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Lunch & Featured Conversation with Special Guests


Moderator:   Joe Jones, Director of External Affairs,

Appalachian Power Company


Joe is in his 35th year at Appalachian Power.  He is the Director of External Affairs for Virginia and Tennessee and is responsible for government and community affairs.  His office is in Roanoke, Virginia.


Joe began his career at Appalachian in the marketing and customer services department and has served in their training, consumer services, energy efficiency & consumer programs, community affairs and external affairs departments.


Throughout his career, he has served on numerous boards and committees of business and community organizations and today is a board and executive committee member and vice chair of public policy at the Roanoke Regional Chamber, vice chair of the board at the United Way of Roanoke Valley, a board member of Business Council and the Business Leadership Fund and he chairs the marketing committee at TAP (Total Action for Progress).


Joe and his wife Pat have been married for 44 years and both are honors graduates of Marshall University.  Their daughter is a Virginia Tech grad who teaches high school earth science and their granddaughter is in the fifth grade.



The Honorable Emmett W. Hanger, Jr., Member, Senate of Virginia


24th District Virginia State Senator Emmett Hanger has a strong voting record of limited government and fiscal conservatism. He values the protection of individual rights, coupled with a keen sense of individual responsibility. More importantly, Emmett believes common-sense solutions in government should win-out over party politics. As a life-long Republican and resident of Augusta County, Emmett first served as Commissioner of the Revenue and then in the House of Delegates. Now as Senator, Emmett has earned a multitude of leadership positions, including being named a budget conferree and Chair of the Health and Human Services subcommittee on Senate Finance and Chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee. He is very involved in all aspects of the legislature but has become an ardent supporter of all matters dealing with education, mental health, and the environment. He holds several positions on national organizations such as the Southern Legislative Conference and the National Conference of State Legislators.


Emmett is the former Commander of the Harrisonburg National Guard and obtained the rank of Captain in the US Army as an Infantry Officer. He and his wife Sharon have five grown children and enough grandchildren to start their own voting precinct when they are of age.


The 24th District stretches from parts of Culpeper County, all of Madison County, parts of Rockingham County, and all of Augusta and Greene Counties, including the Cities of Staunton and Waynesboro.



The Honorable Todd P. Haymore, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry


Governor Terry McAuliffe re-appointed Todd Haymore in 2014 to serve as Virginia's Secretary of Agriculture & Forestry. Haymore became the Commonwealth's second Agriculture & Forestry Secretary in January 2010 when then-Governor Bob McDonnell appointed him to the post. In addition to serving in Governor McAuliffe's Cabinet and his duties as the chief marketing and development officer of the state's two largest industries, Haymore is responsible for two of the state's most well-known agencies, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) and the Virginia Department of Forestry (DOF). He is also responsible for the Virginia Agricultural Council.


During the his tenure as Secretary, Haymore has worked closely with the Governor, General Assembly, and key stakeholders on a number of legislative and budgetary initiatives to integrate fully agriculture and forestry into Virginia's overall economic development and jobs creation platform and to better enhance the standing of the two industries in the Commonwealth, across the country, and around the world. One of the major successes of these initiatives include creating the first-of-its-kind Governor's Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, a multi-million dollar economic development grant and loan program specifically for existing or new agricultural and forestry value-added or processing facilities. In addition, Haymore led efforts to secure new funds to open trade offices in China, India, Europe, Latin America and Canada to assist in the marketing of Virginia's agriculture and forestry products.


Prior to his appointment as Secretary, Haymore served as VDACS Commissioner from August 2007 to January 2010 under Governor Tim Kaine. VDACS is responsible for more than 60 laws and 70 regulations relating to consumer protection and the promotion of agriculture. VDACS has an annual operating budget of more than $63 million and employs over 500 staff. The agency's mission is to promote the economic growth and development of Virginia agriculture, provide consumer protection, and encourage environmental stewardship.


The Department of Forestry protects almost 16 million acres of forest land from fire, insects and disease and manages 22 state forests and other state lands totaling approximately 68,000 acres for timber, recreation, water, research, wildlife, and biodiversity. DOF assists non-industrial private forest landowners through professional forestry advice and technical management programs. The agency has an operational budget of approximately $30 million and employs 287 staff. The agency's mission is to protect and develop healthy, sustainable forest resources.


