An open letter to Commonwealth of Virginia employees:


In honor of Public Service Recognition Week, Cohort 2 of the Virginia Management Fellows (VMF) program would like to recognize our fellow public sector employees who continue to provide critical services under these difficult circumstances.

From those processing unemployment benefits at the Virginia Employment Commission, to those providing life-saving health services at the Virginia Department of Health, to those performing the routine tasks that keep the government functioning—the employees of the Commonwealth have met these challenges with dignity and grace. Know that your diligence has undoubtedly impacted many and inspired at least eleven others to assist in carrying this heavy torch with the same vigor you’ve exhibited each day.

As Virginia Management Fellows who are just halfway through our fellowship, this pandemic has allowed us to fully understand how the Commonwealth rises to serve during times of crisis. Each of us has experienced how our agencies adapted to these new demands. In contributing to this important work, we are all afforded unique opportunities to both learn about governance and serve the people of Virginia.

We continue to expand our professional skills and have a greater appreciation for public service thanks to the incredible work of our mentors, supervisors, and coworkers. Each of you not only deeply care for the citizens of the Commonwealth but also take the time to mentor and guide us for a future dedicated to public service.

Although none of us anticipated working in government during a global pandemic, we are incredibly grateful to belong in such a dedicated community of public servants. And so—from all us Fellows—we wish you a happy Public Service Recognition Week and thank you for the work you all do.

With sincere gratitude,

Virginia Management Fellows Cohort 2

A Special Thank you to our Participating Mentors and Supervisors

Kelly Hiers (VRS)

Tom Allison (SCHEV)

Rear Admiral Ann Phillips (SNR)

Wendy Kang (SCHEV)

Deborah Lochart (DBHDS)

Paul Saunders (ELECT)

Shannon Webster (DPOR)

Sarah Herzog (SFC)

Dave Nichols (ELECT)

Ashley Reed (DHP)

Taneika Goldman (DBHDS)

Lyndsi Austin (DHCD)

Charles Whalen (DCR)

Kimberly Freiberger (DCR)

Kim Nguyen (VDSS)

Valeria Ribeiro-Quimpo (DHP)

Erik Smith (DCJS)

Emily Elliot (DHRM)

Dave Neudeck (DCR)

Patricia Bullion (DBHDS)

Lisa Jobe-Shields (DBHDS)

Chris Gordon (DMAS)

Pam Kestner (DHCD)

Pat Waller (DHRM)

Rue White (DHRM)

Michael Cooper (VRS)

Robert Mason (DCJS)

Viktor Shuparskyy (DCJS)