Gov. Bob McDonnell recently appointed James L. Chapman IV of Virginia Beach and Dr. J. Thomas Ryan of Fredericksburg to the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

Steve Sturgis of Eastville will also join the board in ex-officio capacity as president of the Virginia Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Chapman has been a partner since 1989 at Crenshaw, Ware & Martin PLC, located in Norfolk. A resident of Virginia Beach, he has extensive experience in jury trials and serves as an adjunct professor at Regent University School of Law. He is licensed to practice in Virginia and North Carolina, and has an AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell, as well as many other professional distinctions.

Chapman earned his bachelor’s of history in 1979 from what is now Virginia Tech's College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and his law degree in 1982 from Washington and Lee University School of Law. His areas of expertise include business law, complex civil litigation, maritime law, railroad law, and subrogation matters.

Chapman is the oldest of five children, all of whom attended Virginia Tech, as did his wife and the couple’s two daughters. A former member of Virginia Tech’s Corps of Cadets, Chapman served in the Army JAG Corps for four years after finishing law school.

Ryan retired in June 2013 as the executive vice president and chief medical officer of Mary Washington Healthcare, a healthcare system based in Fredericksburg. He was in that position for 16 years, and previously practiced family medicine in a multi-specialty group practice.

Over the course of his career, Ryan held leadership positions at a variety of levels within the industry. As an executive, he was involved in the planning of a 450-bed replacement hospital in Fredericksburg and the addition of a 100-bed hospital in Stafford County.  

Ryan has served on many community or industry boards, including those for the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, VHA Central Atlantic, and the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. He earned his bachelor’s of biological sciences in 1968 from what is now Virginia Tech's College of Science. He also earned a doctor of medicine degree from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, a master’s of health science administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a post-doctoral certificate in medical management from the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Ryan has remained involved at both Virginia Commonwealth University, where he has served on the Health Administration Advisory Committee, and at Virginia Tech, where he is a member of the College of Science Roundtable and has served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Sturgis has owned and operated Tri-S Farms since 1979, when he started it with eight acres in Northampton County. He earned a bachelor’s of agricultural education in 1982 from Virginia Tech's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and has an associate degree in agriculture from Ferrum College.

While operating his own farm, Sturgis took over his family’s farming operation in 2002 and has since doubled that farm’s size to 900 acres. He has served as a game warden for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and as a deputy for the Northampton County Sheriff’s Department.

The Virginia Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services is one of many professional boards or civic organizations on which Sturgis has served. Others include the Virginia Agribusiness Council, the Northampton County Farm Bureau, and the Eastville Volunteer Fire Company.

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