Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced Monday afternoon the appointment of Chatham Mayor Will Pace to serve on the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission.
Pace was among four new individuals named to the board.
In a statement, Pace said it was “an incredible honor” to be selected.
“I am very grateful that Gov. Youngkin has placed his trust and confidence in me to serve on the Tobacco Commission,” Pace said in a prepared statement.
The commission was launched in 1998 after 46 states signed a settlement with the four largest tobacco companies in the United States.
The organization’s goal is to drive economic growth of localities formerly dependent on the golden leaf.
“Since its creation from bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator Charles Hawkins and Delegate Whitt Clement in 1999, the Tobacco Commission has been a vital leader in supporting economic growth and development in our region,” Pace wrote in his statement.
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The Chatham mayor said the commission has spurred hundreds of millions of dollars of new investment in the Dan River Region in addition to bringing tens of thousands of jobs.
“With this appointment, I will be able to support Governor Youngkin’s agenda to ensure that the Tobacco Commission, and future grants and financial assistance provided by the Tobacco Commission, will be a meaningful partner, committed to supporting a growing and vibrant business environment in our region,” Pace said.
The Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund provides performance-based grants and loans to localities in Virginia’s tobacco-producing regions, a news release reported. Those areas include 34 counties and six cities in southern and southwestern Virginia.
“I look forward to working with the Governor, businesses, state, and local leaders, and most importantly, the citizens of Southside and Southwest Virginia in continuing to support and encourage economic opportunity and growth in this great area of the state we call home,” Pace concluded.