Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: April 24, 2020
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alenaa Yarmosky,

Governor Northam Taps Broad Group of Leaders for COVID-19 Business Task Force

Leaders advising Governor on safe, responsible strategy for easing restrictions on businesses and individuals

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced a diverse group of leaders participating in the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Business Task Force, which will continue to provide advice and guidance to the Cabinet on a safe, responsible strategy for easing restrictions on businesses and individuals.

The task force consists of representatives from a variety of Virginia industries, scales, geographies, and backgrounds across the Commonwealth, including restaurants, breweries, wineries, small and large retailers, fitness centers, hair salons, barber shops, spas and estheticians, museums, hospitality groups, campgrounds, and entertainment venues.

“These are Virginians who are thinking everyday about how to protect the health of their staff and the communities in which they operate,” said Governor Northam. “They understand that our public health and business interests are aligned—we must take measures that both ensure the safety and confidence of consumers and prevent the spread of disease. Their input will continue to be critical as we plan a safe, consistent, successful path forward.”

Members of Virginia’s COVID-19 Business Task Force include:

  • Chad Ballard, Cherrystone Campground, Cape Charles
  • Katy Brown, Barter Theatre, Abingdon
  • Josh Chapman, Black Narrows Brewing, Chincoteague
  • Christy Coleman, Jamestown Yorktown Foundation, Williamsburg
  • Jenny Crittenden, Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust, Gloucester
  • Patrick Crute, Virginia Alliance of YMCAs, Statewide
  • David Foster, High Point Barber Shop, Richmond
  • Angelyn Glasgow, Nu Image Salon, Blackstone
  • George Hodson, Veritas Vineyard, Afton
  • Lester Johnson, Mama J’s Restaurant, Richmond
  • Kevin Liu, Carytown Cupcakes, Jasper, and the Tin Pan, Richmond
  • Franky Marchard, Volvo, Dublin
  • Owen Matthews, Kings Dominion, Doswell
  • Bill Meyer, Meyer Fitness, Norfolk
  • Brian Moore, Amazon, Arlington/Alexandria
  • Brooke Mueller, Walmart, Statewide
  • Jon Norton, Great American Restaurants, Arlington/Fairfax
  • Alex Nyerges, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond
  • Chris Ray, Center of the Universe Brewing, Ashland
  • F. Dee Suarez-Diaz, ReNuew Wellness Spa LLC, Manassas
  • Warren Thompson, Thompson Hospitality, Reston
  • Bruce Thompson, Gold Key PHR, Virginia Beach
  • Laura Todd, Institute of Advanced Medical Aesthetics, Ashland
  • Terri Vander Vennet, Hampton Coliseum, Hampton

In addition to the task force, Governor Northam and his administration have continued to consult with numerous businesses, labor, public health, trade, and professional organizations.

The task force is staffed by Deputy Secretaries of Commerce and Trade Angela Navarro and Cassidy Rasnick, Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Resources Gena Berger, Chief Workforce Adviser Dr. Megan Healy, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer Dr. Janice Underwood, along with key staff from the Virginia Department of Health, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

Governor Northam will outline a blueprint for easing business restrictions that is guided by public health data at his press conference this afternoon. The plan will include a phased approach that is grounded in federal CDC guidelines, and includes specific goals to contain the spread of the virus through increased testing, contact tracing, and ensuring adequate medical capacity.

Watch live at 2:00 PM on TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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