Governor McAuliffe announces guests for tonight’s State of the Commonwealth Address

Richmond capitolBy Lynn R. Mitchell

The governor’s office has announced the names of special guests who have been invited to join Governor and Mrs. Terry McAuliffe for tonight’s State of the Commonwealth address. Seated in the gallery with First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe will be the following notable citizens:

Vanessa Christie, Vice President of Prevailance, U.S. Navy combat veteran: Vanessa Christie is a U.S. Navy combat veteran who spent the majority of her active duty time flying and instructing in the F-14 Tomcat.  Her company has historically provided engineering and flight services to the Pentagon and NATO, but it is now moving into international markets. In the first year of participation in the VALET program, Vanessa has joined trade missions to the UK, Canada and Mexico, and she has six return business trips scheduled to these international markets this year.  This is a defense contractor who is diversifying and creating jobs for Virginians.

 James DeLoach, student from Goochland County: James DeLoach is an 8th grader in Goochland County who is already a skilled coder and has even designed an award-winning app.

Amanda Warren, Supervisor, School Nutrition Programs at Staunton City Public Schools: At Bessie Weller Elementary School, Amanda Warren has been able to increase breakfast participation among her students from 33 percent to 91 percent after implementing Breakfast after the Bell.

Anthony Harris, Virginia Supportive Housing, Army veteran: Anthony Harris is a Portsmouth native who served in the Army and now works at Virginia Supportive Housing. He spent months working with one particular veteran who was living in a tent in Virginia Beach. Anthony was able to find this man a home by Thanksgiving.

Bobby Blevins, businessman whose civil rights were restored in 2015: Bobby Blevins lost his rights more than six decades ago when he was just a teenager. Shortly after his 79th birthday he had his rights restored. On Election Day, Bobby went to the polls and voted for the first time in his life.

Roy Mitchell, Teacher, Beaumont Juvenile Correctional Center: On the Friday before Christmas, a group of young men from Beaumont Juvenile Correctional Center came to the executive mansion to present a beautiful quilt that they had designed and created under the direction of their teacher, Roy Mitchell. That quilt, which required almost a year of work, is on display in the lobby of the Patrick Henry Building.

The State of the Commonwealth address will take place tonight in the Capitol in downtown Richmond at 7:00pm.

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