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PLP 2017 Profile: Julianne S. Condrey

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Name:

Julianne S. Condrey

Birthplace and/or where you grew up:

Chicago, Illinois

Current Digs:

Western Hanover, VA

Occupation:

Legislative Assistant for Senator Amanda Chase

Favorite part about the job:

Meeting interesting people and learning more about Virginia

Your first job ever:

Scooping ice cream!

Favorite Book:

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Comfort Food:

risotto

What’s playing in your car right now?

Adele

Next journey?

Quebec? Boston? France? Italy?

Favorite Virginia destination?

I love so many places in Virginia! Monticello, Barboursville, Virginia Beach, Leesburg, Old Town Alexandria....

First political memory?

Listening to President Ronald Reagan

Best advice you ever got?

when you're not sure what to do, just start doing the next thing

If you could have dinner with anyone currently living, whom would it be and why?

Condoleezza Rice - I heard her speak at the Richmond forum years ago and thought she was fascinating

One thing most people would be surprised to learn about you?

I've worked as a line chef

Ambition, political or otherwise?

to own a bed and breakfast when I *retire*

Favorite part about the PLP so far?

Getting to know my incredible classmates and visiting the corners of the Commonwealth

PLP 2017 Profile: Michael Berlucchi

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Name: 

Michael Berlucchi

Birthplace and/or where you grew up:

Virginia Beach

Current Digs:

Virginia Beach

Occupation:

Community Engagement Manager, Chrysler Museum of Art.

Favorite part about the job:

I serve the Chrysler's mission to enrich and transform lives. We bring art and people together through experiences that delight, inform, and inspire. I create and implement educational and community partnerships to engage diverse audiences across Hampton Roads and develop new strategic initiatives to expand the Museum’s audiences, particularly those in underserved constituencies.

Your first job ever:

17th Street Surf Shop

Favorite Book:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Comfort Food:

Pizza

What’s playing in your car right now?

Michael Berlucchi

Next journey?

Paris, France

Favorite Virginia destination?

Virginia Beach!

First political memory?

Fall of the Berlin Wall

Best advice you ever got?

"When you get what you want, stop talking."

If you could have dinner with anyone currently living, whom would it be and why?

George H.W. Bush.

One thing most people would be surprised to learn about you?

I'm a bargain hunter; I love a good deal!

Ambition, political or otherwise?

I would like to become a more effective and impactful advocate for the organizations and issues I care about.

Favorite part about the PLP so far?

The chance to learn from my classmates and visit destinations throughout Virginia I had never seen. 

 

2017 PLP Profile: John Butler

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Name:

John F. Butler

Birthplace and/or where you grew up:

Reston, Virginia

Current Digs:

Norfolk, Virginia

Occupation:

Virginia Assistant Attorney General

Favorite part about the job:

I enjoy finding community solutions to address public safety.

Your first job ever:

Around age 10, I would pull my Red Flyer Wagon with a cooler full of sodas to sell to thirsty golfers.

Favorite Book:

(Political) Truman by David McCullough; (Non-Political) Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.

Comfort Food:

My great aunt Betty Butler's spaghetti.

What’s playing in your car right now?

Jazz (Miles Davis/Bill Evans/John Coltrane)

Next journey?

Overseas

Favorite Virginia destination?

Blue Ridge Parkway

First political memory?

Doug Wilder elected first African American governor of Virginia.

Best advice you ever got?

A calling is the place where your deeply felt gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.

If you could have dinner with anyone currently living, whom would it be and why?

Elon Musk. To engage someone with an inspiring vision.

One thing most people would be surprised to learn about you?

I rode a bike 320 miles (more than 30,000 feet of elevation gain) along the Blue Ridge Mountains from Fancy Gap to Front Royal.

Ambition, political or otherwise?

To take my education, training, and experience and maximize my contribution to the community. To be a man for others.

Favorite part about the PLP so far?

My classmates.

