Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: May 21, 2021
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 Agriculture and Forestry

Brad Copenhaver, Commissioner, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Brad Copenhaver has been appointed Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. He has served as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry since May 2018, where he led the Northam Administration’s legislative efforts to legalize cannabis for adult use, regulate hemp-derived oils intended for human consumption, maintain federal produce safety compliance, and meet Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay cleanup commitments with regard to urban fertilizer application.

Brad grew up on his family’s beef cattle and burley tobacco farm in Washington County. After working on Capitol Hill as a legislative correspondent for Congressman H. Morgan Griffith, he was the Director of Government Affairs at the Virginia Agribusiness Council, where he worked closely with the General Assembly and Virginia congressional delegation on a variety of issues including animal welfare, food safety and labeling, the environment and water quality, and international trade. Brad was a Pamplin Scholar at Virginia Tech and graduated with degrees in political science and agricultural economics and completed his Master of Business Administration degree at the University of Washington. During his education career, Brad has served as a National Beef Ambassador, Virginia 4-H President, and treasurer of the UW Graduate and Professional Student Senate, and he spent summers working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Meat Export Federation in Tokyo, and Bryant Christie, Inc., an agricultural exports consulting firm in Seattle.

Heidi Hertz, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry
Heidi Hertz has been appointed Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry. She has served as Assistant Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry since May 2018, leading multisector collaborations to increase access to healthy food and end hunger in the Commonwealth. Prior to joining the Northam Administration, Heidi held roles in the Office of the First Lady of Virginia Dorothy McAuliffe, the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, and the Virginia Department of Health. Heidi serves on the Alumni Board of the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and is a member of the Shalom Farms program committee. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech and a Master of Science degree from James Madison University. She is a native of Lunenburg County and a resident of the City of Richmond.

Secretariat of the Commonwealth
Board Appointments

Board of Education

  • The Honorable Anne Holton* of Richmond, Professor of Education Policy, George Mason University and former Virginia Secretary of Education
  • Jamelle Smith Wilson* of Hanover, Dean, School of Professional and Continuing Studies, University of Richmond

Board of Trustees of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation

  • Chief Stephen Adkins* of Charles City, Chief, Chickahominy Indian Tribe
  • A. E. Dick Howard* of Charlottesville, Warner-Booker Distinguished Professor of International Law, University of Virginia
  • Cassandra L. Newby-Alexander, PhD* of Chesapeake, Professor of History and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Norfolk State University

State Board of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services

  • Moira Mazzi* of Alexandria, Teacher, Fairfax County Public Schools
  • Sandra Price-Stroble, MEd* of Harrisonburg, Retired Teacher and School Counselor and Chair, City of Harrisonburg Electoral Board

Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority

  • Gregory F. Holland* of Midlothian, Attorney, The Holland Law Firm

Virginia Gas and Oil Board

  • David Spears of Dillwyn, Professional Geologist, Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy

Virginia Small Grains Board

  • Ray Keating* of Norfolk, Head International Merchandiser, Perdue Agribusiness
  • Floyd S. Childress, III* of Christiansburg, Producer of Grain and Beef Cattle

*denotes reappointment

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