City Council Members

​​​​​​​​​​​​Virginia Beach operates under the Council-Manager form of government. The 11-member City Council is the city's legislative body. The city manager is appointed by the Council and acts as chief executive officer. Through his staff, the City Manager implements policies established by Council.

Members of Council serve four-year terms and are elected on a staggered basis. Three Council members and the mayor serve "at large" with no district residency requirement. All others are required to live in the districts they represent.


Will Sessoms is a lifelong Virginia Beach resident who began his political career in 1988 as an at large member of City Council.    In 1992, his fellow council members selected him to be Vice Mayor, a position he held for 10 years.  He was elected Mayor in 2008, and re-elected in 2012.  Following a 35-year career in banking, Mayor Sessoms retired as President/CEO of Towne Financial Services Group in 2014.

In 2012, Mayor Sessoms was recognized as Elected Official of the Year by the Association of Defense Communities "for critical role he played in leading and gathering support for Virginia Beach's effort to turn back encroachment" threatening Naval Air Station Oceana. 

Mayor Sessoms chairs the Oceana Land Use Conformity Committee, and serves on the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission (HRTAC) and the Board of Visitors of Old Dominion University. He is on the executive committee and board of directors of the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance. 

As past chair of HRTAC, Mayor Sessoms led successful efforts to fund and launch transformative regional transportation projects that will stamp out congestion throughout Hampton Roads, including I-64/I-264 interchange improvements and a third Hampton Roads crossing between the Southside and the Peninsula.

He is past chairman of the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization and the Hampton Roads Military & Federal Facilities Alliance. As chairman of the HRTPO, Mayor Sessoms effectively led the region in prioritizing its major road projects, resulting in significant state funding. 

In 2014, Mayor Sessoms established the Virginia Beach Biomedical and Health Sciences Task Force to explore the creation of a bio-medical and healthcare hub in the Princess Anne Commons area of Virginia Beach. 

In 2011, Mayor Sessoms created Envision Virginia Beach 2040 , a group of bright, passionate and dedicated community activists charged with providing a thoughtful vision for Virginia Beach to achieve by 2040.  The group formed a Vision to Action Coalition to educate citizens about the vision's details and monitor and report on the city's progress toward achieving the vision. 

In 2010, he launched the Mayor's Action Challenge for Children and Families, a community-wide approach to providing youth and families with accessible, affordable and sustainable opportunities to improve their quality of life. 

During his first year as Mayor, he created an Alternative Energy Task Force to explore new energy sources for the city, region and commonwealth.​

Louis Jones

Vice Mayor

​Vice Mayor Jones Vice Mayor Jones is president and owner of Holloman-Brown Funeral Home, Inc., and Tidewater Cemetery Corporation.  He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from the College of William & Mary (Old Dominion University) and is a graduate of the Echols College of Mortuary Science.  He serves on the Virginia State Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers.

Vice Mayor Jones is involved in his local community in many capacities.  He is a former Mayor of the City of Virginia Beach.  He has served 27 years on the City Council representing the Bayside District.  He is also a former chairman and currently represents the city on the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission and is a former chairman of the Hampton Roads Metropolitan Planning Organization. 

He serves as the City Council liaison to several organizations, including the Water Task Force Committee, the Bayfront Advisory Commission, the Oceana Land Use Conformity Committee, the Pembroke Strategic Growth Area Policy Committee and the Town Center Committee. ​

Mr. Jones is a member of Bayside Presbyterian Church.

Jessica Abbott

Councilmember, Kempsville
Jessica Abbott was born to two Air Force veterans in Colorado Springs, CO and has been managing her family’s insurance business (Matt Abbott State Farm) in Kempsville since 2008. She graduated from Kellam High School in 2007, graduated from the American College of Financial Services in 2015 with LUTCF and FSCP designations and is a FEMA-certified flood insurance agent. She has founded two nonprofit organizations for local women, one for teaching self-defense and the other as a networking group for other female entrepreneurs. At 27, she is the youngest-ever elected official in Virginia Beach. She lives in Indian Lakes with her husband, Matthew Cheatham, and son, Desmond.

