Cindy Bither
Administrative Assistant
P: (540) 464-7207
F: (540) 464-7443

111 Smith Hall
Lexington, VA 24450

New BOV Members Named

LEXINGTON, Va., July 7, 2011 – Three new members will take their seats when the Virginia Military Institute Board of Visitors meets next month.  One other member was reappointed in an announcement July 1 from Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s office.  

Named to the Board were John C. Allen of Coalton, W.Va., and Paul E. Galanti and Ernesto Vicente Sampson Jr., both of Richmond.  Reappointed was P. Wesley Foster Jr. ’56 of Chantilly. 

Also, the Board elected a new president, Paul D. Fraim, at its May meeting.

Allen, who graduated from VMI in 1962 with a bachelor of science degree in biology, pursued a career in his family’s J.F. Allen Co. construction firm, serving for years as president and chairman of the board. Allen and his wife, Joyce, were honored in 2011 by the West Virginia Association of Fundraising Professionals as Outstanding West Virginia Philanthropists.

Allen’s service to VMI includes a five-year term as the class agent for the Class of 1962 and four years on the VMI Foundation’s Board of Trustees. A donor to the Foundation Fund and the VMI Keydet Club, he has supported the James F. Allen ’33 Scholarship and endowed the John C. Allen 1962 Distinguished Professorship in Chemistry in 1998. He received the VMI Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award in 2009.

Galanti, commissioner of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services, is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and holds a master of commerce degree from the University of Richmond.. He retired from the U.S. Navy in 1983. 

Shot down after flying 97 missions, Navy pilot Galanti was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for almost seven years from 1966 to 1973. He is national director for the East Central Region of the American Ex-Prisoners of War service organization.  Galanti, an elder at First Presbyterian Church in Richmond, serves on the Secretary of Veterans Affairs’ Advisory Committee on Former POWs.  The Paul and Phyllis Galanti Education Center, which opened last year at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, was named for him and his wife.

Sampson graduated from VMI in 1998 with a bachelor of arts degree in economics and business.  An independent financial adviser for Ameriprise Financial Inc. in Richmond, he also holds a master of business administration degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and is a chartered retirement planning counselor.

Sampson’s community service activities include the Southside Community Development and Housing Authority, City of Richmond Electoral Board, Metropolitan Business League, Richmond Leadership Network, VMI Club of Richmond, and Urban Financial Services Coalition

Foster, who was named to a second term on the board of visitors, is founder, chairman, and CEO of Long & Foster Real Estate Co., has served on the Board of Trustees of the VMI Foundation and the Board of Governors of the Keydet Club and is a recipient of the Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award.  

Fraim, a 1971 graduate of VMI with a degree in English, is mayor of the city of Norfolk and is in his second term on the VMI Board of Visitors. He holds a master of education degree from the University of Virginia and a juris doctor degree from the University of Richmond Law School. He serves on the boards of numerous organizations, including the Hampton Roads Partnership, the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, the Hampton Roads Mayors and Chairs Caucus, and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame & Museum, as well as the National Maritime Center and Eastern Virginia Medical School Foundation.