2019 Chamber Board of Directors
The general governance, direction, finances, procedures, and policy-making responsibilities of the Chamber of Commerce are vested in the Board of Directors.
Chamber Officers (the Executive Committee) are: Chairperson of the Chamber Board of Directors, Chairperson-Elect of the Board, Vice Chairpersons of the Board, Treasurer, and Chamber President and Chief Executive.
Peter Caramanis, Royer Caramanis PLC
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Pete Caramanis is a founding member of the law firm, Royer Caramanis PLC. Royer Caramanis handles a wide range of legal matters, and Pete's individual practice focuses on business transactions and litigation, as well as land use and real estate development. In addition to serving as Chair of the Chamber, he serves as Chair of the UVA Children's Hospital Advisory Board and as a member of the Tom Tom Founders Festival Advisory Board.
Elizabeth Cromwell, Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce
President & CEO
Elizabeth Cromwell is the President and CEO of the Chamber. With more than 30 years of experience in marketing, corporate sponsorship, public relations, investor relations and public/private partnerships, Cromwell has held positions in the private and public sectors. She also worked in e-commerce at a small start-up through its IPO. Prior to leading the Chamber in Charlottesville, Cromwell led the Frederick (MD) County Chamber of Commerce.
Cristine Nardi, Center for Nonprofit Excellence
First Vice Chairwoman (Chair-Elect) of the Board
Cristine Nardi joined CNE as Executive Director in December 2008. She brings to her work an extensive nonprofit, legal and entrepreneurial background. She started her career as a Peace Corps volunteer teacher in Africa, and went on to manage the Uganda office of Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (VOCA), an international nonprofit providing technical expertise to local cooperatives, farmers, and agribusinesses. After returning to the states to attend law school, Nardi clerked for the Honorable Judge Vanessa Ruiz, now Senior Judge of the D.C. Court of Appeals. She then worked for NARAL Pro Choice America directing reproductive health policy programs and providing legal and policy expertise to affiliates, legislators, and community organizations across the country.
Sasha Farmer, Story House Real Estate
Vice Chairwoman - Member Services
Sasha Farmer is a residential REALTOR® in Charlottesville, VA, and the Principal Broker and Owner of Story House Real Estate, an affiliate of Montague, Miller & Company, REALTORS. She also speaks and teaches internationally as a CRS Annual Sell-A-Bration Speaker and webinar instructor, and she coaches agents at state and local association conferences nationwide. Her experience and knowledge that she gathers from the other best real estate agents in the industry provide her company with invaluable marketing expertise, fresh ideas, and puts them on the leading edge of technology and marketing strategy. She has been selected by REALTOR® magazine as one of the Top 30 REALTORS Under 30, was recognized on the list of Inman Top 101 Real Estate Influencers in the nation, and has been the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® REALTOR® of the Year (2016), Sales Associate of the Year (2012), and Rookie of the Year (2008).
Brinson White, Blue Ridge Title
Vice Chairman - Economic Vitality
Brinson White is Vice President and Counsel at Blue Ridge Title, a division of Chicago Title Insurance Company, part of the Fidelity National Financial family of title insurers. Fidelity National is ranked number 302 on the Fortune Five Hundred list for 2018. Locally, the company has been providing title insurance services since 1985 through a network of agents and the direct operation located just off the Downtown Mall.
Robert Pflugfelder, Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Central Virginia
Vice Chairman - Finance & Chairman, Audit Committee
Bob Pflugfelder has enjoyed 45 years of experience in the soft drink industry. He has been with Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Central Virginia since 1984 as the Vice President-Finance. He earned a BS in Accounting and an MBA in Managerial Finance from La Salle University. He has participated in Management Training courses to include PCMI (Pepsi-Cola Management Institute), Post Graduate Education Program with Dr Pepper Co, SESCO Human Resources Course, and earned the CM Designation from ICPM (Institute of Certified Professional Managers) through JMU.
Pflugfelder’s volunteer positions in the community include current Vice Chairman-Finance of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, Treasurer and Life Member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, and he serves on the Board of Directors of the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville. He was awarded a Hixson Fellow award in 2011, and in 2012 he was awarded the Distinguished Club President of the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville.
Jeffrey Thomas, SHINE Systems
Vice Chairman - Small Business & Strategic Interests
Jeff Thomas founded SHINE Systems in 2007 based on the core values of integrity, vision, stewardship, communication, and other-centered relationships. A serial innovator and entrepreneur, Thomas has been serving dual business development and program management roles for a variety of clients for over 30 years. He has engineered systems at every stage of the intelligence life cycle for major IC programs. His profile features diverse, applied methodologies in capture, proposal, and project management; business process analysis and optimization; reporting, analytics, and software product/solution engineering. He also invented the patent-pending Patent/Technology Exploitation System (PATES™).
