Two men from McLean, Jay Tannon and William Soza, were recently appointed to the Southern Technology Council and the Board of Visitors of George Mason University, respectively, by Gov. Mark Warner.
Tannon, a partner at Pillsbury Winthrop, has known and worked with Warner for many years and understands the governor’s deep-seated commitment to technology and education.
“Gov. Warner just stepped down as chairman of the Southern Technology Council when he was appointed as chairman of the National Governors Association,” Tannon said.
The Council is “committed to making the South a leader in the 21st century economy, especially in the technological industry,” he said. “We focus on how we can create the right workforce, what the South can do to attract technology companies to entice them to put their research and development offices here.”
He pointed out that the Homeland Security, biotechnology and nanotechnology industries already have a strong presence in Northern Virginia but hopes that more can be done to increase the presence of even more technology-based companies in the region.
“It’s not just about getting broadband Internet everywhere, but it’s those types of ideas” that will be discussed when the Council next meets in Alabama in June, Tannon said. “We’re working to create the environment that will allow the next Microsoft to come from the South, not Seattle or somewhere else.”
William Soza was appointed to the Board of Visitors for George Mason University, a place he feels needs to be nourished and nurtured in order to continue to benefit not only the students that attend the college but the community that surrounds it.
“I view George Mason as a regional university which provided my business the graduates that were talented and that I felt we needed for the business,” Soza said. He was principal of Soza and Associates until the business was sold two years ago.
“I feel it is our responsibility to make the university better and continue to attract good students and faculty,” he said. “I have the responsibility now of dealing with the governor’s office and the state in terms of money allocated to George Mason, how that money is spent, and what needs to be done to improve the university.”
Soza said his goal for his three-year term on the Board of Visitors is to “see that we nurture it and continue to see it grow. It’s a wonderful place to work with, and I’m very honored I was selected for the Board,” he said.