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PLP Alumni News
Cathie France, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2005, has recently joined AGL Resources as Director of Governmental Relations in Virginia. Atlanta-based AGL is an energy-holding company that serves 2.2 million customers in six states through its utility subsidiaries, including Virginia Natural Gas in southeast Virginia.
Cathie will be responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of the companyâ€™s federal and state legislative agenda. She will also serve as liaison with the Virginia General Assembly, the Virginia Congressional delegation and other governmental bodies.
Prior to joining AGL Resources, Cathie served as legislative counsel and director at the Vectre Corp., a public affairs agency in Richmond. And she was previously the chief legislative and political aide to State Senator Ken Stolle of Virginia Beach.
A leader among leaders, Cathie is a member of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, the Central Business District Association and president-elect of the Cape Henry Rotary Club. She is on the board of directors of Prevent Child Abuse Hampton Roads; a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #8; and an American Cancer Society Relay for Life Team Captain. She lives in Virginia Beach with her husband and two children. Congratulations Cathie!
Tracy Thorne-Begland, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2004, is featured in an article in today's Richmond Times-Dispatch in which he comments on the scandal surrounding former Congressman Mark Foleyâ€”a man he has known for years.
Thorne-Begland, a Deputy Prosecutor with the Richmond Commonwealth Attorney's Office, concludes, "I don't believe a public servant is entitled to perpetuate a lie. You can't have it both ways. Public servants have
a duty to be honest and live their lives with integrity."
Richmond's Style Weekly recently announced its annual "Top Forty Under 40"â€” its list of the "most remarkable young men and women [who are] inspiring and serving others, changing our community for the better and exuding an enthusiasm about Richmond's present and future that you just might catch." We are proud to say that once again Sorensen is well represented on this list.
This year's Top Forty Under 40 includes Courtney Malveaux, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 1996. Courtney is the Assistant Attorney General/Special Counsel Manager in the Office of the Attorney General. Click here to read Courtney's profile in the article.
The list also includes Jackie Jackson, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2002 and Vice President of the Richmond City Council. Click here to read Jackie's profile in the article.
And this year's Top Forty Under 40 also includes Tom Shields, Director of the Center for Leadership Education at the University of Richmond. Tom is a regular contributor, lecturer, and organizer for Sorensen's Youth Programs each summer. Click here to read Tom's profile.
Sindy Benavides, a member of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2006, was recently named Director of Gubernatorial Appointments by Governor Tim Kaine. Benavides also serves as the Governor's Liaison to the Latino community here in Virginia.
"Aimee Perron Seibert will be an account executive working on legislative issues and grassroots/coalition development. She brings years of experience in the non-profit and advocacy arena. She has been the legislative director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia where she garnered the respect of legislators on both sides of the aisle and her colleagues, despite the often controversial nature of the organization. In her capacity as legislative director, Aimee lobbied on a variety of civil rights and civil liberty issues, including the death penalty, privacy, criminal justice, voting rights, and open access to government. Within the non-profit arena, Aimee has considerable contacts stretching across a wide swath of issues, allowing her to build very successful coalitions. Aimee completed her Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude from Boston College and holds a masterâ€™s degree in social work-policy, planning and administration from Virginia Commonwealth University."
Political and Media Consultant Gary Nordlinger, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2004, was a recent guest on "Charlottesville--Right Now" with Coy Barefoot.
Gary shared his take on the Webb/Allen race, the 2008 presidential race, the current state of politics in Virginia, and his remarkable experience working for school groups in New Jersey.
Yvonne Johnston, a member of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2006, has recently joined the Wachovia team as Assistant Vice President and Private Advisory Banking Relationship Manager. Congratulations Yvonne!
In a statement released yesterday, Governor Kaine appointed a number of Sorensen graduates to boards and commissions. Sorensen continues to play a positive, leading role across the Commonwealth.
Justin M. Wilson of Alexandria, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2003, was reappointed to the Board of Juvenile Justice.
Joyce W. Waugh of Roanoke, a member of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2006, was appointed to the Manufacturing Development Commission.
Jeffrey R. Dion of Prince William County, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 1996, was reappointed to the Criminal Justice Services Board.
Jesse J. Richardson of Montgomery County, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 1999, was appointed to the Cave Board.
Ann A. Brown of Williamsburg, a graduate of the Candidate Training Program Class of 2001, was appointed to the Commonwealth Council on Aging.
You heard it here first folks: Rita Ghazal, a member of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2006, and a Title I Specialist with the Virginia Department of Education, will appear as one of 25 eligible bachelorettes on the new season of ABC's hit show "The Bachelor," which will premiere its ninth season on October 2.
The Sorensen Institute congratulates our alumna Chris Lowrie, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2000. Chris is now the new Director of Marketing and Community Affairs for the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects and also serves as Director of Program Planning for the Virginia Center for Architecture, which is one of the few museums of architecture in the United States. Congratulations Chris!