Haymore is a native of Pittsylvania County and was born and raised on his maternal grand-parent's farm. He began his professional career as a legislative intern in Richmond to former Virginia State Senator Onico Barker. From there, Haymore served as a legislative assistant for former United States Representative L.F Payne (VA-5th). Haymore spent most of the 1990's with Rep. Payne where he also served as the congressman's communications director, as well as deputy campaign manager of Payne's lieutenant gubernatorial bid. Following his tenure with Rep. Payne, Haymore worked For DIMON Incorporated, a leaf tobacco company that later merged with Standard Commercial Corporation to form Alliance One International. Haymore later worked for Richmond-based Universal Leaf Tobacco Company. He served in various leadership positions from 1999-2007, concluding his time with the company as Corporate Director, External Affairs and Vice President of The Universal Leaf Foundation.


Todd graduated from George Washington High School in Danville. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of Richmond and his Masters of Business Administration Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Todd also completed training at the Performance Management Group's Virginia Executive Institute at VCU.

Todd is married to the former Margaret Cary Lewis and they have three children, Catharine Cole Haymore and Elizabeth Whichard Haymore (twins), and Lillian Bryan Haymore.


The Honorable Maurice A. Jones, Secretary of Commerce and Trade


Maurice Jones was appointed Secretary of Commerce and Trade by Governor Terry McAuliffe in January 2014.  Previously, Jones served as Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from April 2012 through January 2014.  As the second most senior official at HUD, Jones managed the Department's day-to-day operations, the annual operating budget, and the agency's 8,900 employees. 


Prior to HUD, Jones was President of Pilot Media, the largest print and digital organization in Hampton Roads, Virginia.   Jones joined Landmark Media Enterprises, owner of Pilot Media, in 2005, serving as Vice President of the Landmark Publishing Group, consisting of multiple newspapers, including the News & Record in Greensboro, NC; The Roanoke Times; The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, MD; and Landmark Community Newspapers, Inc., based in Shelbyville, KY.  In 2006, Jones became the Vice President and General Manager of Pilot Media, and in 2008 he became President and Publisher of The Virginian-Pilot, the locally owned and managed newspaper founded in 1865. 


A Kenbridge, Virginia native, Jones also served as Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Social Services and Deputy Chief of Staff to then-Virginia Governor Mark Warner.  At the U.S. Treasury Department, Jones was Special Assistant to the General Counsel and he also served as Legal Counsel to the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund and as Director of the Fund during the Clinton Administration.  Jones also worked for the law firm of Hunton & Williams in Richmond, Virginia and he was a Partner at Venture Philanthropy Partners, a firm that invests millions in the Washington, DC metropolitan area to assist low-income children. 


Jones received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Hampden-Sydney College and attended Oxford University in England on a Rhodes scholarship, where he received a Master of Philosophy in International Relations.  He later received a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia.



The Honorable R. Steven Landes, Member, Virginia House of Delegates


Delegate Steve Landes represents the 25th District in the Virginia House of Delegates, which now includes portions of Albemarle, Augusta, and Rockingham Counties. He is Chairman of the House Education Committee and Vice Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. He is a member of the Rules and Privileges and Elections Committees.

Delegate Landes sponsored legislation creating the Governor's Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund which establishes an economic development grant and loan program targeted specifically at agricultural and forestry operations. He sponsored a bill creating the Office of Inspector General to investigate complaints for fraud, waste, abuse, corruption, or mistreatment of citizens of Virginia by public officers and employees. Landes also sponsored legislation creating a Small Business Jobs Grant Fund administered by the Department of Business Assistance for jobs created. To promote agriculture and assist rural areas in Virginia, he introduced legislation creating the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry as part of the Governor’s Cabinet and legislation establishing the Center for Rural Virginia.

Steve also serves as a House Budget Conferee. He is a Member of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates, representing the House of Delegates, and serves on the Major Employment and Investment (MEI) Projects Approval Commission, the Education Commission of the States, is Vice Chairman of the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission, and serves on the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission. In addition he also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia.

From 1988 to 1992 he served as Legislative Assistant to his predecessor, former Delegate A.R. “Pete” Giesen, Jr., and from 1993 to 1995, he served as Congressman Bob Goodlatte’s District Director and District Representative.

Steve is presently Vice President of Market Development for Blue Ridge Bank, which is headquartered in Luray, Virginia. Most recently he served for six and a half years as Community Relations Coordinator for DuPont Community Credit Union. He also served as Executive Director of NewBiz Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley’s small business incubator, for five years. Steve was a Life Insurance Agent and Registered Representative with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.  Steve also worked at Davis & Davis Marketing, Inc., a Staunton-based marketing and advertising firm, as a Media Buyer and then as an Account Executive.

Steve is a graduate of Buffalo Gap High School in Augusta County, and he received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. He and his wife Angela, who is an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Augusta County, live in Weyers Cave, Virginia, with their son Roth.  He is also Past President and a Member of the Weyers Cave Ruritan Club. Steve and Angela are both Members and Elders of Mt. Horeb Presbyterian Church.

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