Ben Davenport

Councilmember, At Large

A native of Virginia Beach, Councilmember Davenport is a residential real estate broker. He is a product of the Virginia Beach Public School system and attended Trantwood Elementary, Great Neck Middle & Frank W. Cox High School.  Davenport continues a long line of leadership in municipal government, beginning with his great-great grandfather and his great grandfather serving on the Princess Anne County Board of Supervisors, as well as his grandfather serving on the Virginia Beach City Council.  His heritage is deep-rooted and he brings a lot of historical significance to the City Council.  He leads the Hampton Roads Broadband Initiative which is credited with luring the first Trans Atlantic Subsea Cables in the Mid Atlantic Region in a partnership with Facebook, Telefonica & Microsoft.  In addition he leads the effort to attract the data center industry to Hampton Roads earning the nickname “Broadband Ben”.  He is currently working on creating a regional open access fiber network that can serve as a middle mile to new incoming ISP’s and is passionate about keeping Hampton Roads on the cutting edge of technology.  He is the City Council liaison to the Beaches and Waterways Commission, Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Board, Military Economic Development Advisory Committee and The Planning Council.  In addition to running his family business, he enjoys volunteering in the community.  He and his family attend All Saints Episcopal Church. ​​​

Robert Dyer

Councilmember, Centerville

​Councilmember Dyer is serving his fourth term on the City Council and represents the Centerville District. He currently serves as an assistant professor in the School of Government at Regent University, where he teaches public administration.  In 1976 he earned a bachelor's degree in physical therapy from Saint Louis University and in 1982 a master's in public administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He earned his Ph.D. in organizational leadership from Regent University in 2001. Dyer served in the United States Marine Corps from 1968 to 1972. During his career, he worked as a practicing physical therapist, health care executive and business consultant, as well as college educator. He currently serves as the City Council liaison to the Minority Business Council, Human Rights Commission, and the Process Improvement Task Force, which he initiated.  He has also been appointed to serve on the Hampton Roads Planning Commission and the Governor's Task Force for Local Government Mandate Review.  Bob and his wife, Trish, live in the Lake Christopher section of the Centerville District and have two children and two grandchildren.  ​

Barbara Henley

Councilmember, Princess Anne

​Councilmember Henley is a graduate of Old Dominion University with a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's in urban studies.  She taught school in the city's public schools system and is serving her eighth term on City Council.  Mrs. Henley represented the Pungo Borough from 1978 to 1990, during which time she served two years as Vice Mayor.  She served on City Council again from 1994 to 2002, and returned to represent the Princess Anne District in 2006.  A partner in Henley Farms, LP, Henley is a board member of the Princess Anne County/Virginia Beach Historical Society.  She also serves as the Council Liaison to the Agricultural Advisory Commission, the Bikeways and Trails Advisory Commission and the Open Space Advisory Commission, among others.  She also has been appointed to serve on the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission.  She is the author of Glimpses of Down-Country History: Southern Princess Anne County.   

Shannon Kane

Councilmember, Rose Hall
Councilmember Kane is a strong advocate for entrepreneurship, as well as the value of volunteerism and nonprofit groups in the community. She is president and founder of marketing firm, EWR Management Group in Virginia Beach and currently serves as president of the board of the Alzheimer’s Association of Southeast Virginia.  Before starting her own business, she was senior director of Physicians for Peace, president of Junior Achievement of Greater Hampton Roads, executive director of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and district director of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. She is active in many civic groups, and is the former president of the Virginia Beach Jaycees, chairman of the Lynnhaven River Day of VB2007 and a past foundation president of the East Coast Surfing Championships. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and public relations from James Madison University. She was appointed to represent the Rose Hall District effective Jan. 1, 2014, and elected effective Jan. 1, 2015, and re-elected for a second term beginning Jan 1, 2017.  She serves as City Council liaison to the Minority Business Council, Human Rights Commission, the Hampton Roads Planning Council, the Virginia Beach Community Development Corporation, the Clean Community Commission and the Technology Committee. She lives in Salem Woods with her husband, Patrick, and son, Spencer.

