State Extension Leadership Council

The Virginia Cooperative Extension State Extension Leadership Council (VCELC) is made up of representatives from each of the 22 planning districts in Virginia, representatives of programmatic advisory groups, and administrators.  The mission of the council is to advance and promote the educational program of Virginia Cooperative Extension.  

The VCELC meets in person twice per year, and sub-committees conduct business throughout the year.  If you would like to become a volunteer member of the VCELC, please contact Lonnie Johnson at or 804-527-4251.

Member Planning District Committee
Vacant 1  
Vacant 2  
Toby Haynes, Saltville, Va. 3 Membership
Deborah Ring, Radford, Va. 4 Communications and Marketing
Michael Beahm, Roanoke, Va. 5 Membership
Dennis Cupp, Bridgewater, Va. 6 Communications and Marketing
Dennis Morris, Toms Brook, Va. 7 Advocacy
Joseph Botta, Woodbridge, Va. 8 Advocacy
Patti Knight, Montpelier Station, Va. 9 Communications and Marketing
Claudia Goin, Scottsville, VA 10 Advocacy
Michael Van Ness, Lynchburg, Va. 11 Executive
Vacant 12  
Joseph Gasperini, South Boston, Va. 13 Advocacy
Cornell "Brick" Goldman 14 Communications and Marketing
Tony Hackenberg, Powhatan, VA 15 Membership
Dan Durheim, Vice Chair, Fredericksburg, Va 16 Executive
Chris Jett, Warsaw, Va. 17 Communications and Marketing
Brian Ingram, West Point, Va. 18 Membership
Martha Dodd-Slippy, Emporia, Va. 19 Communications and Marketing
David Trimmer, Virginia Beach, Va. 20 Advocacy
Anita Taylor, Newport News, Va. 21 Membership
Bonnie Mahl, Accomac, Va. 22 Communications and Marketing
At-Large Members Planning District Committee
Ronald Howell,
Spring Grove, Va.
At-Large Advocacy
Glenn Martin,
Doswell, Va.
At-Large Communications and Marketing
Spencer Neale,
Richmond, Va.
At-Large Advocacy
Mary Van Dyke,
At-Large Advocacy


Ex Officio Planning District Committee
Doris Baskfield-Heath Southeast District Director Advocacy
Karen Debord Interim Associate Director,
Community Viability
and Family Consumer Sciences
Cyril Clarke Va-Md Regional College
of Veterinary Medicine Dean
Daniel Goerlich Central District Director Membership
Alan Grant CALS Dean  
Lori Greiner VCE Publications Manager Communications
and Marketing
Elizabeth Hooper VT State Legislative Liaison Communications
and Marketing
Franklin Jackson VSU Associate Administrator Advocacy
Lonnie Johnson Senior District Director Executive
Edwin Jones VCE Director Executive
Eric Kaufman CALS Agricultural,
Leadership and
Community Education
Crystal Tyler Mackey Extension Specialist
Community Viability
Cynthia Marston Northern District Director Membership
M. Ray McKinnie Interim VSU Dean and 1890 Administrator Executive
Saied Mostagimi Director, Virginia Agricultural
Experiment Station Associate Dean
for Research and Graduate Studies
Danny Peek Southwest District Director Communications
and Marketing
Bob Smith Associate Dean College
of Natural Resources
and Environment
Cathy Sutphin VCE Associate Director Communications
and Marketing
Bobby Grisso ANR Membership
Paul Winistorfer CNR Dean  
Chris Yianilos Virginia Tech Director
of Governmental Relations

The goal of the Advocacy committee is for VCE to have the resources needed to carry out its programs. To this end, the Advocacy committee works with the VCELC and the Unit ELC’s to assure that stakeholders (local, state, and federal elected officials, University administrators, and key clientele groups and leaders) understand and value VCE and that stakeholders understand the resource needs of VCE. The proposed annual advocacy plan for VCELC shall be developed by this committee and presented to the council.

Chair: Mary Van Dyke
Assistant Chair: Karen Debord
Joe Botta
Joe Gasperini
Claudia Goin
Doris Heath
Ronald Howell
Franklin Jackson
Dennis Morris
Spencer Neale    
David Trimmer
Chris Yianilos

Advocacy Guide Building Relationships with Key Stakeholders, Legislators and Representatives (PDF | 26KB)

The Communications and Marketing committee shall develop, nurture, and recognize the value of local ELC’s. To this end, the Communications and Marketing committee will promote the ELC concept and communicate the value of successful local ELC’s to the VCE and audience: agents, volunteers, administrators, and other stakeholders by identifying and sharing local ELC best practices across the state.

Chair: Chris Jett
Assistant Chair: Lori Greiner
Dennis Cupp
Martha Dodd-Slippy
Cornell Goldman
Elizabeth Hooper
Patti Knight
Bonnie Mahl
Glenn Martin
Michelle Olgers
Danny Peek
Deborah Ring
Cathy Sutphin

Local Volunteer Opportunities (PDF | 8KB)

The executive committee's primary role is to provide leadership for the VCELC. The executive committee shall consist of the Chair and Vice Chair, the Director of VCE at Virginia Tech, the Administrator of VCE at Virginia State, and the VCE faculty member(s) assigned to work with and support the VCELC. The vice chair shall perform the duties of the chair in the event of the chair's inability to carry out the functions.

The executive committee should focus on and develop the internal program of the VCELC itself. This will include the development of the calendar, locations of the year's activities, as well as the agendas of all meetings. The agenda for all regular meetings shall be mailed to the membership two weeks in advance of such meetings. The proposed internal program shall be presented to the VCELC members for input and adoption.

The executive committee shall review the internal program plans of the VCELC on a timely basis and recommend corrective actions that are warranted as a result of the review. The report of the review shall be made to the VCELC for their input and adoption. The executive committee shall act on behalf of the VCELC when time and circumstances preclude the involvement of the entire council. Actions of the executive committee shall be reported to the entire VCELC Council at its next regular meeting.

Chair: Dan Durheim
Vice Chair: Michael Van Ness
Ed Jones
Ray McKinnie
Lonnie Johnson

The membership committee shall have the responsibility for the recruitment and nomination of the elected members of the VCELC, the planning district volunteer members of the VCELC, and officers of the VCELC. The Director of VCE at Virginia Tech is responsible for recruiting and appointing At-Large members. The Director may request the membership committee to assist in the recruitment of At-Large members. The orientation and clarification of the roles of all new members shall be within the province of the membership committee. The VCE faculty member(s) supporting the VCELC shall assist in the orientation of new members.

The process of recommending candidates from the districts to the membership committee shall be overseen by the VCE district directors. The process shall endeavor to recommend candidates who have had experience with VCE at the local level, preferably through membership on the local ELC, and represent the diversity of the state and the programs of VCE. While the district directors shall oversee the process for obtaining candidates, all decisions, including distinguishing between potential candidates, shall be the province of the membership committee of the VCELC. In the event a member resigns prior to the completion of the term, the membership committee will seek membership to fill the un-expired term.

The slate of nominees shall be complete for presentation and election by the VCELC membership at its last regularly scheduled meeting of the council year or some other time as determined by the executive committee. Nominations from the floor will be sought. Election shall require a simple majority vote by members.

The membership committee shall be responsible for monitoring and reporting attendance inconsistencies to the Executive Committee.

Chair: Michael Beahm
Assistant Chair:
Dan Goerlich
Bobby Grisso
Tony Hackenberg
Toby Haynes
Brian Ingram
Cynthia Marston
Anita Taylor


2016 Meeting Dates

  • March 17 – 18: Virginia Tech


Lonnie Johnson