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Virginia War Memorial Foundation Welcomes Three New Board Members

The Virginia War Memorial Foundation (VWMF) has announced three new members have been elected to its Board of Directors.

Joining the Foundation Board are Commander Kathy P. Owens, USN (Ret.) of Virginia Beach; Rick St. John of Henrico County; and Jamal A. Thomas of Richmond.

Commander Owens is managing partner of Beach Development Group, a company she formed in 2006 to develop properties throughout the Hampton Roads area. An ROTC graduate of the Ohio State University, Commander Owens, who was winged as a US Navy Aviator for carrier landings, retired from the US Navy Reserves in 2007 with 21 years of active and reserve service. She has accumulated over 10,000 hours of military and commercial flight hours as a Navy officer and as an Airline Transport Pilot with United Airlines.

Rick St. John has over 25 years of experience in the steel industry and is currently President of Triad Metals Distributors in Petersburg, Va., a subsidiary of Triad Metals International. The son of a retired US Army Colonel and Vietnam Veteran, St. John spent his childhood on military posts including Berlin, Germany and stateside at Fort Benning, Fort Ord and Fort Leavenworth.
He is a graduate of Thomas Edison State University.

Jamal A. Thomas is a vice president with the investment firm of BB&T Scott & Stringfellow in Richmond. Prior to join his current firm, he served in various financial advisory positions with Wells Fargo Advisors, Davenport and Company and Wachovia Securities. Thomas is a graduate of Fork Union Military Academy and the Virginia Military Institute, where he earned a Economics and Business.

“I join with my fellow directors in welcoming these three outstanding individuals to the board of directors of the Virginia War Memorial Foundation,” said David A. Christian, VWMF board chair. “Kathy, Rick and Jamal each bring unique talents and experience to the board and each has demonstrated a true passion and commitment to the mission of this Foundation and the Virginia War Memorial which is to Honor Veterans, Preserve History, Educate Youth and Inspire Patriotism in All.”

Chartered in 2000, the Virginia War Memorial Foundation (VWMF) is the private, non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation that finances all of the educational outreach, patriotic events, historical programs, exhibits and documentary films of the Virginia War Memorial. The Foundation depends on the generous support of individuals, corporations, military, veteran and civic organizations, and grants for its funding.

For more information on VWMF, including how to support its mission, please visit or contact Executive Director Rear Admiral John Hekman, USN (Ret.) by telephone at 804.786.2063 or by email at

About the Virginia War Memorial
The mission of the Virginia War Memorial is to Honor Veterans, Preserve History, Educate Youth and Instill Patriotism in All. Dedicated in 1956 and celebrating its 60th anniversary, the Memorial includes the names of the nearly 12,000 Virginia heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and the Global War on Terrorism. The Virginia War Memorial is a division of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and serves as an integral part of its mission in support of all Virginians who served in our military forces.

The Memorial is located at 621 South Belvidere Street in Richmond. For more information, please visit