Meet The Board of Supervisors

Did you know Henrico County was one of the first localities in Virginia and the nation to adopt the County Manager form of local government? This consists of a Board of Supervisors, the policy-making body of the County, and a County Manager, the administrative head of the County. The five Board members are elected to four-year terms, and each represents one of the magisterial districts of Henrico County: Brookland, Fairfield, Three Chopt, Tuckahoe, and Varina. 

In November of 2023, with the retirement of two long-standing board members, a new Board of Supervisors was elected. The new Board, which took office the first of this year, consists of two returning members and three newly elected members. Here are a few things the new Board wants you to know about them:

 

  1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

“Of course! My background is a bit of a winding road. I was born in the Philippines but grew up mostly in Fayetteville/Ft. Bragg, NC, because my mom was in the U.S. Army. I experienced a lot of trauma in my childhood and ended up having my daughter when I was 15 years old. I managed to graduate high school at 16 and enlisted in the U.S. Army myself at 17. I served both domestically and abroad for about five years. Then, I relocated to Henrico, Virginia, where I attended VCU for undergraduate studies while working and raising my growing family. I graduated summa cum laude from VCU and accepted a full merit scholarship to William and Mary Law School. After getting my law degree, I worked for a big law firm downtown for a few years before deciding to start my own practice where I could pursue more meaningful work. I’ve had my own practice for over 16 years; I’m a trial lawyer focusing on domestic relations, criminal defense, juvenile justice, and social justice advocacy. My daughter is 31 and is in the wellness industry in Maryland, my oldest son is 24 and is a probation officer in the City of Richmond, and my youngest is nine and in the 4th grade. I have an incredibly supportive and patient life partner who is active duty military as a Special Agent with the U.S. Army.” -Ms. Whitehead, Three Chopt

“My wife and I moved to the Richmond/Henrico region 20 years ago and absolutely love it here! We have three kids in Henrico County Public Schools (two at Douglas Freeman and one at Tuckahoe Elementary), and we enjoy going to sporting events, the theater, traveling, riding bikes, and enjoying the many parks in Henrico. I have a Masters degree in Public Policy and have spent the past 25 years working in state government as an I.T. project manager.” -Mr. Rogish, Tuckahoe

“I was reared, educated, and have resided in Eastern Henrico County for over 35 years. After graduating from Henrico High School, I pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Philosophy from Virginia Union University, where I graduated with honors. I earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. I continued my post-graduate work at the Chicago Theological Seminary. In 2013, I was awarded a Doctor of Divinity degree from Richmond Virginia Seminary.

As the pastor of Rising Mount Zion Baptist Church (located in the Fairfield District), I humbly serve God and the community through the various ministries at RMZBC. I am the recipient of numerous honors and awards and have served on several boards and commissions, ranging from current Board member of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, former Board Chairman of Capital Area Health Network, former member of the Religious Advisory Committee of U.S. Senator Mark Warner, and past President of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Richmond and Vicinity. I was elected as the Fairfield Representative of the Henrico County School Board in 2015 and was re-elected for a second term in 2019. I am married to Candice Carter-Cooper and am the proud father of three sons–two HCPS graduates and one current HCPS Middle Schooler.” -Reverend Cooper, Fairfield 

“My name is Tyrone Nelson. I am a lifelong RVA resident and have lived in Henrico for over 30 years. My ancestors and family have generally been eastern Henrico residents for multiple generations.” -Mr. Nelson, Varina

“I was born and raised in the New Jersey/New York area and graduated from the University of Richmond in 1996. My wife, Sharon, and I began RMC Events in 1999, which currently employs over 2200 team members in the Commonwealth of V.A. and will celebrate 25 years this year. Our oldest child, Taylor, is a Glen Allen High School and Elon University graduate. Our youngest, Carter, is playing baseball at Randolph Macon College. My entire family and I began getting involved in our community in the early 2000s through our volunteerism with Glen Allen Youth Athletics. This spirit of service has been ingrained in our family fabric ever since and has continued through my last five years of service to the residents of the Brookland District since 2018.” -Mr. Schmitt, Brookland

 

