Stihl executive re-elected VMA chairman

The Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA) elected its board of directors at its 94th annual meeting in Williamsburg, Va. Scott Tilley, general counsel for Stihl Inc. in Virginia Beach, was re-elected as chairman. Jamie Baisden, QMT Windchimes of Manassas, was elected vice chairman; Tanya Cook, Philip Morris USA of Richmond, was elected treasurer; John Dyer, Optical Cable Corporation of Roanoke, was elected secretary; Rob Hogan, NNS of Newport News, will serve as immediate past chairman; and David Moore, Universal Corporation, will serve as chairman emeritus.

Other directors elected to the board include:

  • David Anderson, Westrock
  • Dorene Billingsley, AdvanSix
  • Eldon Brammer, Georgia-Pacific
  • James “Jim” Burnette, Alliance Engineering Inc.
  • David DelGuercio, Evonik Industries
  • Jim Frantz, Graham-White Mfg.
  • Tom Godfrey, Colonna’s Shipyard
  • Franky Marchand, Volvo Truck
  • Becky Merritt, Dominion Virginia Power
  • Ryan Ranalli, McKee Foods Corp.
  • Cort Reiser, Liebherr
  • Larry Souverielle, General Dynamics
  • Dean Thompson, DuPont-Spruance
  • Chris Tonk, Owens-Illinois

“I am honored to serve a second term as chairman,” said Scott Tilley, VMA chairman. “Manufacturing is growing across the Commonwealth, and we take pride in our work that has helped foster that growth. Over the next five years, the VMA is going to aggressively implement workforce solutions, member benefits programs and legislative solutions to make the Commonwealth the most competitive place in the U.S. to manufacture world-class products.”

The VMA board announced a number of new programs and services for members this year. In particular, the VMA announced four new strategic partnerships with the National Association of Manufacturers: 1) Expansion of Dream It Do It Virginia; 2) Subscription service to a new National Manufacturing Directory for supply-chain sourcing; 3) Rethink Red Tape initiative to systematical reduce the over-regulation of industry; and 4) A joint membership program for small manufacturers under 25 employees. The association also announced it would be expanding its committees, conferences/professional development programs, and member benefits programs including a new insurance program with RCM&D that will be led by former Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, now an RCM&D executive.

The VMA also announced two strategic goals and launched its most aggressive fundraising campaign in its 94-year history. Specifically, the association wants to expand manufacturing international trade 50 percent by 2025. It will begin with an expanded role in the recently formed Virginia International Trade Alliance (VITAL), co-hosting the Virginia Conference on World Trade, assuring the newly formed Virginia International Trade Corporation exceeds expectations, a new VMA Commerce Committee and participation in key trade missions with the Governor’s office.

The association’s most ambitious goal is committing resources to closing the workforce skills and career planning gaps by 2020. To achieve this goal, the VMA, in cooperation with the Virginia Industry Foundation and the Manufacturing Skills Institute, launched the Vision 2020 fundraising campaign. The campaign is focused on raising $750,000 and leveraging those funds into $3.8 million over the next three years. The funds will assist in increasing MSI Assessment Centers at academic and workforce development partner locations, increasing skills certification attainment to thousands of Virginians, expanding Dream It Do It Virginia technology camps and student scholarships, doubling the manufacturing career coach program, increasing the use of the Dream It Do It Virginia Career Information System ( by 10,000 people annually and a host of other services to communities, educators and business. Details about the Vision 2020 fundraising campaign are at

“We are truly grateful for the early donors to Vision 2020,” said Brett Vassey, president & CEO, Virginia Manufacturers Association.We have already secured over $121,000 toward our $750,000 goal on the first day. The campaign will run through June 2017. Because of the leadership of our board and the support of our members, as well as academic and workforce partners, we are going to close the skills and career planning gaps in the Commonwealth by 2020.”