As the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control transitions to an Authority, a new leadership structure has begun to take shape. While a five-member, part-time board will officially take the helm on July 1, 2018, new board members have already been appointed to serve in the interim. Additionally, Governor Ralph Northam has appointed Travis Hill as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, which became effective Monday, January 15.
The governor appointed former Chairman of the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Jeff Painter, to continue his service to the Commonwealth as chair of the authority's board of directors. Gov. Northam also appointed Mark Rubin to serve on the authority board of directors.
During the transition period leading up to July 1, Maria Everett and Beth Hungate-Noland were appointed to fill two of the positions on the department board. Everett will serve as chair of the department board. By virtue of their serving on the department board, Everett and Hungate-Noland will also serve on the authority board of directors. There is one remaining department board appointment to be made by the governor.
Commissioners Judy Napier and Henry Marsh have retired. A fifth member for the authority board has not yet been named.
Hill has served as Virginia ABC's Chief Operating Officer since his appointment to that position by Governor McAuliffe in October 2015.
During his time as COO, Hill managed the day-to-day operations of the agency with a focus on increased revenue, a modernization of business practices and agency infrastructure and enhancing regulatory service provided by the Bureau of Law Enforcement. He has also led the agency through its transition from an agency to an authority structure, an ongoing project that will remain one of his top priorities as CEO.
"Over the course of the three years I've been with ABC, I've seen tremendous work and progress being made on initiatives we've identified as important to our organization and our stakeholders. I am honored to be appointed and continue this forward momentum," Hill said. "We all have an integral role to play in serving the Commonwealth."
As CEO, Hill will serve as the head of the ABC Authority and work with the newly appointed five-member Authority Board to set the course and strategic objectives for the Authority.
Before arriving at ABC, Hill previously served as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, having been appointed by Governor McAuliffe in January 2014 after serving in the same capacity under Governor McDonnell since July 2011.
Prior to that, Hill worked eight years as an attorney in the Richmond office of Williams Mullen representing a wide variety of clients before the Virginia General Assembly, the State Corporation Commission and other regulatory bodies, including Virginia ABC.
Hill received both his B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Painter has chaired Virginia ABC's Board of Commissioners since his appointment to that position by Governor McAuliffe in April 2014, after serving as commissioner since January 2014.
On his watch as chairman, Painter has led the agency through significant changes to increase revenue, modernize business practices and agency infrastructure and streamline the Bureau of Law Enforcement. He has also helped pilot the agency through its transition from an agency to an authority structure.
"During the four years I've served as chairman of Virginia ABC, two things have stood out—our commitment to excellent customer service and our reliability as a major source of revenue for the Commonwealth," said Painter. "It is clear that neither of these could happen without the continued dedication and hard work of the 3,794 employees who staff our stores across the state and those who provide enforcement, support services and leadership from our regional offices and Richmond headquarters."
Since 2014, ABC's annual gross sales have grown from $800 million to $940 million, more than a 17.5 percent increase. In this same time period we opened 27 new retail stores, relocated 31 and remodeled 25.
"Our future growth and success will continue to recognize our many strengths as we devote our time and attention to the advancement of Virginia ABC as an authority," said Painter.
Painter is currently serving as chair-elect for the National Alcoholic Beverage Control Association.
Painter has more than 20 years of senior executive leadership experience in the public and private sectors, including serving as Virginia ABC's Legislative and Regulatory Coordinator from 2006 to 2008 and Chief Administrative Officer from 2008 to 2010. His other service includes Executive Director of the Virginia League of Conservation Voters and owner of Property Partners, a small business managing and investing in vacation properties. A native of Page County, Painter received his B.A. degree from Emory and Henry College.
Everett was formerly a senior attorney at the Division of Legislative Services and director of the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council. She staffed legislative committees and drafted legislation impacting the regulation and sale of alcoholic beverages, including the Authority legislation. She also drafted and analyzed legislation around state procurement and public disclosure. She earned her bachelor's degree from Virginia Tech and a juris doctor degree from the George Mason University School of Law.
Hungate-Noland is a partner at the law firm of Williams Mullen where she specializes in corporate law and governance. She earned a B.A. degree in criminal justice from Roanoke College and a B.A. degree in political science from Armstrong Atlantic State University. She received her J.D. degree from the University Of Richmond School Of Law.
Rubin was former legal counsel to then-Governor Tim Kaine and serves as executive director of the Virginia Center for Consensus Building. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned his juris doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law.