  1. Why did you decide to run for the Henrico Board of Supervisors?

“I was a poli-sci major, so I’ve always had an interest in the ability to achieve good through politics. There wasn’t much room on my plate until more recent years, as my kids got older and my career gained security. Like many, the events of 2020 were life-changing for me, and I felt more compelled than ever to try to use my strengths and skill sets for a greater positive impact. I began to experience and understand the heavy role local government plays in our day-to-day lives and decided that I would run. I believe we all have a responsibility to use our experiences to effect positive change within our particular spheres of influence. Otherwise, it’s hard for me to justify why bad things happen in our lives. This is my way of doing that.” -Ms. Whitehead, Three Chopt

“I have always enjoyed working in state /local government and giving back to the community. I believe the citizens of Henrico are looking for someone who will put Henrico County issues first. Our County has been extremely successful over the past several hundred years, and I want to continue on that path. We campaigned on a “Team Tuckahoe” theme, and I hope to unite our community and continue the success of our team.” -Mr. Rogish, Tuckahoe   

“I decided to run for the Henrico Board of Supervisors because I am a proven leader for Fairfield Families. I believed that I was the best person qualified for this role, and I was the only candidate ready from day one. I bring over 30 years of experience living and working in the Fairfield District and have a proven track record of advocating, collaborating, and delivering for our community. For the past eight years, I fought on Henrico School Board to build stronger schools, invest in our classrooms, raise employee pay, and provide the resources needed for students to succeed.” -Reverend Cooper, Fairfield 

“I was encouraged by persons in my community.” -Mr. Nelson, Varina

“Helping and supporting others has always been important to me since I witnessed my parents’ entrepreneurial efforts as a kid and then through the growth of our business. 

Translating that to the opportunity to serve my neighbors and fellow community members was appealing to me from the start. Henrico County is a special place, and I have a strong desire to do my part during this window of opportunity to both maintain and further strengthen this great County. Leaving things better than we found them has always been a hallmark purpose of our family’s service.” -Mr. Schmitt, Brookland

 

  1. What would you like Henrico County Government Employees to know about you or your platform?

“Well, first – don’t believe everything you’ve heard! Just kidding (mostly), but truly, I very much value the opportunity to get to know folks personally so that you all can form your own opinion based on actual interaction. I don’t shy away from being a loud voice because I have too often experienced what it’s like to feel silenced, and that can sometimes lead to false/over-simplified narratives or impressions. Advocating for those who are limited in their ability to effectively do it for themselves is my guiding passion. I am a lover of knowledge, and I say all the time that while I am loud, I try never to be loud and wrong! My military and legal experiences have taught me how to navigate and lead folks with all kinds of different viewpoints, distill the relevant information, and arrive at a decision that is sound and just. That is how I hope to serve the County of Henrico for as long as voters permit me.” -Ms. Whitehead, Three Chopt

“I am so appreciative of the work each of you does to make Henrico a great place to live, work, and visit. As government employees, I believe we are all in the customer service business of helping the citizens of Henrico. Whether that is mental health, parks, public safety, public works, or one of the many other departments, I want us all to be proud of the work we do and the commitment we make to our community. Our most valuable asset in the County is YOU, and I want to support each of you as we work to serve the various needs of the public.” -Mr. Rogish, Tuckahoe

 “I want Henrico County Government Employees to know that on the Board of Supervisors, I will fight to:

  • Ensure our schools receive the full support they need to thrive
  • Promote economic development to attract businesses and expand job opportunities
  • Increase investments in transportation infrastructure to improve safety and accessibility
  • Expand affordable housing options for residents
  • Improve public safety for our neighborhoods and schools”-Reverend Cooper, Fairfield 

“I have served as a BOS member for over 12 years. I love this County and its residents. I am focused on an equitable community.” -Mr. Nelson, Varina

“First and foremost, I would like for them to know that while I am an elected official to serve the residents of my district, I also feel strongly about my obligation to support the employees of this County who serve those whom I represent.

Secondly, I would like County employees to know that I serve with a genuine purpose. To me, this role is about nothing more than making our community, our County, the very best that it can be for families to live, work, and raise a family.

