SBE Board Members
Chairman of the Board – John O’Bannon
Dr. John O’Bannon is a lifelong Virginian who has dedicated himself to caring for others. As a child growing up on a farm in Rappahannock County, John helped his family by selling apples at the family fruit stand near Skyline Drive. John O’Bannon’s leadership abilities became apparent during his schooling. A graduate of Hargrave Military Academy and the University of Richmond, John attended medical school at the Medical College of Virginia (MCV), where he was elected President of the Student Body. Later, as a resident at MCV, he was elected President of the Housestaff Council, served as Chairman of the Dean’s Advisory Committee, and was named Chief Resident in Neurology.
A well-regarded physician, John O’Bannon is a partner in Neurological Associates, a leading Richmond medical practice. He has served as Chief of Staff of Henrico Doctors’ Hospital and has served on the Board of Trustees. He has also served 2 terms on the VCU Health System Authority Board, where he chaired the Quality Committee. His peers have named him one of the “Outstanding Physicians of the Year” in Richmond Magazine’s annual poll.
John O’Bannon is a national leader in improving the medical profession. A leader in the American Medical Association (AMA), John served on the AMA Delegation from the Medical Society of Virginia (MSV) and served as a member of the AMA’s Council for Ethical and Judicial Affairs from 1997 through 2004. Here in Virginia, John is a past Chairman of the Board of the Richmond Academy of Medicine. He also served as Chairman of the MSV’s Legislative Committee, where he helped pass the Virginia Patients’ Bill of Rights.
John O’Bannon is a leader in our community. He is a member of the West Richmond Rotary Club and serves on the Boards of several organizations including The Virginia Home, Virginia War Memorial Foundation, VPAP, Tuckahoe YMCA, Hargrave Military Academy, The Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth and the Advisory board at the Science Museum of Virginia. A member of the Henrico County Republican Committee, John has been active in numerous federal, state, and local campaigns.
John served in the House of Delegates of the General Assembly of Virginia for 17 years, serving on JLARC and other commissions. He served on the Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee, Appropriations Committee and Privileges and Elections Committee.
John and Pat O’Bannon have been married for 48 years, and reside in Western Henrico. Pat O’Bannon is a former public school teacher who currently serves as Henrico County Supervisor for the Tuckahoe District. The O’Bannon family attends River Road Church, Baptist. John and Pat have three children, John, Virginia, and Andy, all of whom are graduates of Henrico County Public Schools, and four grandchildren who live in Henrico county and are attending Henrico County Public Schools.
Vice-Chairman of the Board – Rosalyn R. Dance
Senator Rosalyn R Dance is a resident of Petersburg, Virginia. In 1961, she graduated with honors from John Tyler (Brightpoint) Community College with an Associate Degree in Nursing. In 1986, she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Virginia State University graduating Suma Cum Laude and her Master’s Degree in Public Administration in 1994 from Virginia Commonwealth University. In December 2015, Rosalyn received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Virginia State University.
She began her professional career working at the Southside Virginia Training Center (SVTC). While working there she rose from her entry position of Psychiatric Nurse’s Aide to its highest position of Interim Facility Director and retired from SVTC after 34 years of service in 2000.
In 1992, Mrs. Dance was elected to the Petersburg City Council. Immediately upon being sworn in as a member of the Petersburg City Council she was appointed to represent the City of Petersburg as its second female Mayor. In this capacity, she was able to facilitate numerous economic opportunities for Petersburg and played an instrumental role in the creation of the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School which opened in Petersburg in September 1999. She was appointed to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and selected by both Governor Allen and Governor Gilmore to represent Virginia as one of its Economic Ambassadors charged with bringing businesses to Virginia.
In April 2005, she made history when she was elected to the Virginia General Assembly as the House of Delegates representative for the 63rd District. She became the first female ever to hold this position from the City of Petersburg and served until 2014. She served on the following committees: Appropriations, General Laws, Privileges and Elections and the Redistricting subcommittee.
Senator Dance made history again when she became the first African American female Senator from Petersburg winning the election for the 16th Senatorial District. Senator Dance was officially sworn in on November 24th, 2014 and served until 2020. She served on the following Senate Committees: Finance, Commerce & Labor, Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources and Privileges and Elections and the Subcommittee on Redistricting. In this capacity, she was summoned to testify in court on two occasions related to the Federal Voting Rights Act.
Mrs. Dance has served on numerous government-related boards and has served in the following capacities: Chairwoman of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Commission, Chairwoman of the Brown vs. Board of Education Commission, and Chairwoman of the Joint Commission on Health Care (JCHC).
Senator Dance served on numerous community related boards and commissions. She is currently a member of: Gillfield Baptist Church in Petersburg, the Petersburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and The Petersburg Links.
