North Carolina Governor-Elect Pat McCrory announced that he will appoint Thomas Stith to serve as Chief of Staff in the Office of the Governor, Ambassador Aldona Wos, M.D. to serve as the Secretary of Health and Human Services and John Skvarla to serve as the Secretary of Environmental and Natural Resources.
In announcing these appointments, McCrory outlined several broad directives for his cabinet going forward, including: (1) instituting a culture of customer service to state government, (2) identifying and implementing efficiencies in state government, (3) collaborating and sharing resources across departments and agencies and (4) instituting the highest ethical standards while serving in government.
“As I have said throughout this transition process, first and foremost I am looking for talented individuals to join our team who can run the government in the most effective way possible. Thomas, Aldona and John certainly meet those qualifications, and I am excited they have agreed to be part of our team,” said McCrory.
McCrory added, “My top priority as governor is to ensure we have the framework in place that will unleash our state’s incredible resources to create jobs, grow our economy and ensure that North Carolina exceeds its potential. We are building a strong team that will help ensure those goals are met.”
Thomas Stith is currently on leave as Program Director for Economic Development for the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at UNC-Chapel Hill, serving as Executive Director for Governor-Elect Pat McCrory’s Transition Team. Stith’s past positions include co-founder and President of the Michael Thomas Group and Vice President of the John W. Pope Civitas Institute. His public service includes three consecutive terms on the Durham City Council. Stith earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees (with honors) from North Carolina Central University.
Ambassador Aldona Wos, M.D. is currently serving on the UNC Board of Governors and as an Honorary Chair of Governor-Elect Pat McCrory’s Transition Team. She earned her medical degree from Warsaw Medical Academy and has served as a practicing physician in private practice, corporate medicine and has served in a teaching and consulting for both hospitals and private industry. A native of Warsaw, Poland, Ambassador Wos served as United States Ambassador to Estonia from 2004 to 2006.
John Skvarla currently serves as CEO of Restoration Systems, a premiere environmental and ecological restoration company based in Raleigh. Skvarla has extensive experience in growing business, having served as CEO and COO of several companies including The Aviation Group, Inc. and Pro Active Therapy, Inc. Skvarla holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Manhattan College in New York and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law.
Below are complete bios on each of today’s announced appointments.
Further announcements regarding additional appointments in the McCrory Administration will continue to be made in the weeks ahead leading up to the January 5th swearing-in ceremony.
Thomas A. Stith, III
Thomas A. Stith, III currently serves as Transition Director for Governor-Elect Pat McCrory. In this role, he oversees a staff of over 20 tasked with identifying and populating the incoming administration with talented individuals with a myriad of skillsets needed for over 300 positions. In this role, he is also helping guide and develop the policy blueprint for the incoming governor as he begins his administration.
Stith has also served most recently as program director for economic development for the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. He led the Institute’s economic development efforts, emphasizing on the unique challenges facing North Carolina’s eastern region. His focus is on policy development for the eastern region as its agricultural-based economy integrates with new technologies like renewable energy, defense contracting, aerospace, destination development, and the proliferation of high-growth companies within the region.
Stith’s career has included experience in policy-level public positions and Fortune 250 private-sector organizations along with several entrepreneurial ventures. He served on the Durham (N.C.) City Council for three consecutive terms.
Stith earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees (with honors) from North Carolina Central University.
Dr. Aldona Z. Wos
Dr. Aldona Zofia Wos was born in Warsaw, Poland. She earned her medical degree at the Warsaw Medical Academy, and completed her internship and residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in Pulmonary Medicine in New York. Her experiences include time as a physician in private practice, corporate medicine, attending physician duties, clinical care, teaching and consulting for both hospitals and private industry.
She is licensed to practice medicine in both New York and North Carolina and she practiced medicine in New York for a number of years. She has been a member of the American Medical Association, and American College of Physicians, the Greater Greensboro Society of Medicine and the North Carolina Medical Society.
In May 2009, Greensboro College presented Ambassador Wos with an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities.
She was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2004 to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Estonia. She concluded her tour as Ambassador on December 17, 2006. During her tenure as Ambassador, Wos focused on winning the hearts and minds of the next generation of Estonian leaders, Russian integration, HIV/AIDS prevention in Estonia, and the preservation of Estonian culture.
Ambassador Wos is the daughter of Paul Zenon Wos, who is a survivor of Flossenburg Concentration Camp, former member of the Polish Home Army (AK) and recipient of ýRighteous Among the Nationsý medal from Yad Vashem, among other distinguished awards. As a child of a survivor, Ambassador Wos is passionate about presenting and preserving full and accurate information about the Polish experience during World War II. In 2002, President George W. Bush appointed Ambassador Wos to serve on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council and was re-appointed in 2004.
Ambassador Wos has served on numerous boards of philanthropic and community organizations including the United Way of Greater Greensboro, Family Services of the Piedmont, Hospice Palliative Care of Greensboro, and the National Conference of Community of Justice, Triad Stage Theatre and the Sterling South Bank & Trust Company.
In June 2006, the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. presented Ambassador Wos with an honorary Doctorate of Laws.
She is currently serving on the UNC Board of Governors and as an Honorary Chair of Governor-Elect Pat McCrory’s Transition Team.
Ambassador Wos and her husband, Louis DeJoy, have a set of twins.
John Skvarla currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Restoration Systems, a premiere environmental and ecological restoration company based in Raleigh. As CEO, Skvarla guides the company in its work of restoring and protecting land and water.
Prior to joining Restoration Systems, he has served as Managing Director of an investment banking office in Raleigh and turned around a waste products manufacturing company with primary offices in Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Chicago.
His professional career began with the practice of law in 1973, where he served as an associate, and subsequently partner, of a boutique business and tax firm. In 1978, Skvarla founded and served as Senior Partner to the Raleigh, NC-based law firm of Skvarla, Wyrick and Robbins, specializing in corporate and tax matters, as well as public and private capital formations. The organization currently operates as Wyrick, Robbins, Yates and Ponton with 75 attorneys and specializes in growth business law.
From 1984 through 1986, Skvarla held the position of Chief Operating Officer of The Aviation Group, Inc. During his tenure, the company emerged as the world’s largest all-cargo airline, providing start-up and flight operation services to UPS, Emery, Purlator Courier and Burlington Northern in the overnight package industry. His responsibilities with The Aviation Group encompassed management of all operations, including 1,200 employees and 400 unionized pilots, and direct involvement in all public and private financing negotiations.
From 1987 to 1998 Skvarla held the position of Chief Executive Officer and Director for Pro Active Therapy, Inc. in Raleigh, NC. His accomplishments with the company include the acquisition and operation of over 75 physical therapy centers utilizing 450 employees in the states of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Skvarla held responsibility for all aspects of the company, including debt and equity financing transactions until its sale to NovaCare in July of 1998.
Skvarla holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Manhattan College in New York and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law. His accomplishments also include appointments to the Board of Directors for the UNC School of Law Foundation, School of Nursing Foundation and the Law Entrepreneurial Council. He has also served as the President of the Board of Visitors at Peace College in Raleigh, North Carolina.