Leesburg’s Town Council members are no strangers to the Virginia Municipal League (VML), but in its 111 years history the organization has never elected a Leesburg representative as its president.
At that changed at VML’s annual conference in Virginia Beach this week, where Leesburg Town Council Member Katie Sheldon Hammler was elected president-elect.
If re-elected on Nov. 8 by Leesburg voters, Hammler will become VML’s president for a one-year term beginning with its next annual conference in Oct. 2017. Gordonsville Mayor Robert Coiner was elected president and Newport News Council member Patricia Woodbury was elected vice president for the upcoming twelve month term.
VML is a statewide, non-profit, non-partisan association of city, town and county governments established in 1905 to improve and assist local governments through legislative advocacy, research, education and other services. The membership includes all 38 cities in Virginia along with 160 towns and ten counties.
“I congratulate Council Member Katie Hammler on her election as president-elect of the Virginia Municipal League,” said Leesburg Mayor David Butler. “This is a first in Leesburg’s history! The election is a testament to Council Member Hammler’s hard work and value to VML’s members, and will certainly help Leesburg’s visibility and influence across Virginia and with the General Assembly. I hope all Leesburg residents will join me in congratulating Katie on this historic achievement.”
“I am sincerely humbled that I have been elected by VML’s town, city and county members to serve as president-elect,” Hammler said. “ I will energetically leverage my VML leadership role to create positive change for Leesburg, and for all municipalities in the Commonwealth, for one of the key things I’ve learned as a twelve year incumbent is how significant the laws at the state level impact local taxpayers in the form of unfunded mandates, or decreasing funds of state-level responsibility. It is only by working collaboratively that we can achieve our collective goals.”
Hammler has served on the VML Executive Committee since 2011, first as town section chair, then as an at-large member and most recently as vice president. She also chaired VML’s Community and Economic Development committee and was a member of its Legislative Committee.
Hammler was first elected to the Leesburg Town Council in 2004, served as vice mayor from 2008-2010, and will complete her third four-year term this year.
She earned a Bachelor’s in International Relations from Brown University, an MBA in Information Systems Management from The George Washington University, and is a certified Virginia Planning Commissioner. A former Captain in the U.S. Army Reserves, Hammler has worked as a high-tech marketing professional for over 25 years for firms such as Telos, VeriSign and Alcatel Data Networks. She and her husband, Rich, also an Army veteran, have two children and have lived in Leesburg for over 22 years.