VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Five mayors from Southside Hampton Roads met Thursday for a town hall at Regent University.
The event was part of the school’s Executive Leadership Series that also brought several presidential candidates to the area this primary season.
The following information on each participant was provided by Regent University.
Paul Fraim has been a member of Norfolk City Council since 1986 and has served as mayor of Norfolk since 1994. He is president of the law firm Fraim and Fiorella, P.C., which was established in 1977. He is a member of the Virginia State Bar and the Norfolk-Portsmouth Bar Association. A Norfolk native, Fraim’s leadership extends into many other organizations, including the Hampton Roads Partnership, Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance and TowneBank Board of Directors. In 2004, the Hampton Roads Maritime Association presented him with its “Port Champion” award. In 2007, he was presented the “Bishop’s Humanitarian Award” by Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia and the “A Home for Every American Award,” a national honor given by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.
Linda Johnson was appointed mayor by her colleagues on Suffolk’s City Council in 2006. She was sworn in as the city’s first directly elected mayor in 2009. She currently serves on the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission and as the Chair of the Hampton Roads Mayors Chair Caucus. Mayor Johnson has been a member of the Circle of Excellence of the Board of Realtors since 1987 and is also a member of the National Association of Realtors. In 2010, she joined Prudential Towne Realty after nearly 25 years in the real estate field. Previously, Johnson served as the public information officer for the State Corporation Commission in Richmond and as an eligibility officer for the Suffolk Department of Social Services.
Alan Krasnoff served on Chesapeake’s City Council for five consecutive terms since 1990 and was elected mayor in 2008. He previously served as Director of the Chesapeake Juvenile Advisory Board. Krasnoff has been a member of the Hampton Roads Planning and District Commission, Metropolitan Planning Organization and Chesapeake Planning Commission. Dr. Krasnoff has a master’s degree in urban education and counseling from Norfolk State University and has worked as a high school guidance counselor. He is also involved in the Virginia School Counselor Association, Hampton Roads School Counselor Association and Virginia Counseling Association. He has operated a chiropractic practice in Chesapeake for many years.
William Sessoms began his political career in 1988 as a member of the City Council. A Virginia Beach native, he was appointed Vice Mayor in 1992 by his fellow council members. In 2008, Sessoms was elected mayor of Virginia Beach. He was appointed by two Virginia governors to serve on the state’s Public School Authority, the Local Health Benefits Advisory Committee and the Governor’s Commission on Environmental Stewardship. He contributes his time to the Virginia Beach Foundation, the Neptune Festival, the Volunteer Rescue Squad Foundation, the Virginia Beach Central Business District Association, Virginia Beach Vision, Eastern Virginia Medical School, the Back Bay Wildfowl Guild, and the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.
Kenneth Wright was elected mayor of Portsmouth in 2010. He is the president and CEO of Wright’s Engineering, which was founded in 2000. Wright has served on the City of Portsmouth Finance Committee and as the Chairman of the Portsmouth Schools Foundation. He has served as a member of the Portsmouth Partnership and the Portsmouth City Retirement Board. He has also served as President of Norfolk State University School of Technology Advisory Board; President of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers; and as Chairman of the Starbase Victory S.T.E.M. Program for Portsmouth Public Schools. Born and raised in Portsmouth, Wright is a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School and Old Dominion University.