PLP 2017 Profile: Paula Jasinski

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Name:

Paula Jasinski

Birthplace and/or where you grew up:

Virginia's Northern Neck (Warsaw)

Current Digs:

Richmond

Occupation:

Environmental consultant

Favorite part about the job:

explaining how environmental protections are relevant to everyone!

Your first job ever:

Cashier

Favorite Book:

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. The book is written about the aftermath of 9/11 to one family from 9-year old Oskar Schell's point of view. It's heart wrenching and heart warming at the same time. Even though 9/11 and NYC are the backdrops to the story, it's about so much more and Foer writes it all brilliantly. I've re-read this book at least three times.

Comfort Food:

Roast chicken and vegetables

What’s playing in your car right now?

Business related podcasts

Next journey?

Planning for a trip to Uganda and other parts of Africa. This trip has been on my bucket list for many years

Favorite Virginia destination?

Wherever my children are at the time. They're both in college now and spending time with them at home or at college is my favorite thing in the world.

First political memory?

Sitting on the back seat of a convertible in a parade while campaigning for former state Delegate and Secretary of Natural Resources, W. Tayloe Murphy, Jr. I had the extreme good fortune to grow up with him as a mentor and close family friend. I've never met a kinder or wiser person.

Best advice you ever got?

It's never too late to be who or what you want to be.

If you could have dinner with anyone currently living, whom would it be and why?

Hard question. I'd have to flip a coin between Dr. Sylvia Earle or Neil deGrasse Tyson. I'm huge fans of both of them for what they've done for bringing science into the mainstream. I'd love to have the opportunity to speak with them both about how to restore respect for science in our country and protect the planet for many future generations.

One thing most people would be surprised to learn about you?

I have styrophobia- a deep hatred of the sound of styrofoam or even the thought of it.

Ambition, political or otherwise?

Professionally, we're re-branding our company to broaden our focus. Politically, I am becoming more and more active to support candidates and elected officials I believe in.

Favorite part about the PLP so far?

Getting to know my fellow PLP students, across the political spectrum. They all have so much to offer and I'm in awe of each of them.

 

PLP 2017 Profile: Grant Kidwell

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Name:

Grant Kidwell

Birthplace and/or where you grew up:

I grew up in Vienna, Virginia.

Current Digs:

I've been living in Arlington for the last 3 years.

Occupation:

Senior Policy Analyst at Americans for Prosperity

Favorite part about the job:

Traveling around to state capitols across the country.

Your first job ever:

Paperboy for a local weekly newspaper.

Favorite Book:

Game of Thrones.

Comfort Food:

A huge plate of nachos.

What’s playing in your car right now?

Freakonomics or some other podcast.

Next journey?

Hopefully out west to hike through one of the national parks.

Favorite Virginia destination?

Shenandoah Valley

First political memory?

Stuffing envelopes for a a delegate campaign

Best advice you ever got?

Buy land. God aint making any more of it.

If you could have dinner with anyone currently living, whom would it be and why?

Senator Ben Sasse and ask him for a job in his future Presidential administration.

One thing most people would be surprised to learn about you?

I once spent two weeks camping in the desert in Botswana.

Ambition, political or otherwise?

Be the head of an agency. Energy, Interior, or FERC.

Favorite part about the PLP so far?

The opening weekend in Williamsburg. We had the fife and drum core escort us to dinner.

Sorensen Event at Norfolk's Chrysler Museum

Monday, October 2, 2017

In today's bitter partisan environment, the Sorensen Institute's vision is more important than ever: trust, civility and respect in politics. Join us on Oct. 12 for an evening of drinks, discussion and networking with area political junkies to support the Sorensen Institute.


