Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin today announced the appointment of five business and community leaders to William & Mary’s Board of Visitors.

John Brownlee J.D. ’94, P ’22, Rob W. Estes ’74, P ’06, W. Taylor Franklin, Jennifer Tepper Mackesy ’91 and Jill Holtzman Vogel ’92 will join the board on July 1, 2024. They will fill vacancies left by S. Douglas Bunch ’02, J.D. ’06, Cynthia E. Hudson J.D. ’87, Anne Leigh Kerr ’91, J.D. ’98, former Rector John E. Littel HON ’23, P ’22 and Brian P. Woolfolk J.D. ’96. Hudson will reach the end of her first term on the board at the end of June, and the other four will reach the end of their second terms.

“We are delighted to welcome our five new board members,” said President Katherine A. Rowe. “As leaders in their respective fields, they bring rich management and higher education insight to William & Mary. We look forward to working with them to advance our university and its mission.

“We also extend warm thanks to our departing board members. They helped this university navigate the choppy waters of pandemic with resilience and grace. Their partnership has been a blessing to their fellow board members, to our administration and to our entire campus community.”

Chaired by a rector, the Board of Visitors is the governing body of the university. Earlier this year, the board voted unanimously to re-elect Rector Charles Poston J.D. ’74, Vice Rector Barbara L. Johnson J.D. ’84, and Secretary Ardine Williams.

“Serving alongside the departing members of the board has been a privilege, and I am immensely grateful for their friendship and partnership,” said Poston. “I look forward to forming similar friendships and partnerships with our new board members as we work together to advance the mission of the university in service of the Commonwealth and the nation.”

New board members

John Brownlee J.D. ’94, P ’22

Brownlee is a litigation attorney and co-chair of Holland & Knight’s National White Collar Defense and Investigations Team. He previously served with the U.S. Department of Justice for more than 10 years as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia and the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia. In that role, he worked with federal prosecutors to convict a pharmaceutical company for misbranding the highly addictive drug OxyContin. The investigation is featured in the Hulu miniseries, “Dopesick.” Brownlee’s work was also included in a 2020 issue of the W&M Alumni Magazine that focused on the national opioid crisis.

Previously, he served as an active duty soldier with the U.S. Army and in the Judge Advocate General Corps for the U.S. Army Reserve. In addition to graduating from W&M Law School in 1994, he is a graduate of the U.S. Army’s Airborne and Ranger programs. 

Rob W. Estes ’74, P ’06 

Estes is chairman and CEO of Estes Express Lines, America’s largest privately owned freight transportation carrier. He began working for the company as a salesman after graduating from William & Mary with a degree in accounting. Throughout his career, he held various positions with the company before finally taking the helm. 

He and his wife, Jean Berger Estes ’75, have been strong supporters of alma mater throughout their lives. He was co-chair of the 50th reunion committee for the Class of 1974 and has served as a W&M Business School Foundation board member. The two also served on the For the Bold campaign steering committee and co-chaired its Richmond regional campaign committee. Recently, they provided gifts to the All In Campaign for Athletics that supported renovations to Kaplan Arena, and the loading dock was named in their honor, as well as a new pilot initiative to provide more access to art for students. In 2019, Estes received the TC and Elizabeth Clarke Medallion from the Raymond A. Mason School of Business for his distinguished career and contributions to business. The W&M Alumni Magazine has highlighted the Estes family a number of times, including a recent article on their company’s sustainability efforts. 

W. Taylor Franklin 

Franklin is chief executive officer and co-founder at The Franklin Group, a leading multifamily development and property management firm headquartered in Virginia Beach. Working collaboratively with his executive team and co-founders, Franklin oversees company operations, new business and partnership acquisitions and new development opportunities. He has frequently been named to Inside Business’ Power List of individuals who have had the most influence in shaping Hampton Roads.

Franklin has also served in a number of community leadership and volunteer roles across the region. He currently serves on the executive board for Neptune Festival, is vice president on the board of the Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic, and has served as vice chair for The Virginia Gentlemen Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds to fight ALS. He was past chair on the board at Norfolk Collegiate School. Franklin is also a member of the Virginia Beach Economic Development Authority. Franklin is a graduate of Virginia Wesleyan University.

Jennifer Tepper Mackesy ’91

A standout W&M soccer player as a student, Mackesy is a co-owner of NJ/NY Gotham FC, which recently won the National Women’s Soccer League title. She and her husband, D. Scott Mackesy ’91, are also part of the ownership group of Chelsea FC in London.

A marketing major at the university, Mackesy went on to success in the retail and fashion industry, eventually becoming a vice president at Lord & Taylor. She has remained closely connected to William & Mary throughout the years, including service on the W&M Foundation Board of Trustees. She chaired its athletics subcommittee during the All In campaign for W&M Athletics and was an honorary campaign co-chair. With support from the Mackesys and John Goodenow “Goody” Tyler II, the university recently installed a new turf field at the 1987 Women’s Soccer Team Training Center named for Jill Ellis ’88, L.H.D.’16, who was a teammate of Mackesy’s at William & Mary. The Mackesys also supported significant portions of the new W&M Athletics complex, including a revitalization of the outdoor tennis facility — renamed the Mackesy Tennis Center — and the construction of the new Mackesy Sports Performance Center.

