Virginia Early Childhood Foundation Elects New Board Officers & Members

Richmond, Va. (July 1, 2019) – Ned W. Massee, president of Croatan Advisors, was elected for a two-year term as board chair of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) at the organization’s annual board meeting on June 28. Massee succeeds William “Bill” Ermatinger, executive vice president and chief human resources officer for Huntington Ingalls Industries in Newport News, Va., who will move into the position of Director Emeritus on the VECF’s board. Massee has been a member of the VECF board since 2014 and had served as vice-chair since 2017.

VECF is a statewide public-private entity that supports early childhood development and school readiness for the Commonwealth’s youngest children.

Prior to establishing his own consulting firm in Richmond, Va., Ned Massee was vice president of corporate affairs for MeadWestvaco’s [now WestRock] corporate affairs initiatives, with responsibility for domestic and global government relations, community affairs and special projects for senior leadership. For 12 years prior to joining MWV, he worked on Capitol Hill as a key staff member for U.S. Senator Jennings Randolph from 1973 to 1984, where he was chief legislative assistant in charge of coordinating the senator’s legislative program and staff. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Northeast Louisiana University. Among his many community involvements, he is Chairman of the Board of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and a member and past chairman of the Chamber RVA Board of Directors.  Also, he is past chairman of the Virginia State Chamber of Commerce and LEAD Virginia.

In addition, the following new board officers were elected:

  • Vice-Chair – Robert Hurt, vice president and director of the Center for Law and Government at Liberty University
  • Secretary – Cynthia Romero, MD, FAAPP, director, M. Foscue Brock Institute for Community and Global Health at Eastern Virginia Medical School
  • Treasurer – Nicholas “Mick” Sladic, general counsel in Operations, Collections and Recoveries Divisions of Capital One

In other action, four new board members were elected to serve a three-year term:

  • Todd Asbury, president & CEO, New Peoples Bankshares, Inc.
  • Luanne Gutermuth, EVP and chief administrative officer, Washington Gas
  • Gary Thomson, CPA, president, Thomson Consulting

“VECF is fortunate to have such a talented slate of board officers with Ned, Robert, Cyn and Mick as well as valuable new additions to our team with board members Todd, Luanne and Gary. Each brings strategic perspective and commitment to Virginia’s school readiness conversation,” said Kathy Glazer, president of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation. “Also, we extend our sincere thanks to Bill for his exceptional leadership as board chair. His unwavering dedication to ensuring a strong start for all children will have a significant impact on the future workforce in Virginia.”

“I look forward to collaborating with the VECF’s talented team of business and community leaders, as well as with elected officials from both political parties,” said Massee. “Together, we will work to improve and enhance access and quality of early childhood development and education for children throughout the Commonwealth.”

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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 Smart Beginnings initiatives, visit

Media contact: Sara Hunt,, 804-994-1120