Jay is a 10-year Veteran of the United States Navy. Following his Navy career, Jay spent 12 years as a corporate trainer for the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). While working for UNOS, a company dedicated to saving lives through organ transplantation, Jay was a three pack a day smoker and had smoked for 30+ years. Once he discovered vaping, Jay was able to quit traditional tobacco cigarettes within 48 hours, and it then became Jay’s calling to help as many people as he could quit smoking. May 1st, 2013 Jay opened Voltage Vapin’ Inc., one of the first vapor shops in Virginia. Today, Jay’s main focus is on vaping industry advocacy to promote tobacco harm reduction and fighting for vaper’s rights. As President of VSFA, Jay led the Virginia Smoke Free Association to join the Vapor Technology Association. For the past four years, VSFA and its lobbyists have been working side-by-side with Vapor Technology Association on effective strategies to defend our industry in both locally and nationally.
Yan founded Vape Guys in 2014 in Virginia, and was recently recognized by Inc Magazine 5000 as one of America’s fastest growing companies. Vape Guys, Inc. is a leading retailer, manufacturer and distributor of vapor products. Yan has multiple retail locations throughout Virginia in addition to an e-liquid manufacturing and distribution center. Yan distributes vapor products worldwide, throughout 15 countries. Yan is a very active supporter of the vaping and cannabis industries and serves as a board member of the Virginia Smoke Free Association as well as the Cannabis Business of Virginia Association.
Duane Lassiter is a co-owner of 7 Cities Vapes based in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. We currently have four locations in the area. My partners and I are lifelong friends, and we were long time smokers of deadly combustible cigarettes. In 2012, I discovered electronic cigarettes, and decided to make the switch to a reduced risk alternative. By 2013, all of my business partners had made the switch as well, but at that time, there were no real shops to cater to our needs. We then decided to open a retail store to help others have access to this life changing product. We have always run a responsible shop, offering product and industry knowledge, advocating for safety, and educating our customers. We are founding members of the VSFA, and have held a seat on the board of the VSFA since inception.
Maggie is responsible for all public and government relations for AVAIL. Maggie spent the last five years building the AVAIL brand, developing the communications’ platforms and providing marketing strategy.
In 2017, Maggie was instrumental in the launch of the Global Vaping Standards Association (GVSA) and currently oversees advocacy, US regulatory affairs, membership, operations and communications efforts. Previously, Maggie worked as a marketing consultant with multiple clients in healthcare, education, real estate and specialty foods, focusing on brand and account management, research and public relations. Prior to consulting, Maggie was an account and operations manager for the advertising, public relations and brand agencies of Arnold Worldwide and BSMG Worldwide. Maggie has over 25 years of marketing and communications expertise building international brands. She was also the co-founder of a national in-home painting party business, Pretty in Paint, LLC. Maggie is a proud board member of the VSFA and oversees the Communications Committee.
Maggie is a graduate of East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing Management. She also serves on the board of the Virginia Smoke Free Association and chairs the Communications Committee.
Noelle worked in the healthcare insurance industry for 14 years before opening RVA Vapes in Richmond, VA in 2013. A vaper of eight years, she is passionate of the industry and advocating for safer alternatives for adult smokers. Noelle is also a founding board member of the VFSA.
LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS TEAM
Steve Baril has been actively engaged in the political process and the Richmond business community for over 30 years. A former candidate for the Republican nomination for Virginia Attorney General, Steve was appointed by Governor Bob McDonnell to serve as co-chair of his Jobs Commission’s New Business Recruitment and Retention Committee. Steve was also appointed by Governor Jim Gilmore to serve on the Criminal Justice Services Board. He currently serves as chairman of the College Board of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, and on the boards of ChamberRVA, Venture Richmond, and Richmond’s Future. Steve has served on the board of, and as general counsel to, the Greater Richmond Partnership, and he has a long history of service in other leadership capacities in Richmond.
Steve also has over 30 years of experience handling a wide variety of complex business litigation and disputes. He has been consistently recognized by his peers as a distinguished trial lawyer and is listed among Best Lawyers in America in several categories, as well as among Virginia’s Super Lawyers and Legal Elite.
Dylan Bishop brings knowledge and experience from nearly every aspect of the political and legislative arenas He comes from the office of Senator Charles W. “Bill” Carrico, where he served as Chief of Staff and Legislative Aide to the Chairman of both the Senate Transportation Committee and the Joint Commission on Health Care.
Prior to his tenure in the legislature, Dylan worked as a legislative policy analyst for the Department of Motor Vehicles and was awarded the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Pinnacle Award for his work in crafting the regulatory framework for companies like Uber and Lyft. He also has effectively lobbied for a diverse group of business interests and trade associations before the Virginia General Assembly, and has managed successful political campaigns and grass roots initiatives across the Commonwealth.
Dylan is also an Associate at Kaplan, Voekler, Cunningham & Frank, PLC, where he has an administrative and regulatory practice.