On Friday July 15, Charlottesville mayor Mike Signer and University President Teresa A. Sullivan were appointed to positions in Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s administration.
McAuliffe reappointed Sullivan to her seat on the Board of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority — an organization formed to develop economically viable applications of technology, ranging from communications to biotech and nanotechnology.
“I am grateful to Governor McAuliffe for extending my term on this Board,” Sullivan said in an email statement. “The IEIA represents one way that we build the future Virginia economy by supporting innovation and new high-tech companies. In turn, these investments are helping grow new jobs and new industries throughout the Commonwealth.”
The IEIA oversees the Center for Innovative Technology, a non-profit which develops relationships between companies and consumers, and provides startup funding to entrepreneurs. President of Virginia Tech Timothy D. Sands and Michael R. Steed of Paladin Capital Group were also reappointed to the board.
Mayor Signer is a new addition to the Council on Virginia’s Future, a group which includes members drawn from the state legislature as well as business and community members.
The Council sets goals and develops strategies focused on improving the state’s economy, citizen engagement and education. According to its onlin roadmap statement, the Council aims to make Virginia “the best managed state in the nation.”
Signer said he hopes to implement successful ideas from the City level statewide.
“I see this as outgrowth of the work I do in Charlottesville on transparency, community engagement, supporting a vigorous economy and seeing that those benefits spread throughout the community,” Signer said.
Signer said he is excited to work with Virginia legislators to create meaningful change in the economy.
“We have both the Republican and Democratic leadership of both houses in Richmond on the Council, and I’m excited to be sitting down with them,” Signer said. “I think they have a great deal to learn from us as we do from them. “
Signer said his plans for the Council’s work owe much to his relationship with Senator Mark Warner, under whose governorship the Council was established.
“Senator Mark Warner was in town a few days ago and I had a conversation with him about tech infrastructure,” Signer said. “We’re gonna do some work in Charlottesville on open data. There are lots of lessons to be learned from Virginia, from the whole state.”
Signer said education, public health and safety, and citizen engagement are areas he is particularly interested in improving — both in his capacity as mayor and in his new role on the Council.
“Virginia has a tradition of being a very well-organized and well-run state,” Signer said. “So does Charlottesville, and I’m excited to be able to play a small role in that larger mission.”