Valerie Butler is a candidate for Smithfield Town Council. Her name will appear on the ballot on Nov. 8, 2022.

10 On Your Side reached out to all of the candidates running in this race. If you do not see a candidate listed with a profile, we did not receive one.

See who is on your ballot by viewing the candidate lists on the Virginia Department of Elections website.

Name: Valerie Butler

Race: Isle of Wight Town Council

Biography: Valerie Butler provided the following biographical information to 10 On Your Side.

Professional experience:

  • Town of Smithfield councilwoman, 2018 to present: Represent the citizens of the town of Smithfield to enhance their quality of life by working cooperatively with town staff, County Governance Board and the community for the purpose of promoting public health, safety, order, prosperity and other services. I am committed to providing the highest quality services and meeting the present and future needs of the community in a fiscally responsible manner.
  • Realtor, 2018 to present: Developing relationships with individuals and assisting them in realizing their dream of homeownership through education and advocacy while delivering excellent service. I have an extensive banking career that started in 1993 and have worked in several phases of banking.
  • Commercial banking relationship manager at SunTrust Bank, 2000 to 2017 (retired): Manage, grow and maintain a portfolio of approximately 80 clients with profitable loan and deposit volume, treasury solutions and non-interest income from businesses with annual sales up to $20 million through cross sell, referrals and direct sells. Expected annual growth of portfolio is 10%.
  • Branch management at SunTrust Bank, 1996 to 2000: Responsible for driving retail branch performance results through direction, leadership and execution of superior sales and service behaviors and activities by the entire branch team in order to meet/exceed sales goals. Plan, organize, direct and control the activities of a branch and ensure effective execution of the bank’s operating model. Ensure staff provides service quality excellence through best practices by leading, motivating, monitoring, coaching, rewarding staff for service quality performance/behavior.
  • Assistant branch management at SunTrust Bank, 1983 to 1996
  • Held various banking positions with First Union Bank (formerly Bank of Smithfield)

Education and qualifications

  • Alpha College of Real Estate
  • Attended Virginia Commonwealth University and Thomas Nelson Community College
  • Certifications: Omega Performance Certificate for Commercial Lending, Certificates of Completion Diplomas from American Institute of Banking in the following areas: Foundations of Banking Diploma, Consumer Credit Diploma and Commercial Lending Diploma.
  • Graduate of 2016 LEAD Hampton Roads Leadership Class

Volunteer involvement

  • Isle of Wight NAACP/President for 14 years: Lead the oldest Civil Rights organization while working to disrupt inequality, dismantle racism, and accelerate change in key areas including criminal justice, health care, education, climate and the economy. It is through this leadership position that I have been involved in closing health disparities in our community, especially with our minority citizens and have been able to bring needed services during the pandemic.
  • Health-related events partnering with the health department, Sentara Hospital and Riverside Hospital, including: COVID testing events (tested up to 400 persons), COVID vaccine events (3 large events, 2 small events, vaccinated up to 825 persons), COVID booster event (provided booster shots for approximately 300 persons), and participate on a weekly call to discuss COVID 19 and updates.
  • Riverside Regional Board of Directors
  • Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce
  • STOP Organization of Hampton Roads/ Board of Directors
  • Isle of Wight County Christian Outreach Program
  • Windsor Castle Park Foundation Board
  • Virginia Municipal League
  • Hampton Roads Realtors Association
  • American Diabetes Association
  • Member of Main Street Baptist Church

Why should residents elect you to Town Council?

I am just finishing up my first term on Smithfield Town Council and am running for re-election for a second term. I am a Smithfield native and ran first term on that as well as my professional experience in finance and commercial banking and leadership and community involvement.

My platform was to be an advocate for public safety, an advocate for all people and promote policies for economic development. The town of Smithfield is a beautiful charming town on the banks of the Pagan River and is defined as a “happy place” by a few of my friends. We have several projects planned over the next several years and this second term will allow me to serve and the citizens and be a part of them.

A few things I am most proud of during my first term are approval of Riverside/Smithfield Hospital, final relocation phase of Pinewood Heights and Mallory/Scott Farm subdivision as the developer has ensured some of the properties will be priced as affordable housing. I still plan to serve with transparency, honesty  and availability to listen to the citizens I serve. 

What are the top three priorities you would tackle if elected?

Since this is my re-election year, there are some areas that remain important to me:

  1. Continually being fiscally responsible
  2. Managing growth and development
  3. Town services and infrastructure

What is the most pressing economic issue facing your community, and how would you address it?

Our town is growing exponentially with residential properties. Providing for a strong productive and diverse local economy with a focus on small business growth and employment opportunities is a great need. We have the perfect area for this: the Old Pinewood Heights Area. This was a residential community, and we relocated the residents to enhance their livability. The last persons relocated from this area and it is the town’s goal to develop it into an industrial park. There has been a lot of interest.

What are your community’s biggest infrastructure needs, and how do you plan to fulfill them?

As I mentioned we have a large residential community planned and mixed use project. They both will pose some challenges traveling about town, especially when citizens are commuting. We are aware of this and are working with the right partners to resolve this as best we can.

How is gun violence impacting your community, and how do you plan to address gun violence?

Unlike surrounding areas in the 757, we have been blessed not to have this problem. Our police department is active in the community and has an open door policy for citizens. Hopefully with this kind of relationship with law enforcement it will deter this kind of crime in our community.