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Brookland’s Daniel Schmitt elected chairman of Board of Supervisors

Tuckahoe Supervisor Patricia O’Bannon to serve as vice chairman

Brookland District Supervisor Daniel J. Schmitt will serve as chairman of the Henrico County Board of Supervisors in 2021, following his unanimous election by his colleagues Tuesday.

In remarks at the board’s annual organizational meeting, Schmitt thanked outgoing Chairman Tommy Branin, of the Three Chopt District, for his leadership in 2020 and foresaw a year filled with promise and progress.

“Tonight, I emphatically share with each of you that this county, this board will remain laser focused upon the ground game that is critically important to our collective future,” he said.

Schmitt said the county would ensure it remains a welcoming, viable place for businesses and would continue its strong commitment to education, with a new Highland Springs High School, a new J.R. Tucker High School and an expanded Holladay Elementary School set to open in September. He also pledged progress toward a recovery center that will enhance the services and support for those struggling with addiction.

Schmitt promised a comprehensive study of the utility system, advancements in public safety, improved parks and recreational amenities for residents and visitors, and a review of the proposed GreenCity development to ensure it will be a model for sustainability and the environment.

“While 2020 may have provided us with every reasonable excuse to lose our resolve and retreat, we are not deterred,” he said, alluding to the many challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are Henrico County, and we will continue to seek the very best for our residents, businesses and visitors.”

Schmitt is serving as the board’s chairman for the first time, following a term as vice chairman in 2020. He became the board’s Brookland representative in November 2018, following a special election, and was re-elected to a full, four-year term in November 2019.

In addition to his work as supervisor, he serves on various local and regional, state and national boards and commissions, including the Local Emergency Planning Committee, Richmond Region Tourism Board of Directors (chairman in 2020), Sports Backers Board of Directors, Sportable Richmond Board of Directors, PlanRVA, National Association of Counties (NACo) Community, Economic and Workforce Development Steering Committee and Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) Economic Development and Planning Steering Committee.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Richmond and is owner of RMC Events, which provides staffing for events and venues in central Virginia and other parts of the state. He and his wife, Sharon, have two children.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the board also voted unanimously to elect Tuckahoe District Supervisor Patricia S. O’Bannon to serve as its vice chairman for 2021. She is serving her seventh term as supervisor, having joined the board in 1996; she and Fairfield District Supervisor Frank J. Thornton are the longest-serving active members of Henrico’s board.

In addition to her work as supervisor, O’Bannon is a member of the Capital Region Airport Commission and its current chairman. Her service on other boards includes the Greater Richmond Partnership Board of Directors, Richmond Area Transportation Planning Organization, Capital Region Workforce Partnership Consortium of Chief Local Elected Officials, NACo’s Telecommunications and Technology Steering Committee and several other NACo advisory boards and groups, VACo’s General Government Steering Committee, Virginia Coalition for Open Government Board of Directors and Henrico County Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads.

O’Bannon earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Virginia Commonwealth University, studied at the University of Oxford, England and is a certified planning commissioner from Virginia Tech. She will serve as the Board of Supervisors’ representative to the Henrico Planning Commission in 2021.

O’Bannon and her husband, John, have three children and five grandchildren. She previously worked as an English teacher, news editor and development associate.

The Board of Supervisors regularly meets at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. Meetings usually are not scheduled for the fourth Tuesday in August and December.

Meetings are held in the Board Room at the Henrico County Government Center, 4301 E. Parham Road, and are livestreamed online. Agendas and video of past meetings also are available on the webpage.

Daniel J. Schmitt
Patricia S. O’Bannon
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