Six candidates apply for Mathews interim appointment

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Mar 15, 2019 - 04:27 PM

Mathews County has released the names of six people who have applied for the seat on the Mathews County Board of Supervisors that was vacated on Feb. 14 with the resignation of Pepper Love.

The deadline for applications was noon on Friday, March 15, and notification was sent out shortly after 2 p.m.

Applications were received from Joseph Syslo of Mathews, Jacqueline Ingram of North, Melissa Mason of North, Michael Rowe of Cardinal, Michael Walls of Hudgins, and Charles Ware of Hallieford.

Those interested in the position were required to fill out applications giving basic information and a description of their qualifications and skills, along with a cover letter and resume.

Supervisors will meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 18, to interview the candidates. The meeting is open to the public.

The applications, letters, and resumes are available online at Scroll down to “upcoming meetings” and select “Agenda” next to the meeting for March 18.

Joe Syslo

Syslo described himself as a Mathews resident for 17 years who has participated in community activities and has been involved in community management in every locality in which he has lived.

Currently an adjunct faculty member at Rappahannock Community College who teaches business management, leadership, communications, and law, Syslo said in his application that he had previously served as vice president of the National Center for Advanced Technologies in Washington, D.C. and as director of program management at GTE Spacenet and United Technologies Corporation. He said he had also spent 27 years in the U.S. Air Force, retiring as a colonel from the position of chief of staff of Air Force Systems Command.

Syslo said he holds a bachelor of science degree from The Citadel and an MBA from Samford University and is a graduate of the Air Force Institute of Technology and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Jacqueline T. Ingram

Ingram said she was interested in fulfilling her civic responsibility and “giving something back” to her community. She said she would like to help shape and protect the county and its citizens and to use her professional skills to help “strengthen our commitment to our citizens.”

Ingram said she has experience in strategic and short-range forecasting, has worked with teams to create a spending plan, and has served on various civic committees, including the Middlesex County Multiple Listing Service, the vestry of Christ Church in Mathews, the property equalization board for Mathews, and as a team leader for Verizon Communications, managing technicians.

Currently a real estate broker for Long and Foster, Ingram said she is working to complete a bachelor’s degree from Strayer University.

Melissa Mason

Mason, currently serving on the Mathews County School Board, said that, as a Mathews native, she cares about the county “that nurtured me and prepared me for the world.” She said she is concerned about the direction and sustainability of the county and believes that “with peer collaboration and the collaboration of the community there can be great impact on our future and the legacy we leave to generations to come.”

A strong work ethic, professionalism, commitment, and dedication were among the attributes that Mason said make her a good candidate. She said her background is diversified and that she has several years of experience and training in board governance.

Mason is a program analyst with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. She said she holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Virginia Union University, a master’s degree in business administration from Averett University, and a master of divinity from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union U. She said she is currently working on a doctorate from VUU.

Michael Rowe

A former Mathews County Supervisor, Rowe said that there is “a steep and lengthy learning curve to be a productive member” of the board, and that appointing someone with no experience to serve for only eight months would be ill-advised. He said he was temporarily offering his services “out of concern for, and a sense of duty to, the county.”

Rowe listed his past experience in county governance, including two years on the Mathews County Planning Commission, 10.5 years on the Mathews County School Board, and eight years on the Mathews County Board of Supervisors. He is currently a member of the Mathews County Board of Zoning Appeals.

A contractor for over four decades, Rowe said he currently works for Storybound Construction, located in Mathews. He has been a member of the Mathews Lions Club for 18 years. He graduated from Mathews High School in 1969.

Michael Walls

Walls said that he spent six months in 2017 campaigning against six other candidates for one of two seats on the Mathews County Board of Supervisors, and that he came in third. “The county residents have spoken,” he said. “It is now time for you to do the right thing.”

Walls retired in 2010 from his position as the owner of Walls Trucking. He said he managed the company on a daily basis, including performing all billing, including accounts receivable, as well routing and dispatching of all drivers. He was also a driver and forklift operator, and he performed maintenance on his truck.

After retirement, Walls continued to work as a professional driver from 2011–2015 with Anderson Trucking in Saluda, performing many of the same duties.

Walls graduated from Thomas Dale High School in Chester, Virginia in 1977.

Charles Ware

Ware described himself as “a civic-minded, lifelong Mathews County resident who operated with a good amount of common sense in decision making.” He said he “has the county and its residents best interest in front of non-essentials.”