Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: July 2, 2020
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alenaa Yarmosky,

Governor Northam Announces Administration Appointments

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

Office of the State Inspector General

Michael Westfall, State Inspector General
Michael C. Westfall has been reappointed State Inspector General, a position he was first appointed to in April 2018 after serving as Acting State Inspector General since February 2017 and Deputy Inspector General since 2015. Prior to his role as Deputy Inspector General, he served in several leadership positions, including chief audit executive for the Virginia State Police and assistant director and director of the Chesterfield County Office of Internal Audit. He launched his career as an auditor for the United States Department of the Interior – Office of Inspector General. Westfall is a certified inspector general, a certified public accountant and a certified fraud examiner. A native of Norfolk, he holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in accountancy from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Secretariat of the Commonwealth

Mecca Hall, Special Assistant for Constituent Services and Community Engagement
Mecca Hall has been appointed Special Assistant for Constituent Services and Community Engagement. She previously served in the Secretary of the Commonwealth Office as Special Assistant for Appointments. Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, Mecca served 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 degree in Psychology and Nonprofit Management from the University of the Rockies. 

Shawn Soares, Special Assistant for Appointments and Director of Asian American and Pacific Islander Outreach
Shawn Soares has been appointed Special Assistant for Appointments and Director of Asian American and Pacific Islander Outreach. Prior to his appointment, Shawn served as a Legislative Assistant to Delegate Suhas Subramanyam during the 2020 General Assembly session. Originally from Loudoun County, Shawn graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University where he studied Business Administration and Marketing.

Board Appointments 

Board of Forestry

  • James R. Coleman of Culpeper, Vice President, R.S. Coleman Lumber Company
  • Michael Harold of Harrisonburg, Raw Materials Procurement Manager, Speyside Bourbon Cooperage, Inc.
  • William “Bill” F. Osl, Jr. of Cumberland County

Board of Trustees for the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia

  • Paul Vames* of Staunton, President, V-K Management Co., Inc.

Charitable Gaming Board 

  • Clay Dawson of Roanoke, CEO, Countryside Sportsplex

Fort Monroe Authority 

  • Edward L. Ayers* Historian, University of Richmond
  • Brian K. Jackson of Richmond, Partner, Hirschler
  • T. Destry Jarvis* of Baltimore, Maryland, President, Outdoor Recreation & Park Services, LLC
  • The Honorable Jim Moran* of Alexandria, former United States Congressman
  • Benita Thompson Byas of Great Falls, Senior Vice President and Vice Chair, Thompson Hospitality

Indigent Defense Commission

  • Nicholas M. Braswell of Richmond, Attorney, Price Benowitz LLP

Southwest Virginia Energy Research and Development Authority

  • Kristen Westover* of Dryden, President, Mountain Empire Community College

State Board of Local and Regional Jails 

  • The Honorable Vernie W. Francis, Jr.* of Courtland, Retired Sheriff, Southampton County
  • Joanne Peña of Chesterfield, Investigator II, Virginia Indigent Defense Commission

Virginia Cattle Industry Board

  • W. David Coleman* of Amelia, Owner, Elm Cottage Farm and Co-Owner, Southside Livestock Market
  • Matthew Hill* of Scott County, Owner and Operator, Hill & Hill Farms LLC
  • H. Richard Lloyd* of Louisa County, Partner, Double L Farms LLC
  • Andy Smith* of Rosedale, Cow/Calf Producer, Smithfield Farms
  • William A. Tucker* of Amherst, Owner, Tucker Family Farms

*denotes reappointment

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