Across the Aisle: A Political Fundraiser Like No Other!
Thursday, 10/12/17 · 6–8 p.m.
Perry Glass Studio @ the Chrysler Museum of Art
745 Duke Street, Norfolk, VA 23519

This unique event brings together area civic leaders from all political parties and persuasions—elected officials and private citizens—for an evening of drinks, discussion and networking. CNU’s Rachel Bitecofer, Director of the Survey Research Lab at the Wason Center for Public Policy, will answer the age-old political question, “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?” Plus a live demonstration by the Chrysler Museum's talented glass artists.

The Glass Studio is a smaller venue with a limited capacity, so don't wait to register!

EVENT CO-CHAIRS
Andria McClellan
     (Norfolk City Council)
Chuck McPhillips
     (Kaufman & Canoles)

HONORARY CO-CHAIRS
Sen. Mark Warner
Rep. Bobby Scott
Rep. Scott Taylor
former Rep. Scott Rigell
Secretary Aubrey Layne
Sen. John Cosgrove
Sen. Lynwood Lewis
Sen. Mamie Locke
Sen. Monty Mason
Sen. Tommy Norment
Del. Glenn Davis
Mayor Kenny Alexander
Mayor Will Sessoms


EVENT SPONSORS
Jim Hixon
Chrysler Museum of Art
Cox Communications
Dominion Energy
Kaufman & Canoles
Suzy Kelly
Harry Lester
Andria McClellan
Newport News Shipbuilding
Smithfield Foods
TowneBank
Trident Utility Contracting
Vandeventer Black LLP
Virginia Natural Gas


Sponsorships from $1,000 to $10,000 are still available. Contact Colleen Smith at 434-982-4910 or colleen.smith@virginia.edu to discuss sponsorship opportunities.

PLP 2017 Profile: Jana Braswell

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Name:
Jana Braswell


Birthplace and/or where you grew up:
Richmond Virginia

Current Digs:
Chesterfield, VA

Occupation:
Coordinator for the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice

Favorite part about the job:
Feeling like we, the Center, can make a difference. Responding to the needs of people with behavioral health disorders in the Criminal Justice system is pretty complicated stuff. Creating change of this magnitude really comes down communication, collaboration and coordination - each of which the Center strives to do.

Your first job ever:
Little Caesars Pizza on Forest Hill Avenue. I had to get a work permit because I was only 15. I learned rather fast that I did not want to sling pizza for a living.

Favorite Book:
I have a hard time finishing books so this is a hard one for me. I will say I absolutely loved The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.

Comfort Food:
Chocolate chip cookies and bagels and lox (not at the same time)

What’s playing in your car right now?
NPR

Next journey?
Our kids are entering Kindergarten this year...

Favorite Virginia destination?
There are so many! Depends on the time of year.

First political memory?
I was asked this question during our first Sorensen weekend and had a hard time thinking back to what that might be. The good news is I have a ton of memories to reference now, and I look forward to more!

Best advice you ever got?
[Redacted]. Can I say that here? If not... "Follow your heart, but don't let your head be too far behind"

If you could have dinner with anyone currently living, whom would it be and why?
There are so many. I think today it would be James Comey.

One thing most people would be surprised to learn about you?
I drove across the country from San Francisco to Richmond, VA when I was 20 years old in a 1973 Ford pick up truck. It was lime green and broke down multiple times. Oh, and we didn't have cell phones in 1993 (at least my friend and I didn't!)

Ambition, political or otherwise?
To continue down the path I am on, wherever that may lead.

Favorite part about the PLP so far?
I realize it is cliche', but the people. The people and the realization that we truly have the best of the best engaged in Virginia politics.

PLP 2017 Profile: Joyce Connery

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Name:

Joyce Connery

Birthplace and/or where you grew up:

Boston suburbs

Current Digs:

Woodbridge, Virginia

Occupation:

Board Member, Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board

Favorite part about the job:

Fantastic staff that oversees all of the Department of Energy's defense nuclear facilities and keeping the public safe as we clean up the nuclear legacy and maintain a safe, secure, reliable nuclear deterrent.