Thomas holds a BS in Mathematics and Computer Science from Hampden-Sydney College and began his career as a Software Engineer. He was quickly promoted to and became the youngest Project Manager for a 4,000+ employee systems integrator in the National Capital Region. An active member of the Charlottesville business community, Thomas serves on the Board of Advisors for First Citizens Bank, the Board of Directors at the Virginia Institute of Autism, and the Defense Affairs Committee at the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce. On the national scene, he serves on the HUBZone Contractors National Council and specifically as part of the Advocacy Team providing support for the Council’s legislative and policy advocacy program to enhance the Council’s influence within Congress and Federal agencies. An alumnus of Leadership Charlottesville, Thomas brings his passion for his community to local initiatives including autism, Wounded Warrior, and defense.
Simone Alley, Piedmont Virginia Community College
Simone Alley, a long-time business and civic leader in the Charlottesville area, serves as the Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving at Piedmont Virginia Community College. She is also a long-time REALTOR ® with Roy Wheeler Realty. With 25 years of sales, business development, and marketing experience in Central Virginia and Charlottesville, Alley served in key leadership positions for two national telecommunications companies developing partnerships with local businesses, universities and non-profit organizations.
Active throughout the community, her past board service includes the Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce, United Way Thomas Jefferson Area and the United Way of Staunton/West Augusta. She serves as industry leader earning the Classified Staff Core Job Responsibilities Award and the College, Community, and Professional Service Award in 2019. Past honors include Social Good Award, Most Professional Agent Award, Leadership Circle Award, Top Listing Agent Award and MMC Rookie of the Year Award. She is a graduate of Radford University and Leadership Charlottesville.
Charlie Armstrong, Southern Development
Charlie Armstrong is the Vice President of Land Development at Southern Development and manages all aspects of the development process, including acquisitions, finance, site design, governmental approvals, and project management during construction. Prior to joining Southern Development, Armstrong managed projects for an environmental consulting firm and helped start a successful online marketing firm. He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the University of Virginia. Armstrong is a past President of the Blue Ridge Home Builders Association and serves on the Board of Directors of the Home Builders Association of Virginia and the Board of Directors of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce. He also served as 5-year Chairman of the Charlottesville City Council Housing Advisory Committee and actively serves on the Boards of several Charlottesville area charitable non-profits and associations. Armstrong, his wife, and four children live in Albemarle County and particularly enjoy travelling and being outdoors.
Paul Beyer, Tom Tom Festival
Paul Beyer is the Founder and Director of the Tom Tom Foundation and the Tom Tom Summit & Festival. Tom Tom’s flagship event occurs each April in Charlottesville, VA, and champions innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship in America’s small cities. Since its inception in 2012, Tom Tom has hosted over 260,000 program attendees, 350 bands, and dozens of public artists at wide-ranging creative events throughout the historic downtown. Tom Tom’s innovation programming has featured 1700 speakers, including iconic innovators like John Cleese and Dan Rather, alongside founders of Reddit, New Belgium Brewing, the Container Store, Chromat, and the Maker Movement. Tom Tom’s competitions and grant nights have seeded nearly $3.3M in grants and funding to entrepreneurs and nonprofits.
Guy Browning, MPS
Guy Browning is responsible for the publishing distribution operations of Macmillan Publishers both in the UK and here in Virginia. He has over 30 years’ experience in publishing logistics and now divides his time between Charlottesville, New York and the UK. He moved with his family from the UK to Charlottesville in 2014.
Melvin Burruss, Miller Law Group
Attorney Melvin Burruss earned his Juris Doctorate (JD) from Florida State University College of Law as well as a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Stanford University School of Business. His practice of law has focused primarily on personal bankruptcy law. He has extensive experience in the mortgage banking and investment fields, having worked for major Wall Street banking and investment firms. As an adjunct professor at the University of Texas-Arlington, he taught business and marketing management. Burruss is the producer and host of the award-winning local cable television community program, The Neighborhood Law Center Inc. He is Vice-Chairman of the Chamber Business Diversity Council.
Jonathan Davis, Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital
Jonathan S. Davis, FACHE, is the President of Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, a 176-bed community hospital in Charlottesville, VA. He also has oversight responsibilities for Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital and Sentara Woodview and Sentara Meadowview Terrace, two nursing facilities. Davis has been at Sentara Martha Jefferson since January 2015. During his tenure, the facility has grown with the introduction of new surgical and procedural services, received its third consecutive Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence, was awarded a 5-Star Rating by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services “CMS” and received many national accreditations to include the nation’s first Primary Stroke Plus Center by Det Norke Veitras (DNV).
