On February 7, 2020 Virginia Voice lost an amazing advocate and leader; our chief executive officer Jim Wark passed away after a brief illness. As an organization, we are resolute that the work in which Jim believed so strongly will continue for the community. Our Board of Directors and Staff have formulated a plan that will sustain the organization until a new CEO is named. Among Jim’s lasting legacy is the strength and resolve of Virginia Voice’s amazing staff and its dedicated board. We will honor his legacy by continuing to provide exceptional service to the community. Over the past few weeks we have seen many expressions of love and admiration for all of Jim’s accomplishments from the Central Virginia community. It is our honor to present this tribute to Jim. Explore this page to find interviews with Jim’s friends, bandmates, and coworkers, testimonials from those who knew him best, and articles written in the wake of his passing. Interviews were conducted by our dear friend and Virginia Voice supporter, Don Harrison.
If you would like to make a contribution in Jim’s memory, please mail it to Virginia Voice, PO Box 15546, Richmond, VA 23227 or call us at (804) 266-2477 to make your donation over the phone.
Donna Cox is the director of the Library Resource Center at the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, where the Virginia Voice offices are located.
Tina Egge is the Secretary and Treasurer of the Virginia Voice Board of Directors.
Scott Saunders is a Virginia Voice patron. He has attended many of our Live Audio Description performances, and is a huge music buff. He and Jim bonded over their love of old-school musical acts.
Sallie Wanchisn is a long-time Virginia Voice volunteer reader. You may have heard her reading our weekly gardening show, Green Thumb.
Otto Konrad served on the board of WRIR with Jim, worked with him at The Richmond Times-Dispatch and Style Weekly, and was a close personal friend.
Lorna Wyckoff worked with Jim during his tenure as Editor at Style Weekly.
Greg Lockhart is a former board member for Virginia Voice.
Dave Howard is the current Board Chairman for Virginia Voice.
Butch Ball is a long-time Virginia Voice volunteer reader. You may have heard him reading our weekly Music News program.
Alex Wiles is the current Vice Chair of the Virginia Voice Board of Directors. She works as Leadership Giving Officer at Virginia Public Media, and is one of the “founding Godmothers” of the Virginia Voice Live Audio Description Program.
Jimmy Morris is an orientation and mobility specialist at the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired. Jimmy also serves as a Board Member for Virginia Voice.
Chris Dovi was a bandmate and a former coworker at Style and the Times-Dispatch.
BJ Kocen was a band-mate and close personal friend of Jim’s. BJ worked with Jim on the Rock-N-Roll Jubilee and the two played in several bands together.
Debra Hill is a dedicated Virginia Voice patron. In addition to being an avid radio-listener, Debra has also attended several Live Audio Description programs, and has represented Virginia Voice at various speaking engagements.
Carol Olsen is a WRIR DJ and worked with Jim during his tenure on the WRIR Board of Directors.
Craig Evans and Jim played in many bands together over the years, from The Super Sugar Beats to The Taters. Craig and Jim also worked together on the Rock-N-Roll Jubilee.
Ken Wene is the office manager at Virginia Voice.
Liza Bruce is a former Virginia Voice board member, having served as both treasurer and secretary. She is also a Live Audio Description Patron.
Scott Elmquist is a photographer for Style Weekly, where he worked with Jim.
Sean McClain is part of Chrome Daddy Disco, one of the many bands Jim played in.
Stephen Lecky works for Venture Richmond, which puts on Richmond’s annual Folk Festival.
Steve Bush is an amazing supporter of Virginia Voice, and a current Volunteer Reader. You may have heard him reading The Richmond-Times Dispatch live on Saturdays.
Scott Kocen is the fund development manager for Virginia Voice. He was also a close personal friend of Jim’s.
Ron Moody is lead singer for Ron Moody and the Centaurs; Jim played guitar with Ron for many years.
JIM ON GUITAR
Recording ℗ 2017 Chrome Daddy Disco | Songwriters: Doc Pomus, Mort Shuman
Recording ℗ 2017 Chrome Daddy Disco | Songwriters: Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Recording ℗ 2017 Chrome Daddy Disco | Songwriters: Ray Evans, Jay Livingston
video credit: Stephanie Spencer
Fred Danz is a long-time Virginia Voice volunteer reader. You might have heard him reading The Richmond Times-Dispatch live on Wednesday mornings.
Paula Otto is a former member of the Virginia Voice Board of Directors, and a current Virginia Voice Volunteer Reader. You may have heard her reading The Richmond Times-Dispatch live on Friday mornings.
Renee Jenkins is a long-time Virginia Voice volunteer reader. She reads several programs for our organization, including African American Voices and daily sports from The Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Roger Weinberg is a long-time Virginia Voice volunteer reader. Roger reads one part of our News in Perspective program. Roger is also a former member of the board of Virginia Voice.
Tim Sexton is a former Chairman of the Virginia Voice Board of Directors, and a radio delivery volunteer.
Tracy DeLuca works as Education Coordinator for the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired. She has served on committees for the Virginia Voice Board of Directors, and is a Live Audio Describer.
Shortly after Jim’s passing, The Folk Festival posted this article to their Facebook page.
“Ad Man by Day, Madman by Night” by Gharry Kollatz Jr. for Richmond Magazine.
Bill Lohman authors this Richmond Times-Dispatch article, which highlights Jim’s work for The Virginia Voice.
Jim’s official obituary from The Richmond Times-Dispatch