Your first job ever:

Aside from babysitting, my first paid job was caring for women in an assisted living facility/nursing home in an old New England house. My title was "pantry girl" and I was thirteen.

Favorite Book:

Love to read...hard to pick a favorite. Literary novels? The English Patient, Unbearable Lightness of Being, Ground Beneath Her Feet...Non-fiction? Richard Rhodes (Making of the Atomic Bomb, Dark Sun, Twilight of the Bombs)

Comfort Food:

Pasta. I grew up on Italian food. I call that red stuff gravy.

What’s playing in your car right now?

I have NPR on most of the time. Or Podcasts. But have been listening to Queens of the Stone Age's new album

Next journey?

As yet unplanned. Machu Picchu is on my bucket list, but likely have to do that soon while I have some stamina!

Favorite Virginia destination?

I have a soft spot for Richmond.

First political memory?

Watergate hearings pre-empted Seasme Street, but I was too young to understand. I do remember fifth grade making signs and tying yellow ribbons for the hostages in Iran.

Best advice you ever got?

Do the right thing for the right reason and you can't go wrong.

If you could have dinner with anyone currently living, whom would it be and why?

Very hard to choose. At this moment, I would say Mary Robinson. As the first female President of Ireland she experienced and overcame a glass ceiling and then then resigned early to take her post at the United Nations. She had dedicated her life to public service but more specifically to human rights and human dignity.

One thing most people would be surprised to learn about you?

Most people are surprised that I was a Peace Corps volunteer. (Turkmenistan '93-'95)

Ambition, political or otherwise?

I would love the chance to serve in an Administration (state or Federal) as a cabinet secretary. Until that happens, my ambition is to be as informed and engaged as possible and work toward the best policy outcomes.

Favorite part about the PLP so far?

My classmates! Learning a great deal from them and fascinated by their views and LOVE their passion.

PLP 2017 Profile: Jesse O'Connell

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Name:
Jesse O'Connell


Birthplace and/or where you grew up:
Westminster, Maryland

Current Digs:
Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, VA

Occupation:
Grantmaking

Favorite part about the job:
Talking to smart people and helping them bring their interesting and important ideas to a broader audience.

Your first job ever:
Fry-cook in a snack bar.

Favorite Book:
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

Comfort Food:
Bourbon

What’s playing in your car right now?
The new War on Drugs album

Next journey?
Probably to the playground. I mostly go to the playground these days.

Favorite Virginia destination?
Wine country around Charlottesville

First political memory?
Watching '92 presidential election results with my parents.

Best advice you ever got?
Run through the finish line.

If you could have dinner with anyone currently living, whom would it be and why?
With my wife, alone, without small children yelling at us.

One thing most people would be surprised to learn about you?
I've never seen a single episode of Saved by the Bell or Full House.

Ambition, political or otherwise?
To square up a major league fastball, just once.

Favorite part about the PLP so far?
Making friends I expect to have for a long time.

Sorensen Political Leaders Program seeks applicants from across Virginia

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia is now seeking applications for our 2018 Political Leaders Program!

The Political Leaders Program (PLP) is Sorensen’s flagship program. It brings together Virginians from across the political spectrum and all around the Commonwealth for a unique learning experience. The PLP helps to develop leaders who are considering a greater role in public service or community leadership in Virginia. Participants meet in a different Virginia community one weekend a month from March through December (except in July). In each location the PLP explores local issues and issues of statewide concern, visiting places of business and important institutions to gain a deeper understanding of our large and diverse Commonwealth.

Participation in this program has served as a traditional step forward for current and future political leaders, including many members of the General Assembly and various city and county offices. PLP participants develop deep friendships across partisan and regional lines that will serve them and benefit our state for years to come.

Applications are due by midnight on Monday, Nov. 13. Instructions on applying to the PLP can be found on our application page.

If you'd like to recommend someone as a potential applicant or request more information for yourself, please visit our online referrals form any time. 

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