Herm Shelanski, Class of 2019
Vice President Strategy and Business Development, Newport News Shipbuilding - A Division of Huntington Ingalls Industries
What is new and exciting with you now or since your time with Lead Virginia?
I have a cadre of fellow leaders from the class of 2019 scattered throughout Virginia that are heartfelt, dedicated members of the community, that I now call close friends.
How has your experience with Lead Virginia helped prepare you for challenges like navigating the COVID-19 pandemic?
Being part of Lead Virginia, really opened my perspective outside of the Hampton Roads area. This perspective was particularly important with the COVID-19 pandemic, in how to react with the greatest good for the region but also keeping the effects of the state in mind.
How did Lead Virginia shape you as a leader?
It has raised my understanding as a leader of the immense potential the Commonwealth of Virginia has and the subsequent challenges attached to that potential due to historical and recent social and economic consequences. It has also, shown me some examples of leaders throughout the state, that are high energy and principal based to raise the bar on investments, health and education.
Since Lead Virginia, how have you put your social capital to work?
I have reached out to several classmates and people I met long the Lead Virginia adventure that have helped formulate and add to a plan to address the Maritime Industrial Base Ecosystem. These relationships have helped pull together different aspects or economic interests of the ecosystem to better work toward a common goal where everyone benefits.
What was your biggest takeaway or lesson learned from Lead Virginia that continues to resonate with you today?
I was grateful for the opportunity to learn about the full extent of our beautiful state and the caring and wonderful citizens working hard to better the social and economic outlook of their and other’s lives. And how my classmates, the best classmates one could ask for (2019, best class ever!), are accurate representatives of those citizens and the greatness of our state!