Virginia Capitol Connections Winter 2023

Virginia Capitol Connections, Winter 2023 12 For 25 years, Kathy J. Byron served faithfully in the House of Delegates for Virginia’s 22nd district. During her long tenure as a delegate, she remained a devoted proponent of both business and education within the Commonwealth. She strived to ensure not only Virginia businesses and their workforce have an environment to succeed, but that our education system adequately equips the next generation of Virginians with the tools to follow suit. Byron’s service in the General Assembly was defined by a dedication to conservative values and a stable commonwealth for Virginia’s future. In January of 1998, Byron took office representing then part of Pittsylvania County, Campbell County, and Lynchburg. The 22nd house seat has since changed through redistricting three times during her occupation there. Byron entered the House during a period in which the Democratic Party still possessed its century-long control of the legislature. Two years later, she, along with the effort of fellow Republicans statewide, helped to orchestrate the first Republican majority in the House of Delegates. This momentum and energy would prove to truly be representative of Byron’s time in office. She was also notably elected the first women chair of the House Republican Caucus. In addition to her career-long resume of service on various committees, subcommittees, and commissions, Byron has an extensive record of sponsored legislation, culminating in her two-anda-half-decade service in the assembly. In an effort to promote the use of renewable energy, while also enabling job creation, Bryon was the chief patron of HB 1037 during the 2010 session. This bill provided manufacturers grants for producing equipment used to emit clean energy. In 2015, continuing her support for commercial and employment growth, she sponsored several workforce development bills including HB 2033 and HB 1677; both bills set out to further incentivize the earning of credentials in high-demand fields, and the creation of related training programs. In 2022, Byron demonstrated her commitment to educational opportunity and accessibility as the chief patron for HB 271. This educational bill was designed to promote greater cooperation between community colleges and school systems, as well as competitive pay for class instructors. During the 2023 session, after two decades of discussion and deliberation in Richmond, Byron sponsored and led the charge to pass HB 2195. This historic bill, signed into law in March, significantly reorganized and consolidated workforce programs within the Commonwealth. Namely, this piece of legislation created the new Department of Workforce Development and Advancement. The department hopes to bring Virginians better Ask 10 people who work in and around the General Assembly their impression of Rob Bell and nine will answer: “All business and serious 100% of the time.” For these nine people, here are some “fun facts”: • When in Mexico, Rob likes to go to bars that would be akin to a biker bar in America in the toughest part of town. • His fantasy retirement is to spend it with his Son. He wants to drive a tourist bus with his son helping people have fun on their vacation. • A ordable large and small meeting spaces • Accommodating groups from 5 to 200 • A/V technology – WIFI – hybrid meeting options • Food and beverage options St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Capitol Square For more information contact our church o ce at 804.643.3598 or | 815 E. Grace Street, Richmond, VA (parking o of 8th Street) MEETING SPACE AND PARKING AVAILABLE Kathy Byron Delegate 1998-2023 BY CHRIS BAILEY Rob B. Bell, III Delegate 2001-2023 BY DAVE ALBO workforce training options, analyze and improve current programs, and increase access to higher-paying jobs. Byron’s work extends beyond the General Assembly. She currently serves on the National Board of Directors for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and previously served as the Virginia State Chair. ALEC is a national political think tank dedicated to pursuing economic growth through limited government. As a small-business owner, alongside her husband, Byron has worked extensively in telecommunications and marketing, even predating her entry into the legislature. As she now leaves the legislature, Byron fittingly steps into the role of Deputy Director for External Affairs at the newly created Department of Workforce Development and Advancement continuing her fight to ensure the success of those employed in the commonwealth. Byron is known as a cheerful and down-to-earth person, even often bringing her dog to stay with her in the office. She returns to her home with her husband. She has three children and six grandchildren. Chris Bailey is an associate with David Bailey Associates.