In addition to her work with W&M Athletics, Mackesy is a current member of the advisory board for the university’s Global Research Institute. 

Jill Holtzman Vogel ’92 

Founder and managing partner of the Holtzman Vogel Baran Torchinsky & Josefiak law firm, Vogel is an attorney who specializes in tax-exempt organizations, campaign finance law and ethics. 

Vogel recently served four terms with the Senate of Virginia as a representative for the 27th district, which previously included the City of Winchester, Clarke, Fauquier, and Frederick Counties, and part of Culpeper, Loudoun, and Stafford Counties. During her time in the State Senate, she was the whip and deputy whip for the Republican Caucus and served on the Finance Committee, General Laws and Technology Committee, the Rules Committee and served as chair of the Privileges and Elections Committee. She was appointed to the Governor’s Commission on Parole Review, the Joint Subcommittee to Evaluate Tax Preferences and the Land Conservation Foundation Board of Trustees among others. Vogel serves on the Board of Directors for Opportunity Scholars and has been involved with many other organizations including the Virginia Outdoors Foundation Board and the Massanutten Military Academy Board of Trustees. Her previous positions have included deputy counsel and chief counsel of the Republican National Committee and deputy counsel at the Department of Energy.

During her time with the Virginia Senate, Vogel met with William & Mary students through internship opportunities and as part of the annual Road to Richmond event.

Departing Board members

S. Douglas Bunch ’02, J.D. ’06

A partner at the law firm of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, Bunch serves in its Securities Fraud & Investor Protection Practice Group and co-chairs its Pro Bono Committee. In 2022, he was appointed by U.S. President Joe Biden to serve as public delegate of the United States to the United Nations.

A dedicated alumnus, Bunch served as a member of the search committees for the university’s 28th president and sixth provost. He has also served on W&M’s Student Engagement and Leadership Advisory Board and Washington Center Advisory Board.

He was appointed to the Board of Visitors in 2016 and reappointed in 2020. Most recently, he served on the board’s Executive Committee and Committee on Academic Affairs; he also chaired the Committee on Institutional Advancement.

Cynthia E. Hudson J.D. ’87

A former chief deputy attorney general of Virginia (2014-2020), Hudson has had a long career in public legal service. She is currently owner and managing attorney of Eppes-Hudson Law PLLC and provides mediation and ombuds services as a member of The McCammon Group. Previously, she worked in the government practice group of Sands Anderson PC and served as deputy city attorney and city attorney for the City of Hampton. Before that, she served with McGuire Woods LLP. A leader in her field, she was named chair of the Governor’s Commission to Examine Racial Inequity and served as president of the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia.

She was appointed to the Board of Visitors in 2020 and most recently served on the executive committee. She was also vice chair of the Committee on Administration, Buildings and Grounds and chair of the Committee on Audit, Risk and Compliance. In addition to her work on the board, she has served as an adjunct professor in state and local government law at William & Mary Law School.

Anne Leigh Kerr ’91, J.D. ’98

Kerr is the president of Kerr Government Strategies in Richmond, representing businesses and trade associations on state-level government-relations matters. Previously, she served as director of Troutman Sanders Strategies for 17 years. Her other roles have included legislative counsel to Waste Management of Virginia, policy advisor to Lt. Gov. Don Beyer and special assistant to the director of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. 

She was appointed to the W&M Board of Visitors in 2016 and reappointed in 2020. Most recently on the board, she served on the Committee on Institutional Advancement and Richard Bland College Committee and was the vice chair of the Committee on Financial Affairs.

John E. Littel HON ’23, P ’22

Littel is the chief of staff for Governor Youngkin. He was recently appointed to that role after serving as Secretary of Health and Human Resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Previously, he worked with Magellan Health, serving as its president and chief external affairs officer. Before that, he held leadership roles with Amerigroup Corporation and Anthem and worked at both the federal and state government levels.

An honorary alumnus, he has remained closely involved with the university throughout the years. He served as a member of its Public Policy Board of Advisors and the search committees for the 28th president of William & Mary.
Littel was originally appointed to the Board of Visitors in 2012 and reappointed in 2016 to fill an unexpired term. He was appointed again in 2020. He served as rector of the board from 2018 to 2022. Most recently, he served on the board’s Committee on Administration, Buildings and Grounds and its Committee on the Student Experience.

Brian P. Woolfolk J.D. ’96

Woolfolk’s career in government relations and congressional investigations has spanned more than 20 years. Currently a principal with Swan Creek Strategies, he previously served with Squire Sanders Public Advocacy and Mattox Woolfolk, which he co-founded. Prior to his tenure in private practice, he was minority counsel on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and served as legislative counsel to Congressman Robert C. (Bobby) Scott.

Woolfolk was originally appointed to the Board of Visitors in 2016 and reappointed in 2020. His most recent work on the board has included membership on the Committee on the Student Experience and Richard Bland College Working Group. He also served as vice chair of the Richard Bland College Committee. In addition to his service on the board, Woolfolk was a member of the search committee for the university’s 28th president.

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