of roughly 250 Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners. Through this experience, I gained a rare perspective of nursing functions, requirements and constraints.”

“This experience has provided an opportunity to broaden my understanding of issues related to regulation of health professional practice. I have highly valued the input and insights of citizen members of other boards on which I have served, so I was compelled to “pay it forward” and seek appointment to the Board of Nursing as a citizen member.”
Tucker Gleason
Board of Nursing
It was a great honor to be made Poet Laureate of Virginia this past July by Governor Northam. I accepted the appointment with gratitude and also with humility, since I knew how many talented and deserving poets there were in our state. My swearing-in ceremony, which was presided over by the Secretary of the Commonwealth, was a happy occasion attended by members of my family, several of my former William and Mary students, and numerous friends from the Poetry Society of Virginia.The outgoing Poet Laureate, Tim Seibles, began by sharing his thoughts about the virtues of poetry, read some of his poems, and then graciously introduced me. I explained that, as Poet Laureate, I planned to be an effective ambassador for poetry in Virginia and also an advocate for the state’s Poetry Society. Because the Society’s financial situation has been in dire straits for several years, I promised to do some fund-raising. ”
Henry Hart
Poet Laureate
“My name is Juan Fernandez. I served this great nation in the Army Corps of Engineers and the Engineer Regiment for over 30 years. My last assignment brought me to Virginia and I retired in September 2010. Since retirement, I have been looking for an opportunity to continue serving our community. A dear friend suggested I look into the Commonwealth Boards and Commissions for vacancies. I understood that serving the Commonwealth of Virginia on a board or commission is both an honor and a privilege.”

“I was pleasantly surprised with the notification of selection to the Military Advisory Council. It was an amazing feeling to receive notification and I promptly set out to complete the financial disclosures and the Oath of Office.”
Juan Fernandez
Virginia Military Advisory Council
“When I learned that I was appointed as the DAV Representative to the Joint Leadership Council, I was humbled. Though familiar with the concept of the [Joint Leadership] Council, I had no idea how intricately the members work together on policies and programs that are vital to the interests and well-being of the veterans and their families within our Commonwealth.”

“After my first meeting, I appreciated the effort that each representative brought to the Council. Further, I was encouraged to realize that the JLC’s expertise and perspective are truly valued by the Governor, State Legislators and the Department of Veterans Services. It is an honor to be given this opportunity to make a difference, and I intend to use my voice to do just that!”
Denice Williams
Joint Leadership Council
“I entered the field of architecture to help shape the built environment in a positive way and create enjoyable spaces and places for all people. As a resident of Virginia, I fully appreciate the great architecture that exist throughout our Commonwealth and its role in enhancing the natural beauty of Virginia’s landscape.

It is my goal to be a part of the continual process to create those places and spaces that enhance the built environment. The Art and Architectural Review Board allows me the chance to be a part of that process while serving the Commonwealth.

It is an honor to have been appointed to the Art and Architectural Review Board. I serve alongside five other dedicated professionals in addition to a wonderful staff in the Governor's Administration. This incredible group of people understand the importance of architecture as an asset to the communities in Virginia. We meet on a monthly basis to review various projects in differing stages for the good of the Commonwealth. I am excited about this opportunity to serve the Commonwealth and look forward to my tenure of the next four years.”
Ian Vaughan
Art and Architectural Review Board