Virginia Capitol Connections Winter 2023

A New Season of Sisterhood Editor’s note: The life of a First Lady is a busy one, as you can see by events listed on Mrs. Youngkin’s newsletter: • ThroughWomen+girls (W+g), the First Lady will connect, celebrate and champion Virginia’s women and girls through two, primary pillars of focus: Wellbeing and Workforce. As part of Women+girls (W+g), the First Lady will prioritize resources and communications to encourage physical and mental wellbeing as women and girls strive to pursue and steward their work. • The First Lady greets students at The Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding. • The First Lady joined Chesterfield County's Substance Abuse Free Environment Inc. (SAFE) Opioid and Heroin Prevention Task Force (OHPTF) for a roundtable discussion to hear from Education and Prevention, Law Enforcement, Treatment and Recovery and Medical subcommittee members. • First Lady joined a roundtable discussion with Chesterfield SAFE’s Opioid and Heroin Prevention Task Force. • The Governor and First Lady engaged in a REVIVE! Training at the Washington County Health Department. • “Fentanyl poisoning has become devastatingly prevalent in many areas of Virginia and this nation, and each of us must learn to recognize the signs and learn the tactics to potentially save a life," said the First Lady. • The First Lady joined ninth grade students at Warren County High School. • The First Lady observed the Warren County Community Health Coalition (Warren Coalition) Too Good for Drugs Program atWarren County High School for substance use and abuse prevention. • Winning in Women's Workforce Readiness: The First Lady joined Dr. Latitia McCane along with Secretary of Administration Lyn McDermid and Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade Chelsea Jenkins for a roundtable discussion at The Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding. • The First Lady visits the James River Horse Foundation: Equines for Workforce Reentry! • The James River Horse Foundation, in partnership with the Virginia Department of corrections, runs an equine vocational program for selected inmates. • Lauding William King: Governor Glenn Youngkin and First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin presented 2022's final Spirit of Virginia Award toWilliam King Museum of Art (WKMA) in Abingdon, VA, recognizing the female leaders who are championing the museum's impact across Southwest Virginia and beyond. • The Governor and First Lady visit the Virginia Division of Capitol Police K-9 Unit. Thank you to the women leading the Virginia Division of Capitol Police K-9 Unit and to our four-legged, bomb sniffing heroes. It was wonderful meeting canines Levi and Luca! • Virginia artist Antoinette Hale's The Curtsey: Antoinette Hale grew up in Roanoke and attended Virginia State University. Gathering inspiration for her paintings from her Virginian roots, The Curtsey is Hale's interpretation of an annual cotillion held since 1952: the Debutante Ball. • The First Lady cheers The Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding's women's basketball team. Read more about the school's director of education, Dr. Latitia McCane, in the latest Sisterhood Spotlight. • Keep up with the Sisterhood Spotlight series! In the Sisterhood Spotlight series, the First Lady interviews women across the Commonwealth in areas of government, business and entrepreneurship, education, workforce development, nonprofits and more. To sign up for the First Lady’s newsletter, contact:

Shealah Craighead Photography

To live in this historic place: An interview with First Lady Suzanne Youngkin By BONNIE ATWOOD Meeting First Lady Suzanne Youngkin

reminds one of popping a bottle of champagne: You are acutely and pleasantly aware of a burst of bubbles. Delightfully personable and relaxed, she sat on a couch in the “Ladies Parlor” of the Executive Mansion, wearing a bright red blouse and matching shoes, and not deterred by a pink cast on her arm resulting from a pickleball mishap. She talked about her four children and four dogs. Born in Little Rock, Mrs. Youngkin

was the daughter of a dermatologist. Her father served as a medic in Vietnam in the late Sixties. The family relocated to Texas, where she loved animals, especially horses, and originally set her sights on being a veterinarian, but later switched to communications. Her first job was at a big firm in Houston, where, through a mutual friend, she met the athletic and bright Glenn Youngkin. Too tall to realize his ambition as an astronaut, Youngkin entered the field of science. At that time, politics was one of the farthest things from the young couple’s minds. In the early Nineties, as the romance turned into thoughts of marriage, Youngkin’s career took him to Harvard Business School in Boston, and the soon-to-be Mrs.Youngkin got an apartment nearby with a French student, found the old-fashioned way: “RoomateWanted” was torn off a posted flyer, just the way people used to find guitar teachers. The future Mrs. Youngkin got a job at the Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources. So, when did politics enter the scenario? It was 2020. At that time the family lived in NorthernVirginia. Their first two children were born at Arlington Hospital. Youngkin worked for a private equity firm, and they spent a few years overseas. How does she feel now that she lives in Virginia’s most famous residence? “It’s a really humbling experience,” said Mrs. Youngkin. “I do pinch myself” to live in this historic place, at this historic moment. I pray each evening that I bring empathy to this job.” She has nothing but praise for her “team,” and they meet not only in the mansion, but in her office in the Patrick Henry Building.


See To live in this historic place , continued on page 6

V irginia C apitol C onnections , W inter 2023


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