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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.
Community

Lions Club donates backpacks to elementary school

The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.

Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.

At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.

Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Film industry training program planned for this weekend

The Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA), in partnership with the Virginia Film Office, will offer "Get Your Start in the Film Industry," a two-day seminar designed to prepare workers for film, television and commercial projects in Virginia. The course will be held Oct. 4-5 at the Workforce Development and Conference Center, 1651 Parham Road in Henrico, on the campus of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.

The training will be taught by Gary Romolo Fiorelli, an accomplished assistant director for film and television projects, which include the television series Sons of Anarchy and ABC’s current drama Mistresses. > Read more.

The Boathouse to open at Short Pump Town Center

The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.

“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”

The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.

Getting a ‘mouf’-ful

Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.

Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?

Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.

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