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Ron Rordam, Mayor
Term Expires: 12/31/17

Ron Rordam


Ron Rordam was first elected to Town Council in 1996. He served as Vice Mayor for six years, was elected Mayor in 2006, and reelected Mayor in 2009 and 2013. Rordam holds a B.A. degree in History from the University of New Orleans and a M.A. degree in History from Virginia Tech.


He currently serves on the following committees: 

In addition to the current memberships mentioned above, Mayor Rordam has been involved in local organizations since he first moved to Blacksburg.  He has served as Chair of the Y at Virginia Tech; was involved in the Blacksburg Federation of Neighborhoods; and served on the Lyric Committee in its early years.  Over time, Rordam has participated on almost all of the Town’s appointed committees. 

Mayor Rordam is also very active in several state and national organizations.  In 2007 he was invited to attend the Sundance Summit in Utah – A Mayor’s Gathering on Climate Protection.  That year he also attended the Northeast Mayor’s Institute on City Design sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Mayor Rordam was Vice President of the Virginia Transit Association in 2009 and 2010, President in 2011 and 2012, and currently serves on the Executive Committee as Past President.  He has worked to increase state wide funding for transit, both bus and rail, and has helped raise awareness of the importance of transit to the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

Since 2008 Mayor Rordam has served on the Executive Committee of the Virginia Municipal League and currently serves as President.  VML is a state wide organization of towns and cities working to advocate for local issues in the General Assembly and U. S. Congress.  Rordam has helped promote issues such as sustainability and local control of land use and has supported legislation important to localities. 

Another regional committee the Mayor serves on is the Southern Municipal Conference.  Made up of representatives from the Southeastern region of the United States, the Conference works to promote best practices and shares ideas to make local communities better.  Rordam currently holds the position as Vice Chair of that group. 

Mayor Rordam is also involved with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, a group that brings Mayors together from around the country to work for the betterment of localities.  His committee involvements include Transportation and Communications as well as Tourism, Arts, Parks, Entertainment and Sports.  He is also a member of the Technology and Innovation Task Force. 

Ron Rordam is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana.  He moved to Blacksburg in 1976 to attend graduate school at Virginia Tech and, following a brief departure, returned in 1984 to make Blacksburg his permanent residence.  Rordam started his own insurance business in 1983 and continued to operate the business until 2015.  He is married to Mary Sammons Rordam.  Their family includes Landon, Gardner and his wife Mary Katherine and grandsons Taylor and Graham. 

Leslie Hager-Smith, Vice Mayor

Term Expires: 12/31/19

Leslie Hager-Smith

Leslie Hager-Smith is a small business owner and community volunteer who has been at home in Blacksburg since 1982.  Her interest in town governance took root during her years as a reporter and columnist for the Roanoke Times.  She is also the former director of the Downtown Merchants of Blacksburg, and she directed Community Programs for the YMCA at Virginia Tech. 

Hager-Smith’s council work has focused on economic and community development.  She lent her hand to creating a business incentives program for downtown revitalization; matching grants for façade improvements; merchant supports for the First & Main shopping center; and town-wide apartment recycling.  She is a founding member of Sustainable Blacksburg and an energetic advocate for trails and bikeway connections in the region.  Hager-Smith currently serves on the following town-affiliated committees:

Hager-Smith champions the new generation of creatives in Blacksburg.  She conceived and launched a monthly mixer called “Up on the Roof,” in order to attract young professionals into the downtown.  She was a member of the organizing body which created the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council’s “blueprint” for regional innovation; and, a contributor to the first ever public gigabit WiFi network.

Hager-Smith is married to Eric P. Smith and they have three grown children.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, awarded magna cum laude by the University of Georgia. Hager-Smith has been elected Vice Mayor three times, most recently in 2015.

Susan AndersonSusan Anderson
Term Expires: 12/31/17

Susan Anderson was elected to Town Council in 2006 and re-elected in November 2009 and again in 2013.  She has served two terms as Vice Mayor.   Anderson currently serves on the following:

Anderson earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Mary Washington College in 1980, majoring in mathematics and classical civilization, and a Master of Science degree in mathematics from Virginia Tech in 1982.
She has been teaching mathematics at Virginia Tech since then and is currently a senior instructor.  Anderson is a member of the University’s Faculty Senate and Women’s Month Advisory Committee and is the faculty advisor to Womanspace.

Anderson is a member of the board of directors of the Women's Resource Center of the New River Valley, the coordinator of Montgomery County NOW (National Organization for Women), and a member of Friends of Planned Parenthood. Since 1990 she has been married to Kim J. Kipling, professor emeritus of philosophy at Radford University. 

John L. Bush
John Bush
Term Expires: 12/31/19

John L. Bush, AIA, was elected to Town Council in November 2009 and currently serves on the following:

Bush’s involvement in local government was a formative experience that helped him to understand how good government operates.  It has given him the opportunity to hear concerns of residents and business owners that live and work in, or adjacent to, Blacksburg’s historic district and near the town gown edge.

From 1999 to 2009 John served the Town as the chair of the Historic Design Review Board (HDRB).  He was also chair of the 16 Squares subcommittee which was charged with addressing issues that affect the original and historic 16 squares - the heart of Downtown Blacksburg.

John also served the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) from 1997 to 2009.  He has served at every level in the Blue Ridge Chapter, from Director, to Program chair, president-Elect, President and past-President.  In addition, he has served the Virginia Society AIA for 4 years as the local chapter representative and as a Director.

John grew-up in Lexington, Kentucky and left the bluegrass state in the fall of 1980 to attend St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he studied the Great Books.  After graduating in 1984, John and his family moved to Blacksburg.
Since 1984, he has worked as a frame and trim carpenter, received a Master’s degree in Architecture from Virginia Tech, designed and built timber frames, and has pursued his career as an architect in private firms and for the state in the Office of University Planning at Virginia Tech, where he has been employed since 2001.  

