Gov. Glenn Youngkin has appointed five members to Old Dominion University's Board of Visitors, including four newcomers, Dennis Ellmer, Brian Holland, Rudy Middleton and Elza Mitchum, as well as the reappointment of returning member Murry Pitts. Each will begin four-year terms on July 1.

Following Governor Youngkin's announcement, President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., shared, "On behalf of Monarch students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends, I want to thank the Governor and his administration for the engaging and thoughtful manner in which these outstanding appointments were made."

Dennis Ellmer serves as president and CEO of Priority Automotive. Ellmer, who attended classes at ODU and received an Honorary Alumni Award in 2011, and his company have had a long relationship with the University. In 2019, Ellmer was awarded the Best in Town Award from Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corporation. The national honor is given to only one Toyota dealership in the United States each year. In addition to his service on numerous professional and civic organizations in the region, across the Commonwealth and throughout the United States, Ellmer's company is an active participant in the Old Dominion Athletic Foundation Big Wheel Club, which provides courtesy cars to assist the ODU athletic department in recruiting, scouting and public relations. A devoted champion of families and opportunities in Hampton Roads and beyond, Ellmer also started the annual Priority Toyota Charity Bowl, a fundraiser that supports several local organizations, which is held at Kornblau Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium, the home of the Priority Automotive Club. He was recently named the City of Norfolk's First Citizen for his community service and philanthropic work.

Brian Holland serves as founder, president and CEO of Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group. Holland earned his bachelor's degree in finance from the College of Business and Public Administration in 1993. Three years later, he created Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group. Holland is a member of the Old Dominion Athletic Foundation Board of Trustees and previously served on the College of Business and Public Administration Advisory Board. In 2004, he received the Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year Award. A dedicated Monarch supporter, Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group secured naming rights for the Football Game Day Complex at S.B. Ballard Stadium in 2017. In 2021, his company was recognized as the National Mortgage News #1 Best Large Mortgage Company to Work For. Holland has served on the board of Multiple Sclerosis for Hampton Roads, has membership in the Young Presidents' Organization, Virginia, and is a charter member and membership chair of the Entrepreneurs' Organization, Southeast Virginia chapter.

E.G. "Rudy" Middleton III serves as president, CEO and CFO of E.G. Middleton Co., Inc. Middleton, who graduated from ODU with a bachelor's degree in financial management from the College of Business and Public Administration in 1981, runs the oldest family-owned electrical contracting firm in Virginia, which was started in 1920 by his grandfather. Middleton was appointed to the Board for Contractors in 2010 by then-Gov. Robert McDonnell. He has served as the past president of the Builders and Contractors Exchange of Norfolk, Virginia, and the National Electrical Contractors Association, Atlantic Coast Chapter, where he currently serves as a board member. He sits on the boards of the Tidewater Division of the National Electrical Contractors Association and the Tidewater Electrical Industry Health and Pension Fund, and is a committee member of the City of Norfolk Code and Appeals and the Old Dominion Industrial Construction Advisory Board. Additionally, he serves on the Tidewater Advisory Board for Truist Inc., the board of Norfolk Festevents and recently joined the Old Dominion Athletic Foundation Board of Trustees.

Elza Mitchum serves as president of C&M Industries, B.W. Mitchum Trucking Co. and JNB Storage Trailer Rental Corp., which treat, recycle and dispose of non-hazardous, petroleum-based products; provide specialized freight trucking and long-distance contract hauling; and offer trailer rental and leasing. In 2021, Mitchum received an Honorary Alumni Award from the Old Dominion University Alumni Association. Mitchum previously served on the board of directors for Towne Financial Services and has supported Eastern Virginia Medical School and the Virginia Beach SPCA. He is a strong supporter of the Old Dominion Athletic Foundation, has made significant contributions to men's basketball and the basketball practice facility, which is named after his mother and father.

P. Murry Pitts previously served as CEO of Burlington Medical and Bar-Ray Medical Products, which manufacture surgical radiation protection gear for nurses, surgeons and health care professionals. In response to the pandemic, Pitts retooled his four plants in Newport News; Littlestown, Pennsylvania; and the United Kingdom and began making protective gear for doctors and nurses treating COVID-19. As the pandemic subsided, the plants returned to normal manufacturing operations. Pitts earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from ODU in 1980. He was first named to the board in August 2020 and served on the Academic and Research Advancement; Athletics; and Student Enhancement and Engagement Committees. He was recently elected vice rector of the board.

Board of Visitors Rector R. Bruce Bradley shared a warm welcome and expressed great excitement for the incoming members. He said, "These individuals are proven business leaders, dedicated community members and proud ODU supporters. For many years, they have provided energy, experience and expertise to enhance our campus and expand our impact locally, regionally and beyond. I am confident that our newly appointed members will receive a warm Monarch welcome from every member of the Board and the broader community."

President Hemphill added, "As a caring campus, we express our everlasting gratitude to departing Board members Carlton F. Bennett; Unwanna B. Dabney, Alton J. (Jay) Harris and Lisa B. Smith, all of whom served this institution with a great deal of distinction and pride."

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