Alison DeTuncq, University of Virginia Community Credit Union
Alison DeTuncq is President and Chief Executive Officer of University of Virginia Community Credit Union in Charlottesville, VA. She also serves as president and sits on the board of managers of Member Options, LLC, the mortgage lending subsidiary of the credit union. She is a current board member for Vizo Financial Corporate Credit Union, and is a past chairman; is a member of Virginia Credit Union League’s Estonia Partnership Committee, and is past president of the Central Virginia Chapter; she serves on the board of directors for the Piedmont Virginia Community College Foundation; serves as the Culpeper District representative of the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB); and has been a member of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce board of directors since 2013. DeTuncq holds a Master’s of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts from James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.
Michael Guthrie, Roy Wheeler Realty Company
Michael Guthrie became the Broker and CEO of Roy Wheeler Realty in 2005. His commitment to community service has been recognized with the Charlottesville Chamber’s Small Business Person of the Year Award, and his company, Roy Wheeler Realty Company was chosen as the Chamber’s Hovey Dabney award winner in 2016. He has been teaching real estate for over 30 years and is an approved CAAR instructor, and has recently been selected as a GRI instructor as well. He also has hosted his own radio show on Newsradio 1070 98.9, Real Estate Matters, for more than 8 years.
Guthrie currently serves on several boards including the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, Abundant Life and the local FirstTee chapter. He is a member of Trinity Presbyterian Church where, as an elder, he serves on the session there. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1975 and received his Masters from UVa in 1976. He has been married to Dottie for 41 years and has three children, 38, 36 and 33, along with seven grandchildren.
Stephen Horan, CFA Institute
As managing director of the Credentialing division, Stephen Horan leads the development of CFA Institute designation and certificate programs, including the CFA Program and the CIPM Program. As interim managing director of the Americas, he currently leads that team to deliver measurable value to CFA Institute stakeholders throughout the region. He also serves as leadership sponsor for the organization’s internal diversity and inclusion activities. Based in Charlottesville, VA, Horan brings a unique combination of industry and academic experience to CFA Institute. He previously served as an expert witness in securities litigation, a forensic economist in private practice preparing economic impact studies, a principal of a financial advisory firm, a financial analyst, and as a buy-side account manager and sell-side stockbroker. On the academic side, Horan served as a professor of finance and is a recognized researcher in wealth management, tax efficient investing, and derivatives.
Horan has received numerous research grants and awards, including the 2012 Graham and Dodd Readers’ Choice Award, and his research has been profiled in leading publications. He has authored or co-authored several books, including the highly regarded book Strategic Value Investing (which has been on Warren Buffet’s Recommended Reading four consecutive years) and The New Wealth Management: The Financial Advisor’s Guide to Managing and Investing Client Assets. His work has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, and the Financial Analysts Journal. He has been a frequent invited speaker at professional, academic, and CFA Institute events. Before joining CFA Institute, he was an active volunteer both locally and globally with CFA Institute. Horan holds a PhD in finance at the State University of New York/Buffalo and a BBA degree in finance at St. Bonaventure University. He earned the CFA charter in 1993, the CIPM designation in 2011, and the CAIA designation in 2018.
Cass Kawecki, Colliers International
As Vice President with the Charlottesville office of Colliers International, Cass Kawecki specializes in Investment Property Sales and Occupier Services. With over 15 years of professional experience in the commercial real estate industry across multiple markets, Kawecki leverages his acquired knowledge, resources and relationships to consistently create advantage for his clients. He has negotiated the closing of over $500 million in property transaction volume during his career to date. He has a tremendous depth of experience with investment property sales, having transacted across all property types and scales including land, multi-family, mixed-use, industrial, retail, office and adaptive redevelopment properties. Through his occupier services role, tenants rely on Kawecki as a trusted advisor, advocate and strategic partner. His clients include many of the largest and fastest growing companies with a presence in the Charlottesville area. He is a recognized expert in his field and has taught graduate-level real estate development and finance courses in his spare time for both Carnegie Mellon and the University of Virginia.
Arlene Lee, R. E. Lee Companies
Arlene Lee serves as CEO/Principal of R. E. Lee Companies, Inc. (REL), parent company of six businesses located in Charlottesville, VA, and working predominantly in the commercial building construction industry. In this role, she actively oversees the operations and strategic direction of all R. E. Lee Companies, which employ over 150 people in our community. REL’s companies handle the full life cycle of a building from development, to construction – both as a GC/CM and subcontractor – to facilities management and maintenance. She is committed to leading forward, based in the REL tradition – simply stated in three words: Pioneering. Honorable. Professional.
