Michelle Gowdy, Executive Director – (804) 523-8525; firstname.lastname@example.org. Michelle joined the league staff in 2016. She began her local government career in 2009, working as an Assistant County Attorney in New Kent County. She later became the New Kent County Attorney in 2010 and spent a brief amount of time as the James City County Attorney in 2015 prior to joining VML. Michelle worked as a prosecutor and for the Virginia Department of Forensic Science until 2008. Originally from northern Wisconsin, she received a bachelor of arts degree in International Business from Carthage College in 1993 and a Juris Doctorate from Oklahoma City University in 1996.
Leslie Amason, Conference and Marketing Coordinator – (804) 523-8528; email@example.com. Leslie began her career in 1984 as a Regional Human Resources Manager and Events Coordinator for MCI Telecommunications, a position she held for over 17 years. She also worked at Ampa Events as the Sr. Event Manager, handling corporate relations. Most recently, Leslie was the Development Manager for Distinguished Events for The American Cancer Society. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Winthrop University and is a native of Richmond.
Janet Areson, Director of Policy Development – (804) 523-8522; firstname.lastname@example.org. Janet lobbies on human service issues and the state budget. She also tracks issues of importance to local governments in Congress. Janet joined the league in 1990 with a background that included six years of experience at the National League of Cities in Washington and two years with the Virginia Association of Counties. She also has worked for the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget. Janet holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in public administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a past president of the Virginia Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and serves as the executive secretary-treasurer for the Virginia Local Government Management Association (VLGMA), a VML affiliate and a state affiliate of ICMA.
Sherall Dementi, Special Projects Coordinator – (804) 523-8533; email@example.com. Sherall joined VML in 2003 as a workers’ compensation adjustor in the Henrico County office of VML Insurance Programs. In 2005, she became an executive assistant in the league’s administrative office in downtown Richmond. Sherall worked previously as a court reporter with the firm of Cook & Wiley, Inc. for 16 years. She received a bachelor of science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her duties as special projects coordinator include helping manage the league’s database and assisting VML affiliates. She also serves as circulation manager for Virginia Town & City.
Patrick L. Ford, Press Operator/Clerk – (804) 523-8526; firstname.lastname@example.org. Patrick joined the league staff in 1991 after serving for 8½ years in the Army. Most recently, he was a map maker stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C., where he received his printing experience. A native of Detroit, he is responsible for preparing and sending all VML mailings and all of VML’s in-house printing jobs and projects.
Sandra Harrington, Government Relations Associate – (804) 523-8524; email@example.com. Sandy joined the league staff in 2017. She has over 30 years’ experience working in government including the Drug Enforcement Administration, Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, and various Fairfax County Public Safety and Economic Development Departments. Sandy also served as adjunct faculty for Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC). Sandy received a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration (1984), a Master of Arts in Sociology (2001), and a Master of Public Administration (2013) from George Mason University. Sandy lobbies for localities, specializing in education and public safety issues. Sandy was recently elected to serve the on the Council of the Central Virginia Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and is an active member of the Virginia Local Government Management Association (VLGMA). Sandy additionally serves as the Executive Director of the Virginia Building and Code Officials Association (VBCOA).
Michael Polychrones, Director of Member Services – (804) 523-8530; firstname.lastname@example.org. Mike joined the league staff in 2016. He began his local government service in 1996, as a Member of the Town Council of the Town of Vienna, Virginia, and prior to that was a member of the Transportation Safety Committee and the Towns Planning Commission. During his service on Vienna’s planning commission he received the Planning Commission certification thru Virginia Tech. Mike also served the Virginia Municipal League as a member of both the Environmental Policy and the Finance Committee of which he chaired for two years. He also served on the VML’s Legislative Committee for 2 years and as its Chairman for 1 year. Mike continued his service to VML by being elected to the Executive Committee and ultimately serving as President from 2008-2009. Most recently Mike served as an appointed member of the Planning Board for Brunswick County, North Carolina. Professionally Mike worked for the American Bankers Association for many years and then opened his own independent insurance agency in North Carolina. Mike received his Bachelors of Science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1987.
Joni S. Terry, Office Coordinator – (804) 523-8529; email@example.com. Joni joined the league staff in 1978 as a clerk-typist. Promoted to administrative secretary in 1980 and to office coordinator in 1982, Joni serves as secretary to the executive director and oversees the day-to-day operations of the office. In addition, she helps manage the league’s computer operations and the VML annual conference registration. Joni served as executive director for the Virginia Building and Code Officials Association for seven years.
Manuel Timbreza, Communications Specialist – (804) 523-8531; firstname.lastname@example.org. Manuel joined the league in 1997. He formerly was the creative director of Gates Communications in Richmond, publishers of Campus Voice, a national publication for college students. He also has worked as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. He holds a BFA degree in communication arts and design from Virginia Commonwealth University. Manuel is acting editor of the League magazine, Virginia Town & City, VML eNews and other member communications. He is also responsible for the design and production of most league publications, various events, and the Annual Conference. He is also main content manager and developer for the VML web site.