This news release is from the previous Governor's administration.
For Immediate Release: April 18, 2014
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, (804) 225-4260

Governor McAuliffe Announces Administration Appointments


RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced additional appointments to his administration today. The appointees will join McAuliffe’s administration focused on finding common ground with members of both parties on issues that will grow Virginia’s economy and create more jobs across the Commonwealth 

Secretariat of Commerce and Trade 

Ryan O’Toole, Special Assistant, Constituent ServicesRyan O'Toole worked previously in constituent services for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Richard Neal, and has spent the past two years working as a community organizer throughout Virginia.  He is a native of Washington, D.C., and holds a B.A. in Political Science from Fordham University. 

Secretariat of Commerce and Trade 

Jay W. DeBoer, Director, Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
Jay W. DeBoer previously served as a Legal Consultant for the Virginia Association of Realtors, Virginia’s largest trade association, representing over 29,000 Realtors across Virginia.  Additionally, he was Vice President of Law and Policy for that organization, where he was responsible for legal, legislative, and regulatory efforts.  He served as the Director of the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation from 2006 until 2010, overseeing the regulation of more than 310,000 individuals and businesses, a quarter of Virginia’s workforce.  Prior to joining DPOR, he was Virginia’s Commissioner of Aging, from 2002 until 2006.  DeBoer was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1983 until 2002, representing the 63rd House District, centered in the City of Petersburg. An attorney and a native and resident of Dinwiddie County, DeBoer is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and its Marshall-Wythe School of Law. 

Secretariat of Health and Human Resources 

Pamela Kestner, Special Advisor on Families, Children & Poverty
Pam Kestner was appointed to the position of Homeless Outcomes Coordinator in July 2012 and reappointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe. Pam works within the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Resources which is partnering with the Office of the Secretary of Commerce and Trade to address the issue of homelessness in the Virginia. Pam will continue to address homelessness issues in the Commonwealth while adding focus to children and nutrition issues . Prior to serving as coordinator, Pam was President and CEO of the Council of Community Services in Roanoke, where she worked for over 26 years. She has a B.A. in Sociology from Emory & Henry College and an M.S.W. from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Jonathan Mathews, Special Assistant

Jonathan graduated from VCU with a degree in Psychology in 2010 and was appointed to the Office of the Secretary of Public Safety.  During his time with Public Safety, he managed constituent services and coordinated statewide events. Jonathan enlisted with the Virginia Air National Guard in 2006 and currently supervises Airmen working on the armament systems of the F-22 stealth fighter.  He has recently been selected for commission.  Jonathan lives with his wife, Jamie, in King William. 

Christina Nuckols, Communications Advisor

Christina Nuckols has spent 23 years in journalism, including 14 years covering state government with a particular focus on health care issues. She has worked for newspapers across Virginia, most recently as editorial page editor for The Roanoke Times.  Christina will work in the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Resources. Her responsibilities will include media relations as well as internal and external communications.  She is a graduate of Randolph-Macon College and holds a master's degree in communication from Ohio University. She grew up in the town of Shenandoah. 

J.R. Simpson, Chief Deputy Commissioner, Department of Social Services

J.R. Simpson joined State government in 1997 upon his retirement from the US Navy.  Since then, he has held a series of increasingly responsible positions with the Departments of Conservation and Recreation, Taxation, and Social Services.  For the past eight years, J.R. has served as the Chief Financial Officer with the Department of Social Services.  During his Navy career, J.R. served in ships, submarines, and shore installations primarily in the Pacific theatre.  His last Navy assignment was as the Director of Information Resources Management at the Defense Supply Center. J.R. completed his undergraduate studies at Henderson State University in Arkansas.  He earned his M.B.A at the University of Georgia. 

Secretariat of Public Safety and Homeland Security 

Katya N. Herndon, Deputy Director, Virginia Department of Forensic Science
Prior to joining the Administration, Ms. Herndon was the Director of Legislative and Public Relations for the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia, from 2006 to 2014.  Ms. Herndon began her legal career at the Supreme Court of Virginia, clerking first in the Chief Staff Attorney’s Office, and then for Senior Justice Richard H. Poff.  She subsequently became an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Henrico County.  After prosecuting for three years, Ms. Herndon was hired as the first in-house legal counsel to what was then the Virginia Division of Forensic Science, a position that she held for almost five years. Ms. Herndon earned her B.S. in Justice and Policy Studies from Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and her J.D. from the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond. 

Secretariat of the Commonwealth
Board Appointments 

Commerce and Trade 

Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers and Landscape Architects

  • Charles F. Dunlap of Winchester, Professional Land Surveyor/Land Development Consultant at CFD Consulting
  • Andrew Mark Scherzer* of Midlothian, Executive Vice President at Balzer and Associates Inc.
  • Christine Snetter of Providence Forge, Project Manager at Jefferson Lab 

Board of Coal Mining Examiners

  • Douglas E. Deel of Breaks, Heavy Equipment Operator at Paramount Coal Company Virginia, LLC 

Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators

  • Thomas “Tom” Wayne Fore of Gladstone, Director of Public Utilities for the Town of Amherst 

Health and Human Resources

Board of Social Services

  • Dr. Danny Avula of Richmond, Deputy Director of the Richmond City Health Department
  • Willie T. Greene, Sr.* of Galax, Retired
  • Josie Webster of Richmond, Vice President, Virginia Council for Private Education


Long-Term Care Administrators

  • Shervonne Banks  of Virginia Beach, Site Director,  Sentara PACE


*Denotes reappointment