Lee is involved in several professional organizations including the Associated General Contractors of Virginia (AGCVA) and the Virginia Council of CEOs. She is a member of the Virginia BEST Review Board. Lee holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University. A commitment to community and education has guided her life and her volunteer efforts. She is currently on the boards of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and The Business Climate Executive Committee, The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, The United Way-Thomas Jefferson Area, and is on the GSVSG Property Committee, the VOSH Convention Committee, and is a state leader for the Young Survival Coalition.
Christy Phillips, WillowTree
Christy Phillips is the Chief Talent Officer for WillowTree, a mobile innovation agency that builds digital products for some of the world’s leading brands. She leads the team responsible for hiring the best talent from all over the country and creating a world-class employee experience. She feels fortunate to work for a company committed to creating an inclusive work environment, which has helped WillowTree earn national awards such as Fortune Magazine’s and Glassdoor’s Best Place to Work lists. Phillips holds a BS in Management Information Systems from the University of South Florida.
Colette Sheehy, University of Virginia
Colette Sheehy serves as the Senior Vice President for Operations at the University of Virginia, where she oversees the functions of the Office of the Architect, Business Operations, Facilities Management, Real Estate and Leasing Services, State Governmental Relations, and the University Building Official. She first came to UVA in 1982 as a budget analyst and served in multiple successive capacities in finance and operations before taking on her current role in 2015.
A native of Freehold, New Jersey, Sheehy earned a B.A. in economics from Bucknell University and an M.B.A. with a concentration in finance from Rutgers University Graduate School of Management. She is an active member of Virginia's Council of State Senior Business Officers, the National Association of College and University Business Officers, and the Society for College and University Planning. Sheehy currently serves as a board member for the Emily Couric Leadership Forum and the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce; she previously served as a board member for several organizations, including the Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development, Leadership Charlottesville Alumni Association, the UVA School of Architecture Foundation, the Virginia Discovery Museum, and the Virginia Retirement System. In 1995, Sheehy was presented the Woman of Achievement Award from the UVA Women Faculty and Professional Association. She served as one of the chief architects and negotiators of the Higher Education Restructuring and Administrative Operations Act passed by the General Assembly of Virginia in 2005, a law that created a new relationship between the Commonwealth and its public institutions of higher education.
Pamela Sutton-Wallace, University of Virginia Health System
Pamela Sutton-Wallace currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the University of Virginia (UVA) Medical Center in Charlottesville, VA. The UVA Medical Center is a nationally-recognized academic medical center which includes 612 inpatient beds, Level 1 trauma center, the UVA Children’s Hospital and more than 100 primary and specialty care clinics throughout the Commonwealth with greater than 1 million visits annually. Ranked as the #1 hospital in Virginia by US News & World Report, the medical center has received several national designations and recognitions over the last several years. Sutton-Wallace is also currently serving as the Acting Executive Vice President for Health Affairs for UVA Health System.
Prior to joining UVA, Sutton-Wallace served as Senior Vice President for Hospital Operations of Duke University Hospital in Durham, NC. During her 17-year tenure at Duke, she served in several leadership positions, including: Chief Operating Officer for Ambulatory Services, Vice President for Perioperative Services, and Chief of Staff for the Chancellor for Health Affairs. In addition to her tenure with Duke University Health System, Sutton-Wallace has a diverse health care background with experience in the pharmaceutical and insurance industries with Pfizer and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of North Carolina, respectively.
Sutton-Wallace serves on several professional and community boards including America’s Essential Hospitals, American Hospital Association Region 3 Policy Board, Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation. She received her undergraduate degree in Political Science and African-American Studies from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. She later graduated from Yale University with a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree, completing her thesis with distinction. Sutton-Wallace is married to Maurice O. Wallace, PhD, associate professor of English at the University of Virginia. Together, they are proudly raising two brilliant daughters, Sage (20), a third-year student at UVA, and Amaya (18), a sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis. Sutton-Wallace enjoys speaking, mentoring and encouraging the next generation of leadership, especially women.
Erika Viccellio, The Fountain Fund
Erika Viccellio is passionate about helping make Charlottesville a community that has opportunity for everyone. She most recently worked as the Executive Vice President at the United Way-Thomas Jefferson Area. Before that, she served as the Executive Director of the Charlottesville Free Clinic (CFC) and the Virginia Institute of Autism for a combined total of 20 years. While at the CFC she founded and co-chaired the Community Mental Health and Wellness Coalition, a partnership of 20 agencies seeking to create a better system of adult mental health services.
Viccellio is active in the community and serves on the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Virginia Institute of Autism’s Community Advisory Board and is on the Vestry at St Paul’s Memorial Church. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Allegheny College in 1994 and her Masters of Education in Counseling from the University of Virginia in 1998.