John Moss

Councilmember, At Large

​Councilmember Moss was re-elected to the City Council in November 2014 following a special election in November 2011.  He served two prior terms on City Council, as the Kempsville Borough Representative (1986 - 1990) and as an at large member (1992 - 1995).  Moss serves as the Director of the Submarine Program Requirements and Warfare Development for the Commander Submarines Force Atlantic.  He championed resident-focused civic interest for a decade as the chairman of the Virginia Beach Taxpayers Alliance (2001-2011).  Moss is a member of the Virginia Beach Republican City Committee and is active in Boy Scout Troop 375.  John is a graduate of Princess Anne High School, Virginia Tech, Old Dominion University and the Naval War College, as well as the Senior Federal Fellows Program, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.  The Moss family resides in the Bayside Borough.  John, Kathy, Thomas and Katie are members of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church.

John Uhrin

Councilmember, Beach

​Councilmember Uhrin is serving his third term on City Council.  He grew up in a Navy family near Lynnhaven Mall, attended Brookwood Elementary, Plaza Junior High School and graduated from Kellam High School in 1986. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing and finance from Old Dominion University. He started his career in the hospitality industry in high school, as a groundskeeper for the Schooner Inn.  In 1991, he was named director of operations for Burlage Management and currently oversees the operation of multiple hotels at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.  Uhrin serves as City Council liaison to several organizations, including the Military Economic Development Advisory Committee, the Legislation Coordination Committee, the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, the Resort Advisory Commission, the Virginia Beach Arena Project, the Virginia Aquarium Foundation and the Dome Site and Rudee Loop projects. ​

Rosemary Wilson

Councilmember, At Large

​Councilmember  Wilson has held elected office since 1996 - first with the School Board (1996 to 2000, including being vice chairman), then with the City Council (2000 to present).  A graduate of Bayside High School and Old Dominion University, Wilson is a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Towne Realty.  Recognized in 2012 by Lawyer's Weekly, as one of the Most Influential Women in Virginia, Wilson was also appointed by Governor McDonnell to the Fair Housing Board and the Local Government Advisory Board to the Chesapeake Bay.  She was honored by Inside Business in 2007 with the Women in Business Achievement Award, and by the Virginia Beach Education Association in 1999 with the Friend of Education Award.  She is a fellow of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia, and the Civic Leadership Institute at Old Dominion University. The honorary chair of Relay for Life 2009, Wilson has served as president of the Virginia Municipal League and as chairman of the league's Human Development and Education Committee, as well as the Federal Advocacy Council. In 2016, Wilson was named Volunteer of the Year from the Virginia Society of Recreation and Parks and is the co-chair for Cycle for Survival, a non-profit that raises money for rare cancer research. She is also the City Council liaison to the Historic Preservation Commission, the Virginia Beach Development Authority and the Workforce Housing Committee, among others.


James Wood

Councilmember, Lynnhaven

Councilmember Wood​ was first elected to City Council in 2002 and is now serving his fourth consecutive term.  A 1981 graduate of Princess Anne High School, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree with special attainments in commerce from Washington and Lee University in 1985 and a Master of Arts degree in history from Sam Houston State University in 2016.  After college, he served his community as a Virginia Beach police officer and was assigned to various specialty units, including DUI enforcement and a precinct-level anticrime team.  He owns and manages firms engaged in commercial and general contracting and residential and commercial property management. 

He is a commissioner and chairman of the Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads and was appointed by the Senate of Virginia to the Joint Subcommittee to Address Recurrent Flooding.  He is City Council liaison to the Audit Committee, Hampton Roads Transit, the Volunteer Council, the Town Center project, Sister Cities, the Technology Committee and the Bayfront Advisory Committee.  He is past president of the Rotary Club of Cape Henry and past Assistant Governor for the Virginia Beach area, and has served in leadership roles on the boards of many volunteer and nonprofit organizations.    

Jim and his wife, Rebecca, live in the Kings Grant area and have a son who is an attorney, a daughter working in higher education in Europe and two grandsons.