Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: August 3, 2018
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Ofirah Yheskel,

Governor Northam Announces Administration Appointments

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam announced additional appointments to his Administration today.

Secretariat of Education

Janet Starke, Executive Director for Virginia Commission for the Arts
Janet Starke has been appointed Executive Director for Virginia Commission for the Arts. Prior to her appointment, Janet served as Executive Director of Richmond Performing Arts Alliance since November 2015, having served as the organization’s Director of Education for six years prior. A native of Chesterfield County, Janet has worked in arts education and performing arts institutions for 22 years, in Richmond, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte and Cincinnati. Janet holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Arts Administration from Shenandoah University, and a Master of Arts in Arts Administration from University of Cincinnati College–Conservatory.

Secretariat of Commerce and Trade

Turner Widgen, Special Assistant to the Secretary of Commerce and Trade
Turner Widgen has been appointed Special Assistant to the Secretary of Commerce and Trade. Prior to her appointment, Turner served as Communications Specialist and Associate Communications Manager at the Virginia Economic Development Partnership since March 2016. Turner is a proud native of the Eastern Shore and graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

Secretariat of the Commonwealth
Board Appointments

Commission for the Promotion of Uniformity of Legislation

  • Christopher R. Nolen* of Henrico, Senior-Vice President, McGuireWoods Consulting, LLC

Institute for Advanced Learning and Research

  • Lott T. Rogers, Jr. of Halifax, Retirement Planning Specialist, AXA Advisors

Small Business Commission

  • Kunal Kumar of Norfolk, Managing Director, Pooja Group
  • Vickie R. Williams-Cullins* of Hampton, Owner and Executive Director of OPN-Door Communications
  • Zaki Barzinji* of Vienna, Principal, ZSB Advisory

Virginia Lottery Board

  • Christopher Tsui of Henrico, President, EAT Restaurant Partners

Virginia State Crime Commission

  • Mansi J. Shah of Richmond, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney, Henrico County
  • The Honorable Arthur Townsend of Victoria, Sheriff, Lunenburg County
  • John Venuti of Richmond, Chief of Police, Associate Vice President of Campus Safety, Virginia Commonwealth University

Waste Management Board

  • Michael “Recycle” Benedetto* of Virginia Beach, President of TFC Recycling
  • Jeffrey T. Crate, PG* of Blacksburg, President, Waste Resource Services, LLC
  • Eric A. DeGroff* of Chesapeake, Professor, Regent University School of Law
  • Amarjit Singh Riat* of Prince William County, Trustee and Former Chairman, The Sikh Foundation of Virginia
  • Eric K. Wallace* of McLean, Director, Investor, Entrepreneur, and former CEO of EnviroSolutions

*denotes reappointment

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