John Avoli was the Mayor of Staunton, Virginia from 1992 to 2016 and Director of the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia (FCMV) from 2001 to 2017. He is currently a member of the Virginia state House of Delegates.
As Director of FCMV (where the Igbo World Festival is hosted annually), John developed growing fondness for the Festival and became friends with scores of Igbo people. These friendships have helped in many ways including outreach to the business and religious communities in Staunton and nearby towns – which John helped facilitate to assist CISA’s community outreach efforts.
On his own initiative, John also arranged an in-person meeting between CISA members, Gov Ralph Northam and members of Virginia House of Delegates in July 2020 to explore topics of mutual interest. Although the meeting was canceled due to Covid-19 safety concerns, it is among many examples of thoughtful acts that John has taken in his official and unofficial capacity, which led to positive impact for CISA and the Igbo community in America.
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