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  Bray Judge Richard S. Bray, President & CEO
Judge Bray, a native of Portsmouth and a product of its public schools, graduated from Randolph-Macon College and the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary. Following a tenure as law clerk to Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawrence W. I’Anson, Judge Bray practiced law in the City of Chesapeake until 1989, when he was elected Judge of the Circuit Court of the City of Portsmouth. In 1991, he was elected a Judge of the Court of Appeals of Virginia. Named a Trustee of the Foundation in 1994, Judge Bray retired from the Court of Appeals in 2002 to become Foundation President and CEO.
In 2009, he was selected Chesapeake's First Citizen.
  Diane Pomeroy Griffin, Vice President

Mrs. Griffin’s service on the Foundation Board began in 1997. A graduate of the University of Virginia and Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary, she commenced her legal career as an associate with the Legal Aid Society, later beginning a solo private practice in the City of Portsmouth. Mrs. Griffin was a founder of the Tidewater Women’s Bar Association and the Virginia Women Attorneys Association and served as President of the Portsmouth Bar Association. She currently is a substitute Judge in the City’s General District Courts and a Commissioner in Chancery for the Third Judicial Circuit. In recognition of Mrs. Griffin’s extensive community service, Governor Gerald L. Baliles awarded her Virginia’s Gold Medal for Voluntary Excellence, and she was named Portsmouth’s First Citizen in 2002.
  P. Ward Robinett, Jr., Secretary

A native of Portsmouth, Mr. Robinett has served as a Foundation Trustee since 1992. Following graduation from Churchland High School and North Carolina Wesleyan College, he began a career in banking that has spanned 36 years. The City of Portsmouth recognized Mr. Robinett’s unselfish service to the community, including election to the City Council and leadership on numerous City and regional boards and commissions, by honoring him as First Citizen in 1989. Today, Mr. Robinett is President of TowneBank/Portsmouth.
  I'Anson Lawrence Warren I'Anson, III

Lawrence Warren I’Anson, III began his service as a Trustee of the Foundation in 2012.  His father, Lawrence W. I’Anson, Jr. (Larry), was President of the Foundation for 15 years, succeeding Lawrence’s grandfather, The Honorable Lawrence W. I’Anson, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia, a confidant and advisor to Mr. Beazley from the origination of the Foundation in 1948.  Lawrence received his undergraduate degree from the College of William & Mary and JD degree from the College’s Marshall Wythe School of Law.  He practiced law in Portsmouth, Virginia, for 18 years with the firm of Bangel, Bangel & Bangel, retiring in 2012 to pursue other interests.  Lawrence remains active in professional associations, his community and church.
  W. Ashton Lewis, Trustee

Mr. Lewis, a lifelong resident of Hampton Roads, was educated in the public schools of Chesapeake and graduated from Randolph-Macon College in 1968. Returning home, he joined his father in the family automobile business, Bill Lewis Chevrolet. As a result of Mr. Lewis’ record of commitment to community, including gratuitous service as President of Eastern Virginia Medical School, he was chosen Portsmouth’s First Citizen in 1988. Elected to the Foundation Board in 1990, he is currently an active principal in the First Team Auto group.
  Whitney G. Saunders, Trustee

A practicing attorney in the City of Suffolk, his native city, Mr. Saunders became a Foundation Trustee in 1998.  A graduate of Swarthmore College and University of Virginia School of Law, he has chaired the boards of Edmarc Hospice for Children, the YMCA of South Hampton Roads, the Planning Council and Nansemond-Suffolk Academy.  In recognition of Mr. Saunders’ exceptional record of service to numerous civic organizations and related volunteerism, he was honored as Suffolk’s First Citizen in 2006.  He currently is a partner in the firm of Saunders, Barlow, Riddick and Babineau.
  Christine Piersall, Trustee

An accomplished attorney with the firm of Williams Mullen, Christine Piersall has distinguished herself both professionally and in service to her community.  Her B.A. degree from the University of Virginia in 1997 was followed by graduation Magna Cum Laude from the University of Richmond School of Law in 2001.  Ms. Piersall’s extraordinary professional skills earned recognition among the “Legal Elite” by Virginia Business Magazine and the “Top Forty Under 40” by Inside Business.  Her impressive array of civic activities include past presidency of the Portsmouth Museums Foundation, sustaining support of the Portsmouth Service League and current Treasurer of the Portsmouth Partnership.  Today, she serves as Chair of the Williams Mullen Estate Planning and Fiduciary Service Practice and remains active in the Wills for Seniors and Wills for Heroes Pro Bono Programs.

  John W. Failes, Trustee

Mr. Failes, a Portsmouth native who joined the Foundation Board in 2009, is a 1967 Finance graduate and a 1970 Accounting graduate of Virginia Tech. After serving two years in the U.S. Army and completing his education, he began his career as a CPA and subsequently founded Failes & Associates, of which he was CEO until his retirement in 2000. His firm was recognized as one of the ten largest firms in the state of Virginia for eight consecutive years, and he was selected by Virginia Business Magazine as a Super CPA. His community involvements include being a director of TowneBank, Princess Anne Bank, Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, Commonwealth College, American Cancer Society, Girl’s Club of Portsmouth, Portsmouth City Retirement Board, and the Virginia Tech and Old Dominion University Accounting Boards.

Beazley Foundation, Inc. 3720 Brighton Street, Portsmouth, VA 23707
Phone (757) 393-1605, Fax (757) 393-4708


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