John and Elizabeth have been married since 1982 and have raised their two sons in Blacksburg.  John has a passion for the outdoors and enjoys the southern Appalachian Mountains.  John believes the scenic and natural beauty of the Town and the region are major contributors to the high quality of life that Blacksburg residents appreciate and value.

Krisha ChachraKrisha Chachra
Term Expires: 12/31/17

Krisha Chachra was elected to Town Council in November 2009 and is currently serving her second term.  She is the first Indian-American and first under 40 young professional to serve as Blacksburg’s Vice Mayor from 2013-2015.  Krisha prioritizes creating strong and personal relationships with the local business and entrepreneurial community and has worked to further connectivity in town by having served on the Mayor’s Broadband Task Force.  Krisha currently serves on the following committees:

Krisha is the author of the published book Homecoming Journals: Dreaming Big in a small town, a compendium of essays about growing up in Blacksburg.  She is a native of Blacksburg, attended Margaret Beeks Elementary and both Blacksburg Middle and High School.  After leaving for college and graduate school and working around the country, Chachra returned to her native Blacksburg to continue writing and pursue a PhD at Virginia Tech. 

She is a regular international travel columnist for the Lifestyles Magazine, New River Valley Magazine, and is the Editor of the newly formed NRV Social Scene Magazine.  She has been a freelance reporter for National Public Radio affiliates in Roanoke, VA and Honolulu, HI.  Krisha hosted Virginia’s daily, live, call-in TV show, Blue Ridge LIVE! on Blue Ridge Public Television. Her writing has also appeared in U MagazineThe Honolulu Advertiser, USA Weekend Magazine, Bella Magazine and the Roanoke Times.  Chachra has traveled to over 45 countries in six continents compiling human-interest stories for publication.

Krisha holds degrees from William & Mary and American University and was appointed to Virginia’s Board of Psychology by former Governor Mark Warner before living in Honolulu, HI where she taught communication and journalism courses at Hawaii Pacific University. In 2015 Krisha was appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe as a member of the Radford University Board of Visitors.

In addition to her council responsibilities, Krisha is an active volunteer in the community and serves on the YMCA Board and the New River Community College Foundation Board.  She is often asked to speak at professional conferences, Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce events, business ribbon cuttings and local organizations.  Krisha also helps to organize events at First and Main and emcees the center’s Easter Egg Hunt and Boo-Doo.

Notably, Krisha leads and organizes creative professional events in town. She is a Founding Member and President of Downtown Events Inc., a non-profit that produces and organizes the largest monthly mixer in the area called “Up on the Roof.”  The monthly event, which Krisha has  spearheaded for several years, has grown in attendance from 30 people to over 500.  “Up on the Roof” has received many accolades and is consistently referred to as the best place to meet people in town.  Krisha and her husband, Derek Klinedinst, have a daughter, Mina Kairani Klinedinst.

Cecile NewcombCecile Newcomb
Term Expires: 12/31/17

Cecile Newcomb was elected to Blacksburg Town Council in 2009, and re-elected in 2013. She currently serves on the following:

During her first two years on Town Council, Newcomb served on the MBC Development Corporation; Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.; Downtown Revitalization Committee; Greenway/Bikeway/Sidewalk Corridor Committee; New River Valley Agency on the Aging, (Alternate); Historic District Task Force; Arts and Cultural District Task Force; and Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan Task Force.

She is a native and long-time resident of Blacksburg, also having lived in San Diego, California; Ithaca, New York; Boulder, Colorado and Calgary, Alberta. Newcomb has coached cross country and track teams at Blacksburg High and Middle Schools, and volunteered in Montgomery County Public Schools. Cecile holds a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech, and is a certified VA Planning Commissioner.

Newcomb is a cycle class instructor at Blacksburg Health and Fitness at The Weight Club, and the former founder and owner of Rest Assured Housing Management, Inc. Newcomb is the former co-founder and Business Director of Energy Check, a division of Shelter Alternatives, Inc. 

Prior to her membership on Town Council, Newcomb actively participated on numerous ad hoc and appointed committees, including the Blacksburg Planning Commission; Blacksburg Long Range Planning Committee; Blacksburg Townscape Committee; Blacksburg Housing and Community Development Advisory Board; New River Valley Green Home Tour; and Bennett Hill/Progress Neighborhood Representative. Other memberships Include New River Land Trust; Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.; Montgomery County League of Women Voters; The Lyric Theatre.

Michael Sutphin
Term Expires: 12/31/19

Michael Sutphin was elected to Town Council in 2011 and reelected in 2015.  He currently serves on the following committees:

In 2002, Sutphin moved to Blacksburg to attend Virginia Tech.  During his college years, he worked as a news editor and reporter for the Collegiate Times, where he earned two Virginia Press Association awards and the Charlotte Davis Media Service Award.  He was also president of the campus LGBT organization.  In 2006, Sutphin earned a bachelor’s degree in communication with a concentration in print and electronic journalism.

After graduation, Sutphin landed a job for his alma mater.  He worked as a writer at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for five years and then  as the public relations coordinator for the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine for six years. He is now the communications manager for Community Housing Partners.

Previously, Sutphin was on the Blacksburg Housing and Community Development Advisory Board and the Long Range Planning Committee.  Since 2010, he has also served on the board of directors for Equality Virginia, a statewide LGBT advocacy organization.  Other memberships include Downtown Blacksburg Inc. and The Lyric Theatre.

Sutphin was born in Knoxville, Tennessee and split his formative years between the suburbs of Asheville, North Carolina and Williamsburg, Virginia.