VHBG names new president

The Board of Governors of Virginia Home for Boys and Girls (VHBG) recently named Claiborne S. Mason (pictured) to serve as president. She began her tenure Aug. 6.

Mason, 52, is the owner of the strategic planning and marketing firm C.S. Mason Consulting and most recently served as interim chief executive officer of United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg.

“I’m inspired by people who work at nonprofits,” Mason said. “In my roles on various boards and my consulting business it’s always been gratifying to be a part of the incredible work that happens in the nonprofit community.”

Mason began her work in the Richmond nonprofit community 15 years ago when she volunteered to serve on the marketing committee for United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg. She led multiple initiatives and joined the Board of Directors in 1997 before her stint as interim CEO.

“Claiborne’s many years of volunteer service and consulting experience within the local nonprofit community, her recent leadership of United Way, and her business background make her the ideal person to lead this organization,” said Thomas J. Dillon, III, VHBG Board Chair and attorney with Hirschler Fleischer. “She brings a unique perspective on the needs and challenges of nonprofit organizations, and a passion to serve the children and families of our community,” said Dillon.

Mason succeeds former president Chris Schultz, who left the organization in 2011. Since then, a search committee of the board, co-chaired by VHBG Board members Austin Brockenbrough, III and Kathleen Luke conducted an extensive search to fill the President’s role.

“The VHBG Board of Governors charged the search committee with finding a leader who could steer the organization strategically through a time of rapidly changing conditions in the human services arena. It was imperative that we find someone who has the skills and experience to successfully position us for future success,” said Brockenbrough, founding partner of investment firm Lowe Brockenbrough & Co., Inc. “With Claiborne at the helm, we are confident that VHBG and its Board of Governors will be well positioned to effectively build on our legacy of providing an environment of strength and hope, where children and families are empowered to greater success.”

Mason serves on the Board of Directors for Gateway Homes, which provides a residential treatment program for adults with mental illness who are striving for independence.

“It’s always rewarding to be a part of critical programs that strengthen our community,” she said.

Her passion for nonprofits is even part of her children’s lives. Her oldest daughter is interning at the local nonprofit Higher Achievement.

Since 1846, VHBG has has provided permanent family for children in the Central Virginia area. VHBG is the only site in Virginia certified by the International Teaching-Family Association.
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HCPS wins national honor for overhaul of Code of Student Conduct, supports


Henrico County Public Schools recently was recognized by the National School Boards Association for a sweeping overhaul of the school division’s approach to student supports. HCPS was one of five large U.S. school systems recognized with a first-place honor in the 2017 Magna Awards, presented Saturday in Denver at the organization’s annual conference. The awards recognize school divisions and leaders “for taking bold and innovative steps to improve the lives of students and their communities,” according to the group.

The award recognizes Henrico Schools’ efforts of the past several years, from re-examining its policies to implementing more support systems. After a two-year conversation with the community through public hearings and other feedback, HCPS adopted a revised Code of Student Conduct for the 2015-16 school year. > Read more.

Environmentalists say budget hurts efforts to protect bay

Environmental groups are outraged at the Trump administration’s proposed funding cuts for Chesapeake Bay cleanup programs.

President Donald Trump’s budget plan, released last week, reduces the budget for the federal Environmental Protection Agency by 31 percent. That includes a $427 million in funding to address regional pollution, such as the Chesapeake Bay protection efforts. The proposed budget would eliminate funding for the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program, which received $73 million from the federal government in 2016. > Read more.

Glen Allen ES principal receives REB Award


Melissa Halquist-Pruden, principal of Henrico County’s Glen Allen Elementary School, earned the 2016-17 REB Award for Distinguished Educational Leadership. The Community Foundation presents the award to four principals annually – one each from the school systems of Henrico, Chesterfield and Hanover counties and one from the city of Richmond schools.

The award recognizes principals who go beyond the day-to-day demands of their jobs to create an exceptional educational environment. The award stresses management and communication skills, and the ability to inspire, encourage and advocate for the school. > Read more.

Grant to help Hermitage H.S. upgrade CTE program equipment


Governor Terry McAuliffe announced recently that Henrico County’s Hermitage H.S. will be among 16 high schools and technical centers statewide to receive a grant to upgrade equipment for career and technical education (CTE) programs.

The program gives priority to challenged schools, Governor's STEM Academies and Governor's Health Science Academies. Each school or center will receive $37,500 to purchase new equipment and make other necessary improvements. At Hermitage, the funds will be used for precision machining equipment. > Read more.

Virginia raises a toast to George Washington’s whiskey


George Washington is recognized as the father of our country, but with a bill signed into law by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Washington also will be recognized under another title – distiller of Virginia’s official liquor.

SB 1261, sponsored by Sen. Adam Ebbin of Alexandria, adds a “state spirit” to the list of the commonwealth’s official emblems and designations and crowns George Washington’s rye whiskey with the title.

The bill, which McAuliffe signed last week, highlights George Washington’s contributions to the culture of Virginia as “a native son of Virginia born on February 22, 1732, in Pope’s Creek”; “the first American president, commander of the Continental Army, and president of the Constitutional Convention”; and “a model statesman ... universally acknowledged as the father of our nation.” > Read more.
Community

Villa’s Flagler Housing wins national NAEH award


St. Joseph's Villa’s Flagler Housing & Homeless Services was one of three entities to earn the National Alliance to End Homelessness' Champion of Change Award. The awards were presented Nov. 17 during a ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

NAEH annually recognizes proven programs and significant achievements in ending child and family homelessness.

Flagler completed its transition from an on-campus shelter to the community-based model of rapid rehousing in 2013, and it was one of the nation's first rapid re-housing service providers to be certified by NAEH. > Read more.

RIR’s Christmas tree lighting rescheduled for Dec. 12


Richmond International Raceway's 13th annual Community Christmas tree lighting has been rescheduled from Dec. 6 to Monday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m., due to inclement weather expected on the original date.

Entertainment Dec. 12 will be provided by the Laburnum Elementary School choir and the Henrico High School Mighty Marching Warriors band. Tree decorations crafted by students from Laburnum Elementary School and L. Douglas Wilder Middle School will be on display. Hot chocolate and cookies will be supplied by the Henrico High School football boosters. > Read more.
Entertainment

Metro Diner to open second Henrico location


Metro Diner, a comfort food concept, will open its second Henrico location next month. The company is accepting job applications for its Libbie Place location at 5626 West Broad Street. The diner concept, known for its fried chicken and waffles, meatloaf, and shrimp and grits, will bring 100 new jobs to the region as it plans to open its doors in April.

The 3,500-square-foot diner located in the Libbie Place Shopping Center will seat more than 100 and serve classic comfort food staples with a twist, such as fried chicken and waffles topped with strawberry butter and a stuffed challah bread French toast with strawberry and blueberry compote. > Read more.

 

March 2017
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The Henrico County office of Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Henrico Master Gardeners will present a series of free workshops this spring to help residents care for their lawns and gardens. The third workshop, “Planning and Planting the Perennial Flower Garden,” will take place from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Deep Run Recreation Center. The session will focus on laying out a garden, selecting plants and seeds, and strategies for growing flowers that return each spring with little maintenance. To register, call 501-5160. Full text

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