Vithoulkas Sworn in as County Manager of Henrico
John A. Vithoulkas was installed Wednesday as county manager of Henrico County during a ceremony before family, friends and county leaders at the Henrico County Government Center.
Vithoulkas, 45, was sworn in by Chief Judge L.A. Harris Jr. of the Henrico Circuit Court to become the eighth county manager since Henrico adopted the form of government in 1934.
The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Aug. 14 to to appoint Vithoulkas to the county’s top executive position effective Jan. 17. Previously serving as deputy county manager for administration, Vithoulkas succeeds Virgil R. Hazelett, P.E., who is retiring after 21 years as county manager.
“My pledge to this Board of Supervisors today and into the future is to work tirelessly on behalf of the board to faithfully execute its policies of providing the most effective public services at the lowest possible cost, encouraging business development and ensuring our budget reflects the most critical of local government responsibilities,” Vithoulkas said.
Board Chairman and Three Chopt District Supervisor David A. Kaechele recalled Vithoulkas’ steady rise through the ranks of the Department of Finance and expressed confidence in his abilities to lead Henrico’s general government.
“This Board of Supervisors has deep respect for the position of county manager,” Kaechele said. “We are really proud, John, to have you take the helm and we fully anticipate a seamless transition. Our citizens can certainly take considerable comfort in the fact that the county will be in strong and capable hands under your leadership. Henrico County’s long tradition of good government and sound management will proceed unabated.”
As county manager, Vithoulkas will serve as Henrico’s chief administrative officer and be responsible for implementing policies of the Board of Supervisors and for overseeing the daily operations of the county and more than 35 agencies with approximately 4,000 employees. Duties include preparation and oversight of the county’s annual budget, which exceeds $1 billion in operating and capital expenditures for the 2012-13 fiscal year, and preparation of the county’s annual legislative program before the Virginia General Assembly.
A Henrico employee since 1997, Vithoulkas served as a budget analyst and budget director before becoming director of Finance in 2008. In September 2009, Hazelett assigned Vithoulkas to the additional position of special economic advisor as Henrico confronted unprecedented revenue declines and other challenges stemming from the Great Recession. He was elevated to deputy county manager for administration in December 2011.
Hazelett recalled how Vithoulkas’ abilities were evident even as a young budget analyst and said he truly understands how government must serve taxpayers as its customers. Hazelett also said that Henrico’s response to the ongoing fiscal challenges have prepared him to become county manager.
“The dark cloud that continues to linger over our nation’s economy hasn’t revealed much of a silver lining, but it may have illuminated John’s abilities and prepared him to lead,” Hazelett said.
Under the leadership of Vithoulkas and others, Henrico has balanced its past three budgets by cutting expenses and absorbing additional costs that combine to total $96 million. At the same time, the county has avoided cuts in services, employee layoffs and tax increases. Vithoulkas also was the architect of a series of bond sales during the recession that yielded more than $20 million in debt-service savings for the county.
In August 2011, Henrico was the first locality nationwide to have its debt reaffirmed as triple-AAA — the highest available for a governmental entity — by the three international credit-rating agencies following the historic downgrade of U.S. government debt by Standard and Poor’s.
Vithoulkas, a naturalized citizen, is a native of Greece who immigrated to the United States as an infant with his parents. A product of Henrico County Public Schools, he is a graduate of J.R. Tucker High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1989 and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 1992. Before joining the Henrico staff, he worked as a police planner and assistant budget director for Gaston County, N.C. and as a budget analyst for Chesterfield County.
A graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond, Vithoulkas is a member of the Government Finance Officers Association, International City/County Management Association, Virginia Local Government Management Association and Richmond Association for Business Economics. He holds the distinguished budget reviewer designation from the Government Finance Officers Association.
Vithoulkas lives in Glen Allen with his wife, Jenny, and their three children.
|John A. Vithoulkas takes the oath of office as he is sworn in as county manager of Henrico County.
(appearing left to right) Jenny Vithoulkas, wife of John Vithoulkas; Georgia Vithoulkas, mother of John Vithoulkas; John Vithoulkas; Peter Vithoulkas, brother of John Vithoulkas; and Chief Judge L.A. Harris Jr. of the Henrico Circuit Court.
Henrico County Managers
- Willard F. Day: March 6, 1934-Dec. 17, 1940
- Sterry J. Mahaffey: Feb. 1, 1941-Sept. 2, 1943
- Carlton C. Massey: Nov. 20, 1943-Jan. 1, 1952
- Edward A. Beck: March 24, 1952-March 31, 1977
- Frank A. Faison: March 23, 1978-May 15, 1984
- William F. LaVecchia, P.E., AICP: June 13, 1984-Jan. 13, 1992
- Virgil R. Hazelett, P.E.: Jan. 14, 1992-Jan. 16, 2013
- John A. Vithoulkas: Jan. 17, 2013-