Finally, my key priorities have been, and always will be, public safety, education, strong community amenities, and fiscal prudence. With those four core pillars, I remain fully confident that Henrico County can and will continue to lead the region, the Commonwealth, as well as the Nation.” -Mr. Schmitt, Brookland

 

  1. What are you most looking forward to while serving on the BOS?

“My favorite part already is the people, hands-down. I always knew Henrico had great personnel, but I have been truly blown away by the folks I have met and worked with thus far. As a business owner, I know how hard it can be to find people who are invested in the common goal, and I truly see that quality in our people here. We are incredibly blessed as leadership to be able to rely on such quality work by good people to make our jobs so much easier. You guys make us look good! So, I’m looking forward to continuing to meet and work with our folks. The other four Board members and I share a great rapport and chemistry, and while we are each different in many ways, we are similarly motivated to move Henrico forward in extraordinary ways. So I look forward to jointly surpassing even our grandest visions for the County!” -Ms. Whitehead, Three Chopt

“Solving problems. I love a good challenge, and whether it’s picking up leaves, paving roads, trimming trees, or putting out fires, I want to help equip our Henrico County employees with the tools needed to solve problems.” -Mr. Rogish, Tuckahoe

“I look forward to ensuring that our County Government Employees have all the resources they need to effectively serve our Community and work for our community every day.” -Reverend Cooper, Fairfield 

“Continuing to see progress.” -Mr. Nelson, Varina

“Primarily and since day one, I have most enjoyed putting my 25 years of business experience to work for the citizens of this County. This County has historically blazed its trail of success via fiscal prudence and a strong conservative fiscal approach. I plan to remain laser-focused on maintaining such fiscal strength in order to directly benefit the residents, businesses, and visitors of this County by being able to continue providing for those strong priorities that I have listed above. Keeping our tax rate low and our services high has proven to be a solid guiding principle, and I look forward to the next four years maintaining that vision.” -Mr. Schmitt, Brookland

 

  1. Is there anything else you would like to add?  

“I sincerely hope to foster an open dialogue with residents and employees so that I can best advocate for you. I will be as transparent, communicative, and accessible as I know to be, and I hope you all hold me to that! While I cannot ever guarantee a particular outcome, I can guarantee a fair process and that your voice will be heard. Thank you all for all you do!” -Ms. Whitehead, Three Chopt

 “Over the past two months in office, one of the benefits is speaking to many of my counterparts across the region and Commonwealth, and a consistent theme is how great we do things in Henrico. But as with any business or government, we constantly must adapt and work towards improvement; so, if you see or think of something we can do better to serve the people of Henrico, please reach out to me at [email protected] or my personal cell phone is always available. I am always looking to improve on the great things we are doing in Henrico! Thanks, and I am looking forward to meeting and working with each of you.” -Mr. Rogish, Tuckahoe 

“I’m humbled by this opportunity to serve and will be a great steward of it.” -Reverend Cooper, Fairfield 

Read More

Henrico Spread the Love

Spread the Love 2024 marks the fourth year of the county’s Valentine’s Day Card drive, aimed at sharing our love and appreciation with senior adults in Henrico. The Advocate for the Aging Office received approximately ten thousand cards from across Central Virginia and distributed them to nearly forty senior living communities. Thousands of beautiful cards came from Henrico County Public Schools. Thanks to our students, we distributed pop-up cards, stamps, and beautifully crafted clay hearts! We also really appreciate the several General Government departments that created wonderful cards as well, including Varina Library, Human Resources, Department of Finance- Accounting, Department of Public Works – Standing Water Initiative,  County Clerk’s office, My Henrico Academy, and individuals from Hermitage, IDD Group Homes and Lakeside Center. Families, seniors participating in Senior Connections’ Friendship Cafés, and countless other groups contributed to this large-scale project. It was such a joy to sort the thousands of cards that included a variety of languages, images, and styles. The cards were nearly as diverse as Henrico County! Community members who donated cards and those who received cards shared that Spread the Love brings smiles to their faces. We are so grateful for those who participated in this project in and can’t wait to see what next year brings!

Read More

From Fads to Fiber: Rethinking Weight Loss Strategies

In the relentless pursuit of weight loss, the allure of fad diets and their compelling promises often leads us astray. Internet searches related to weight loss inquiries have increased immensely over the years, so it is safe to say that many are interested in making some changes but need guidance. This guidance often comes from social media and our interpersonal relationships. However, the truth is that consuming a high-fiber and plant-predominant diet is a simple approach to weight loss because it is more sustainable and backed by substantial scientific evidence.