Mrs. Dance was married to the late, Nathaniel “Nat” Dance, Jr. for 57 years and they have two children: Tanya (Raphael) DanceKelly, Nathaniel “Nat3” Dance III, 5 grandsons: Rico, DeVon, Jarratt, Liam, Jaden 4 great granddaughters, Denajha, Briana, Desani, Roselynn, 2 great grandsons: Cruiz and Corbin.
Secretary of the Board – Georgia Alvis-Long
Long has been a resident of Virginia for over 35 years. Her immediate family resides in Alabama. As a teenager, Georgia volunteered as a candy striper and found hospital work to be rewarding. She knew almost instantly that she wanted to help others when they were sick and in need of healthcare.
In 1989, Mrs. Alvis-Long graduated from Thomas Nelson Community College, where she earned an Associate Degree in Nursing. She has worked as a registered nurse at Sentara Hampton General Hospital, Bon Secours Mary Immaculate, University of Virginia Medical Center, and Augusta Health. While serving on a number of medical committees and departments, at each hospital, she developed an interest in cardiology. Mrs. Alvis-Long is currently a CPR and Advanced Cardiac Life Support Instructor at Augusta Health in Fishersville, Virginia.
While working as a patient advocate, she was asked to join a nonpartisan, grassroots organization, known as The Coalition to Protect Patients’ Rights where she represented Virginia during the Congressional Healthcare Reform debates. She was the only nurse on the Virginia team.
Since 2009, Georgia has been involved in many statewide and local political activities. She has served as an Officer, Assistant Chief Officer, and Chief Officer of Elections in Augusta County.; Georgia was appointed to the Augusta County Electoral Board in 2019 and was appointed to the Virginia State Board of Elections in May of 2022.
Mrs. Alvis-Long has been married for 27 years to her “soul mate and best friend”, Ed Long. After her husband retired from Langley Research Center in December 2000, the family moved to Augusta County. Together, they have a cat named Freddie Freeloader.
Board Member – Donald W. Merricks
Donald W. Merricks is a native Virginian who has lived in Pittsylvania County his entire life where he has been a banker, business owner and community leader.
He began his banking career as a teller at Schoolfield Bank and Trust in Danville which eventually became a part of First Virginia Bank Piedmont where he rose to executive vice-president. In the mid 1990’s, he left the banking industry to join his wife Patti at the helm of their building specialties company, J. W. Squire Company, Inc. in Danville.
In 2017, the business was sold to his nephew and Mr. Merricks returned to banking as he was named the president and CEO of Virginia Bank & Trust Company. He retired from that position in 2021 and now enjoys spending time with his family and being a gentleman farmer.
Mr. Merricks was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2007 to represent the 16th district in Southern Virginia, made up of the city of Martinsville and parts of Henry and Pittsylvania Counties. He served three terms as a delegate before stepping down in 2014 to spend more time in the business.
Mr. Merricks has been an active member of the community serving on numerous boards over the past 40 years including the Community Foundation of the Dan River Region, the Danville Community College Educational Foundation, the Danville Pittsylvania County Community Services Board, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research and the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. He currently serves as vice chairman of the First National Bank board, President of the Bellevue, Inc. Board, a non-stock, non-profit company serving the intellectually disabled, and is a member and treasurer of the Danville Host Lions Club.
He graduated from Danville Community College with an associate’s degree in business before moving on to Averett College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business. He later earned his MBA from Averett College. He lives with his wife of 47 years in Pittsylvania County where they are active members of Chatham Baptist Church.
Board Member - Matthew Weinstein
Matthew Weinstein is a long-time resident of Virginia. Matthew got his first start working on voting issues as a college intern at the United States Department of Justice’s Voting Rights Section in the summer of 2005. After graduating from college, Matthew moved to Northern Virginia for a job on Capitol Hill. Matthew then spent several years working in government affairs and journalism before heading to law school at George Mason University. Matthew worked as a legal fellow for U.S. Senator Mark Warner throughout law school.
During Matthew’s time in Senator Warner’s office he developed a passion for Virginia politics and elections. Matthew turned that passion into working on several statewide campaigns where he helped campaigns navigate Virginia’s election administration process. Matthew then got firsthand experience working on state legislative issues in the General Assembly by working as the Chief of Staff for Delegate Rip Sullivan from 2014-2017. While working for Delegate Sullivan, Matthew helped draft election-related legislation, including several bills that became law.
Following his time in the General Assembly, Matthew decided to practice land use law at a regional law firm in Arlington, Virginia. Matthew then moved over to McGuireWoods LLP’s Tyson’s Corner office where his practice focuses on land use, utilities, and Virginia ABC law. Matthew has been recognized on Best Lawyers’ “Ones to Watch” list in 2022 and 2023.
Matthew served as a member of the Arlington Electoral Board from 2020-2022. Matthew’s term on the Arlington Electoral Board included serving as chair in 2021.
State Board of Elections Meeting Information
Board Meeting Information for Virginia State Board of Elections including meeting dates, agendas, and working papers, can be found on the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall website.