WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation board of trustees has elected Carly Fiorina chair of the board, on which she has served since 2017. She succeeds Thurston R. Moore, who has led the board since 2018. In her new role, Fiorina will leverage her business expertise and innate ability to help organizations reach their highest potential to help the foundation reach new audiences and thrive in a post-pandemic world.
Newly elected to the foundation board are Sheila Johnson, Founder & CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts and co-founder of BET; Wally Martinez, managing partner of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP; and Walter S. Robertson III, managing director of Lowe, Brockenbrough & Company.
Colonial Williamsburg’s educational mission to tell the complete story of America is especially relevant to today’s often tumultuous conversations about the diverse experiences and identities of Americans in the 21st century. At the Foundation’s helm, Fiorina will guide the museum’s continued evolution into a destination that celebrates diverse and inclusive viewpoints through programming that explores the social and political complexities negotiated by America’s founding generation. She will help expand Colonial Williamsburg’s unique brand of storytelling around the nation’s founding principles, bringing to life the important history of the men and women, enslaved and free, who endured, risked and sacrificed so much as the nation advanced toward independence.
Fiorina’s election heralds a pivotal moment. For nearly a century, Colonial Williamsburg has played a central role in helping guests understand the complex story of America. As the Foundation plans its centennial in 2026, coinciding with the country’s 250th anniversary, Fiorina will counsel the Foundation around a renewed commitment to tell the country’s complete story and inspire all those who embrace freedom.
“I’m truly honored to assume the role of chair of the board for Colonial Williamsburg and will embrace the continued collaboration with my fellow trustees and our executive team, our skilled and dedicated employees, and generous and committed donors,” Fiorina said. “In this moment, there is tremendous anticipation around building a better future by learning from our ancestors’ stories and struggles, seeking inspiration from their aspirations and ingenuity, and reflecting upon the nation they built. This historic destination is uniquely suited to play a pivotal role in helping Americans understand the complexities and contradictions of our past and how they inform our future. Thurston’s remarkable leadership has positioned Colonial Williamsburg to grow and expand its reach; we appreciate his service and look forward to his continuing counsel.”
As a veteran of the technology sector, Fiorina will also guide the Foundation toward new and diverse audiences by helping expand its digital presence and continuing to deliver inclusive programming that confronts sensitive topics through thoughtful and engaging discussion.
“Carly has an innate ability to help others reach their highest potential, and we are fortunate to have such a forward-thinking, approachable leader serving as chair. Under her leadership, we will advance our educational mission in exciting new ways as we approach our centennial, and the nation’s 250th anniversary, in 2026,” said Cliff Fleet, president and CEO of Colonial Williamsburg. “We are also extremely grateful for Thurston’s steady leadership through an immensely challenging time. Throughout this past year, Thurston’s insight and encouragement have lifted up this organization, and with his guidance we have reached new audiences eager to learn about the stories we share.”
Moore was elected to Colonial Williamsburg’s board in 2009 and retired following its November meeting. He led the 2019 search for a new president and CEO and oversaw the opening of the $41.7-million expansion of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. Moore is the chairman emeritus and special counsel of the Richmond law firm Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, where he was managing partner from 1991 to 2006.
Fiorina has extensive experience in both the corporate and nonprofit worlds. Beginning her business career as a receptionist in a nine-person real-estate firm, she would rise to become the first woman to lead a Fortune 50 company when she was appointed the chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard in 1999. Leading through the worst technology recession in 25 years, 9/11, as well as SARS, led HP to become the 11th-largest company in the U.S. and among the world’s leading innovators. Fiorina served as chairman of Good360, a philanthropy organization that galvanized the U.S. business community to provide supplies to West Africa during the 2014 Ebola crisis. She also served as chairman of Opportunity International, a micro-finance organization that has lifted millions out of poverty.
Fiorina has advised the Defense Department by serving on the Defense Business Board, consulted on the formation of the Department of Homeland Security and served as the chairman of the External Advisory Board of the CIA. In 2016, she sought the Republican nomination for president.
Presently, Fiorina is founder and chairman of Carly Fiorina Enterprises, which counsels companies on building high-performance teams, developing leaders at every level, and creating equitable and inclusive workplace cultures. CFE’s nonprofit subsidiary, the Unlocking Potential Foundation, brings this same expertise to nonprofits and community leaders. She is also a best-selling author; her most recent book, “Find Your Way,” was released in 2019. Fiorina and her husband reside in Northern Virginia.
Johnson co-founded BET in 1979. In addition to her media and hotel industry leadership she is president and managing partner of the WNBA Washington Mystics, and the only Black woman with stakes in three professional sports teams: the Mystics, the NBA Wizards and the NHL Capitals, all of Washington.
Martinez is former senior vice president and general counsel of Diageo North America and a founding partner of Hunton Andrews Kurth’s Miami office. Now based in New York, he was recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the nation’s “50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers.”
Robertson is currently managing director and member of the executive committee for Lowe, Brockenbrough & Company, an independently owned investment advisory firm in Richmond, Va. where he is responsible for business development and marketing. Prior to joining LBC, he served as president and COO of Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc. He retired in 2012 from Scott & Stringfellow/BB&T Capital Markets, where he served as president and CEO. Robertson was also a member of the board of directors for both Scott & Stringfellow and BB&T Insurance Services, Inc. and a member of BB&T’s senior leadership team for 12 years.
The other members of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation board are Kendrick F. Ashton, Jr., cofounder and co-CEO of The St. James; Edward L. Ayers, president emeritus, University of Richmond; Frank Batten Jr., chairman, president and CEO of Landmark Media Enterprises LLC and Dominion Enterprises; Catharine O’Neill Broderick, former trustee, Rockefeller Brothers Fund; Mark A. Coblitz, senior vice president, retired, Comcast Corp.; Walter B. Edgar, distinguished professor of history emeritus University of South Carolina; Fleet; Neil Gorsuch, associate justice, U.S. Supreme Court; Conrad M. Hall, president and CEO, retired, Dominion Enterprises; Anthony M. Kennedy, associate justice, retired, U.S. Supreme Court; John A. Luke Jr., chairman, WestRock Company; Leslie A. Miller, principal, Leslie A. Miller Esq., LLC; Steven L. Miller, chairman and president, SLM Discover Ventures, Inc.; Joseph W. Montgomery, managing director, the Optimal Service Group of Wells Fargo Advisors; Gerald L. Shaheen, retired group president, Caterpillar, Inc.; Sheldon M. Stone, principal and portfolio manager, Oaktree Capital Management, L.P.; and Y. Ping Sun, university representative, Rice University.
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