Fad diets are trendy dietary patterns known to be a quick fix for long-term problems. Three key characteristics can quickly identify them: they promise rapid weight loss, focus on one food group or eliminate entire food groups, and provide limited scientific evidence to support their claims. It is also important to note that even if there is available scientific evidence, these studies have not been conducted often or long enough to understand long-term health effects and usually fail to mention high dropout rates. The reason behind these high dropout rates is that the strict regimes of fad diets make them unsustainable long-term, and participants usually revert back to their previous eating habits, regaining the weight they already lost, plus more.

Instead of relying on “quick fix” diets, do yourself a favor by making small but substantial changes to your diet like including more fiber and plant-based foods. Dietary fiber makes you feel full, so consuming more will cause you to eat fewer calories overall. Most meat contains unhealthy fats, so reducing the amount of it you consume will aid you in managing your weight as well. We know that the all-or-nothing approach is only sometimes realistic, so instead of cutting out meat entirely, try a plant-forward diet with a mixture of meat and non-meat protein sources like beans, nuts, and lentils. The key to losing weight is to burn more calories than you consume daily. Making these minor changes to your eating habits and regularly exercising are far more efficient ways to reach and maintain your goal weight than participating in fad diets. 

If you are the type of person who likes to follow a diet plan, consider the Mediterranean diet. This diet is not a quick fix; it’s a complex of dietary choices followed by people living in the Mediterranean region who derive most of their calories from fish and plant-based foods. Whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, olive oil, fish, and nuts are key components of this diet, with moderate allowances of alcohol, dairy products, and meat. The Mediterranean diet is the most extensively studied diet to this day and is proven to be suitable for weight-loss-oriented people.

The Fitness and Wellness Division of the Human Resources Department is committed to helping you ditch the gimmick diets and improve your eating habits by offering an eight-session nutrition program called Full Plate Living. This program will help you understand how to alter your meals to add as much fiber as possible without relying on an all-or-nothing approach. If you, your department, or work group are interested in participating in this program, please contact the Fitness and Wellness Division to get started!

 

 

References

Khawandanah, J., & Tewfik, I. (2016). Fad Diets: Lifestyle Promises and Health Challenges. Journal of Food Research, 5(6), 80. https://doi.org/10.5539/jfr.v5n6p80

Nancy C. Howarth, Edward Saltzman, Susan B. Roberts, Dietary Fiber and Weight Regulation, Nutrition Reviews, Volume 59, Issue 5, May 2001, Pages 129–139, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2001.tb07001.x

Slavin, J. L. (2005). Dietary fiber and body weight. Nutrition, 21(3), 411–418. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2004.08.018

Spadine M, Patterson MS. Social Influence on Fad Diet Use: A Systematic Literature Review. Nutrition and Health. 2022;28(3):369-388. doi:10.1177/02601060211072370

Tahreem A, Rakha A, Rabail R, Nazir A, Socol CT, Maerescu CM, Aadil RM. Fad Diets: Facts and Fiction. Front Nutr. 2022 Jul 5;9:960922. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2022.960922. PMID: 35866077; PMCID: PMC9294402.

Read More

Your Health on Your Terms

What can you do with Anthem’s Sydney App?

Find A Doctor and Check Your Costs

Search for doctors, dentists, hospitals, labs, and other health professionals in your plan. You can search by name, location, and type of care. You can even filter by gender or languages spoken, and then check costs before you go to find what’s best for you.

View Your Claims

Check medical and vision claims with one click. That means you can spend more time focused on your health and less on managing your healthcare benefits.

See All Your Health Coverage Benefits

The Sydney app shows you essential information at a glance. Whether that’s an overview of your plan, health reminders, or suggestions for wellness programs. You also can find your deductible, copay, and share of costs.

View And Use Your Anthem Digital ID Card

You’ll always have your most current Anthem ID card handy. And you can use it just like a paper one when you visit the doctor or dentist, pay for care, and more.

Use The Chat to Find Answers to Your Questions

Just type your questions in the app and receive the answers you’re looking for. Plus, Anthem’s Sydney app can suggest resources to help you understand your benefits, improve your health, and save money.

Use Anthem’s Sydney App to Help Manage Your Health

With Anthem’s Sydney app, you can take better care of yourself with features that focus on your wellness.

Stay Connected to Healthy Living

Anthem’s Sydney app makes it easier to put your wellness first. Sync your devices to your fitness tracker, monitor your nutrition, and set custom reminders to help you reach your goals.

Download Anthem’s Sydney Health App Today!

Read More