Governing Board

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The U.S. Virgin Islands Economic Authority is managed by a seven-member board. 

Jose` A. Penn
Chairman of the Board

Jose` A. Penn represents the island of St. John on the USVIEDA Board and is also Chairman of the Enterprise Zone Commission (EZC). He is chief financial officer of his family's group of businesses:  Penns' Apartment Rental, Inc.; Penns' Jeep Rental, Inc. and Penns' Trucking Services, Inc.  Mr. Penn obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from the University of the Virgin Islands and serves on the following Boards:  Virgin Islands Board of Land Use Appeals; Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park Advisory Board; the Virgin Islands Port Authority; the St. Thomas/St. John Horse Racing Commission; Junior Achievement of the Virgin Islands and the Julius E. Sprauve School Charitable Trust.  He is also a member of the St. Thomas - St. John Chamber of Commerce, Inc. and is a charter and honorary member of the Rotary Club of St. John, Inc.

Philip Payne
Vice Chairman of the Board

Philip Payne is a long-time resident and business owner in the U.S. Virgin Islands and lives on the island of St. Croix. He is the owner and CEO of Dyer & Payne, Inc. which consists of National Parts Virgin Islands, Dyer & Payne Distributing and Global Solutions. Mr. Payne has spent 35 years in the automotive industry and 10 years in the paper & plastics industry. He has served on numerous boards including the Beacon Schools of the V.I., vice chairman of the Automotive Association of the Southeast U.S., National Jobber Council for Parts Plus, Board of Trustees for the Insurance Trust of Alabama and Sponsor of the Governor’s Virgin Islands Youth Games. Mr. Payne was educated at Marietta School of Technology majoring in Automotive Technology and Business Management.

Avery L. Lewis
Board Secretary

Recognized as a “highly qualified and certified elementary education teacher” by the Virgin Islands Board of Education, Mr. Avery L. Lewis is an elementary school teacher at the Ulla F. Muller Elementary School on St. Thomas. Born and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Mr. Lewis is a proud product of the public education system. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of the Virgin Islands, he is pursuing a Masters degree in Administration. Passionate about the rights of the working class, Mr. Lewis is active in several local and national labor unions, and labor-related associations and organizations. He serves as president of the Virgin Islands Central Labor Council, co-chair of the Labor Management Committee, a member of the Virgin Islands Unemployment Advisory Council, and first vice-president of the St. Thomas-St. John Federation of Teachers Local 1825.

Eugene Farrell
Board Member

Eugene Farrell is Governor Kenneth E. Mapp’s Senior Policy Advisor on Justice, Law Enforcement, Security and Emergency Operations (JLESEO). Mr. Farrell possesses over 30 years of successful management and leadership experience within the U.S. Armed Forces, Civilian Emergency Response System and past experience as a proprietor of three small businesses. Mr. Farrell has a reputation for meeting the most challenging and demanding organizational goals and objectives. He is a pragmatic and focused leader recognized for making the seemingly impossible situations a reality. Mr. Farrell is a graduate of the University of the Virgin Islands with degrees in Business Management, Marketing, and a post-graduate degree in Public Administration.

Haldane Davies, Ph.D.
Board Member

Haldane Davies, Ph.D., serves as Vice President for Business Development and Innovation at the University of the Virgin Islands. Dr. Davies holds a doctorate in Philosophy degree in Educational Administration with a focus on higher education from Andrews University. He is also a strategic planner, certified mediator, trainer, accreditation evaluator, competency assessor, and a member of the Baldrige Board of Examiners. Dr. Davies, who is also Executive Director of the Foundation for the University of the Virgin Islands, holds certificates in related areas from Harvard University, Cornell University, the University of the West Indies and Yale University.

Juan Figueroa, Sr.
Board Member

Juan Figueroa, Sr. is the Executive Director Designee for the Virgin Islands Lottery. He also sits as a member of the Economic Development Authority Board. Mr. Figueroa is a Retired Major from the United States Army. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education with a concentration in Oboe Performance from the Puerto Rico’s Conservatory of Music and a Master’s of Arts Degree in Management and Supervision with a concentration in Health Care Administration. Mr. Figueroa is a former board member of the Virgin Islands Mental Health Planning /Advisory Council and member of the Virgin Islands State Planning Grant Project.

Catherine Hendry, Esquire
Board Member

Catherine Hendry, Esq. was born in Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.  Attorney Hendry is the Commissioner of the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Labor. She is a member of the Virgin Islands Workforce Investment Board and the Virgin Islands Certified Public Manager Board.  Attorney Hendry earned her Juris Doctorate from St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami, Florida, and attended the Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Environmental Science and Sociology.

Title 29 VIC Chapter 21 creates the Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority and its board. The law states that the members of the board shall be seven (7) in numbers. Three members shall be appointed by the Governor from amongst the heads of cabinet-level executive departments or agencies or his executive staff. Three shall not be employees of the Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands and shall represent each of the Virgin Islands. And one member must be appointed from the Board of Executive Staff of the Government Employee Retirement System, Virgin Islands Port Authority, or the University of the Virgin Islands.