Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: August 23, 2019
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alenaa Yarmosky,

Governor Northam Announces Administration Appointments

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

Secretariat of the Commonwealth

Maribel Castañeda, Director of Appointments
Maribel Castañeda has been appointed Director of Appointments. She most previously served as Coordinator of Board Appointments and will continue to serve as the Staff Liaison to the Virginia Latino Advisory Board. Maribel is a graduate of James Madison University, where she studied International Affairs, and the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership. She previously worked at Richmond Public Schools as the Administrative Office Associate for the Department of Student and Family Services where her role included managing seven offices that support the achievement of nearly 24,000 students.

Mecca Hall, Special Assistant for Appointments
Mecca Hall has been appointed Special Assistant for Appointments. Prior to her appointment, Mecca served more than six years as a Constituent Services Representative, Junior Caseworker, and Staff Assistant for Senator Tim Kaine. Mecca is a native of the Tidewater Region and a graduate of Saint Paul’s College where she studied Political Science and International Relations. She received a Master of Arts in Psychology and Nonprofit Management from the University of the Rockies. 

Secretariat of Veterans and Defense Affairs

Jonathan G. Ward, Assistant Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs
Jonathan Ward has been appointed Assistant Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs. He previously served five years in the Office of the Attorney General as the Director of Constituent Affairs and as the former Confidential Assistant to the Attorney General. Concurrent to his state service, Jonathan served in numerous leadership positions in the Virginia Army National Guard as a Field Artillery captain and deployed to Qatar in support of Operation Spartan Shield in 2016. Prior to his state service, Jonathan served four years on Active Duty in the United States Army where he deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. A native of Pittsylvania County, Jonathan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Board Appointments

Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Commission

  • Laura Swanson Bowser* of Richmond, CEO, TMI Consulting, Inc.
  • The Honorable L. Karen Darner of Arlington, Retired School Speech Pathologist and Former Member, Virginia House of Delegates
  • Carol Manning* of Charlottesville, Harrison Distinguished Teaching Professor of Neurology and Director, Memory Disorders Clinic, University of Virginia

Aquaculture Advisory Board

  • John E. Hofmeyer* of Williamsburg, Owner and Operator, Tomahund Marine LLC

Board of Historic Resources

  • Jeffrey “Free” A. Harris of Hampton, Independent Historian and Historic Preservation Consultant
  • Karice Luck-Brimmer of Danville, History United and Virginia Humanities

Board of Housing and Community Development

  • Brett E. Meringoff of McLean, Senior Vice President, WinnDevelopment Company
  • Patricia Shields* of Falls Church, Home Builder, Metro Green LLC

Board of Pharmacy

  • James L. Jenkins, Jr., BS/N, RN* of Mechanicsville, Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit, Virginia Commonwealth University Health System
  • William T. Lee, D.Ph, MPA, FASCP of Radford, Senior Director of Pharmacy Innovations, Carilion Clinic

Capitol Square Preservation Council

  • Missy Benson of Richmond, Inclusive Design Manager, PlayPower
  • Andrew H. Talkov* of Gloucester, Vice President for Exhibitions and Publications, Virginia Museum of History & Culture

Potomac River Fisheries Commission

  • Glen Wayne France* of Warsaw, Commercial Waterman

State Executive Council for Children’s Services

  • Sophia V. Booker* of Richmond, Youth Development Coordinator, Project LIFE
  • Andelicia M. Neville of Richmond, Parent Representative
  • Jessica Stern* of Glen Allen, Co-Founder, Connect Our Kids

State Health Department Sewage Handling and Disposal Appeal Review Board

  • Bryan J. Allen of Culpeper, Professional Engineer, American Manufacturing Company, Inc.

Virginia Board of Workforce Development

  • Hobart P. Bauhan* of Harrisonburg, President, Virginia Poultry Federation
  • Thomas A. Bell* of Norfolk, Business Manager, Iron Workers Local Union 79
  • Dr. Julie Brown of Pittsylvania, Director of Advanced Learning, Institute for Advanced Learning and Research
  • Ernie Caldwell of Roanoke, President, G. J. Hopkins, Inc.
  • Virginia R. Diamond* of McLean, President, Northern Virginia AFL-CIO
  • John Dougherty of Richmond, Vice President, Goodwill
  • Mark B. Dreyfus* of Virginia Beach, President, ECPI University
  • Lane Seawell Hopkins* of Richmond, Managing Director and Chief Talent Officer, Harris Williams
  • The Honorable Ann Huckle Mallek* of Albemarle County, Board of Supervisors, White Hall District Representative
  • The Honorable John David Smith, Jr. of Winchester, Mayor, City of Winchester and Owner and Partner, Water Street Kitchen and Village Square Restaurant & V2 Bar
  • Brian Warner* of Midlothian, Partnership Manager, Rolls-Royce North America

Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board (GO Virginia)

  • Nancy Howell Agee* of Salem, President and CEO, Carilion Clinic
  • Thomas F. Farrell, II* of Richmond, Chairman, President, and CEO, Dominion Energy, Inc.
  • Leah Fremouw, M.P.A. of Chesterfield, Vice President, Virginia Community Capital
  • Doug Juanarena* of Blacksburg, Retired Serial Entrepreneur
  • Don “Robin” Sullenberger, III of Monterey, Retired CEO, Shenandoah Valley Partnership
  • Marilyn House West* of Richmond, Chair and CEO, M. H. West & Co., Inc.

Virginia Marine Resources Commission

  • Glen Wayne France* of Warsaw, Commercial Waterman

*denotes reappointment

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