Virginia Early Childhood Foundation Elects New Board Members

Media Contact: Sara Hunt  |  | 804-994-1120

Richmond, VA (Sept. 16, 2020) – The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF), a statewide convener between public and private sectors to create transformative early childhood care and education solutions for Virginia, elected five new board members at the organization’s fall board meeting on Sept. 16.

Danny Avula, M.D. is the director of the Richmond City and Henrico County Health Departments. A public health physician who is board certified in pediatrics and preventative medicine, he continues to practice clinically as a pediatric hospitalist. Dr. Avula was appointed by Governor McAuliffe to the State Board of Social Services in 2013, and served as board chair from 2017-2019. Also, he serves on a number of community boards including Communities in Schools and the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, a medical degree from the VCU School of Medicine and a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University.

Mike Chinn is a partner at Endicott Growth Equity Partners in Charlottesville, Va. Previously, he had spent 21 years at Charlottesville-based SNL Financial and served as the company’s CEO from 2008 to 2015. After the sale of SNL to S&P Global, he was named president of S&P’s $1.8 billion in revenue Market Intelligence division, serving in that capacity until early 2019. For over 20 years, he has served on the United Way of Greater Charlottesville’s board and recently completed a three-year term as board chair. In 2015, he co-founded the Charlottesville-Albemarle Early Education Task Force to establish clear priorities and better coordinate activities across the numerous partners who focus on the early childhood arena. In addition, he recently joined the board of ReadyKids in Charlottesville.

Bryan Hill was appointed as the 10th county executive for Fairfax County, Va., in 2017, where he oversees the annual development and approval of Fairfax County’s multi-billion-dollar budget. He also manages the daily operations of the organization, which includes 12,000 employees providing support and services to Fairfax County’s 1.3 million residents. Among his many responsibilities is leading the development of a countywide strategic plan and overseeing the implementation of One Fairfax, the county’s joint social and racial equity policy. A member of the board of trustees for his undergraduate alma mater, Alfred University, he is a member of the International City/County Management Association’s Advisory Board on Graduate Education. He earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern California.

Xavier Richardson is the senior vice president and chief corporate development officer of Mary Washington Healthcare in Fredericksburg, Va. In that capacity, he is responsible for managing fundraising and assisting with grant-making efforts for community organizations, as well as managing the community benefit program and services, and legislative and community affairs. He oversees the Mary Washington Hospital Foundation, the Stafford Hospital Foundation and Mary Washington Healthcare Community Programs. Prior to joining Mary Washington Healthcare in 1997, he had served as assistant director of the U.S. General Accounting Office in Washington, D.C. and he had worked on Wall Street in New York City with McKinsey & Company. He received a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, an MBA from Harvard Business School and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Saint Paul’s College.

Jamelle S. Wilson, Ed.D. serves as the fifth dean of the School of Professional and Continuing Studies at the University of Richmond and is a professor in the School’s Educational Leadership and Policy Studies graduate program. Previously, she had served as superintendent of schools for Hanover County, as well as having been a classroom teacher, principal and assistant superintendent, among other positions with the county. In 2015, she was named Region 1 Superintendent of the Year. In 2017, she was appointed by Governor McAuliffe to the Virginia Board of Education. Dr. Wilson currently serves as vice president of the Virginia Board of Education and some of her more recent involvements include being a member of the Board of Governors of the International Baccalaureate Organization and serving on the Board of Governors of the Community Foundation for a Greater Richmond. She holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Virginia and an additional master’s degree from VCU.

“We welcome Danny, Mike, Bryan, Xavier and Jamelle to our dedicated team of statewide business and community leaders, all of whom are deeply committed to ensuring a strong start for every child in the Commonwealth,” said Ned W. Massee, president of Croatan Advisors and board chair of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation. “Their many years of experience in their respective fields of expertise and influence will provide unique insights to our work as we strive to shape and inform a vision for equity in early childhood development and school readiness in Virginia.”


About the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation: VECF creates results-oriented partnerships to ensure that young children are healthy and prepared for school, life and workforce success. To learn more about VECF and the Back to Work Virginia Task Force, visit