Mark spent his early career building an electronics manufacturing business (E.D.S.) that operated for many years in Danville, VA. As an entrepreneur he has always enjoyed supporting economic development activities required to help transform the region. Gignac has also been actively involved in the community including serving as a member of the Danville City Council, Dan River Business Development Center, and the local venture capital fund. Gignac is a graduate of Virginia Tech. He resides in Danville with his wife Leannah where they raised four children.
Dr. Julie Brown joined IALR in December 2013 as the Director of Advanced Learning. She has eighteen years of experience in the education sector, working for a public research university, two community colleges, and regional K-12 districts. Dr. Brown has extensive experience in federal grant reporting, program development, and fiscal accountability, and currently provides management services to the Dan River Region Collaborative, a regional partnership dedicated to working with employers to address workforce needs while moving individual employees to high-skill, high-wage situations. Dr. Brown holds degrees from the University of Virginia, Longwood University and Old Dominion University. She resides in Pittsylvania County and serves on numerous non-profit boards, including The Arc of Southside, Danville Pittsylvania Community Services Board, The United Way, and the West Piedmont Workforce Investment Board.
Pat Chatt joined IALR in January 2011 as the Financial Controller. Pat’s 30 years in senior leadership positions include technology development, financial reporting and compliance auditing higher education institutions, VP for business processing auditing for accounting and regulatory compliance for Wachovia, finance and administration management for various professional services corporations and owner of PAC Financial Consulting for new businesses designing accounting and business processes, in North Carolina, Alabama, and California. She is a professional accountant and earned a Master in Business Administration.
Linda Hutson Green was selected to serve as the Director of Economic Development for the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance in October 2016, bringing experience at the federal, state, and local levels from public and private sectors and the resources of the hosting Institute for Advanced Learning and Research to assist local economic developers in marketing the Southern Virginia region. Together, they will work to provide recruitment and retention of industries in the regional footprint to create and sustain jobs and ensure the economic vitality of the region. Green worked as District Director for U.S. Congressman Robert Hurt, as Director for Federal Funding and Entrepreneurship for the Center for Innovative Technology, where she also served terms as Director of Manufacturing and Regional Technology Transfer. She also served as the President and CEO of the Dan River Business Development Center and worked as a Quality Engineer for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. A Certified Quality Engineer, Linda holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Duke University, and is a graduate of Averett University and Danville Community College.
Melany Stowe is a lifelong resident of Southern Virginia and she enjoys being part of any collaborative effort that best serves the interests of Southern Virginia. She has won more than 30 regional, state, and national awards for communications and outreach excellence. Melany also has extensive experience in public education, grant monitoring, program development, and graphic design. She has served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Education, multiple state departments of education and higher education institutions, and the Association of American Publishers. Melany holds degrees from the University of Virginia and Radford University. She currently serves on the Board of Directors as Communication Chair for Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (VASCD) and is President of the Southern Piedmont Technology Council (SPTC).