Sullivan to join City’s commerce board
University president among eight nominees slated to enter chamber’s policymaking, financial decision-making governing body
University President Teresa Sullivan was among eight people nominated to the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors last week. The nominees are expected to be confirmed this month and will serve three-year terms starting Jan. 1.
The Board spearheads the chamber’s policymaking and financial decisionmaking. The chamber aims to promote business and represent private enterprise in Charlottesville. The department has in the past supported businesses on the Downtown Mall, worked to develop the entrepreneurially focused Charlottesville Business Innovation Council and established economic development partnerships, the chamber’s president, Timothy Hulbert, said in an email.
The Board currently has 26 members but the terms of eight members are set to expire in January.
Members of the current Board created a nominating committee to select Sullivan and the other nominees.
The University is the largest member organization of the chamber. The Board in 2002 endorsed Virginia legislation that provided nearly $70 million for facilities projects at the University.
Sullivan is eager to work with the Board and with Charlottesville businesses, University spokesperson Marian Anderfuren said. “The president certainly appreciates that the relationship between the University and business community is very deep and broad, and will welcome the opportunity to work more closely with the board on ways to elevate the entire region,” Anderfuren said in an email.
Sullivan will have to balance the Board meetings with her many commitments as University president: administrative and planning responsibilities, as well as various speaking engagements.
“The Board meets early mornings 11 times a year, and President Sullivan is looking to make as many of those meetings as possible and will send a delegate when she cannot,” Hulbert said.
Sullivan has served as chair of the U.S. Census Advisory Committee and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The other nominees include Glenn Rust, CEO of Virginia National Bank; Liza Borches, president of Volvo of Charlottesville; Rondi Furgason, CenturyLink’s vice president for Virginia; Peggy Echols, vice president of operations at State Farm Insurance; Stuart Armstrong, executive director of the Piedmont Housing Alliance; Gregory MacDonald, executive director of Michie Tavern; and Rosa Atkins, superintendent of Charlottesville City Schools.
MacDonald, who was among the nominees announced last week, is currently finishing a three-year Board term. He commended Sullivan’s interest in serving on the Board and said her skill set as a University president would benefit the governing body.
“As the leader of the largest employer in the Charlottesville region, her knowledge, insight and experience will be invaluable to the Board,” MacDonald said in an email.