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College welcomes alumnus as new head of human resources

  • New AVP for Human Resources
    New AVP for Human Resources  John Poma '86, MBA '00, returns to William & Mary with more than 25 years of experience in human resource management.  Courtesy image
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You could say that John Poma was returning home, but the reality is he never really left the William & Mary community. Poma '86, M.B.A. '00 will be William & Mary’s next associate vice president for human resources. He will assume his new responsibilities July 1.

Since his graduation with a bachelor's degree in government, Poma has remained fervently engaged with the College. Through the Alumni Association he has served as chair of each of his five-year reunion classes, was a member of the Young Guard Council from 1986-2001 and held numerous leadership positions in the Richmond Alumni Chapter, including president. With the Mason School of Business, he also served for a decade on the Business Partners Board.  

Poma said his draw to William & Mary is deep.

“I am thrilled to accept this position at the College of William & Mary," he said. "It is a privilege to come back to a place that has meant so much to me. This is an opportunity for me to give back to the school that has had such an important impact on my life. For me it’s very personal.”

Poma comes to William & Mary with more than 25 years of human resource management and leadership experience.

“John’s passion for human resources is as impressive as his passion for William & Mary,” said Anna Martin, vice president for administration. “I look forward to working with him in providing a dynamic human resources program that offers excellent service to the College and our faculty and staff.”

Poma currently serves as president of n1Health, LLC, a health asset management firm based in Richmond, Virginia. He previously served as executive vice president for corporate development and general counsel. During his time with n1Health, he developed a strategy to attract and retain talent; implemented human resource, payroll and other policies and procedures; and managed recruitment and contracting processes to expand the company’s corporate operations across the country.

Prior to his time with n1Health, Poma spent more than 15 years with Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) and Massey Energy Company. Massey was acquired by ANR, a leading global producer of metallurgical and thermal coal, in 2011. Poma served as corporate counsel and then vice president for human resources before becoming vice president and chief administrative officer (CAO) at Massey. As CAO, he had full responsibility for oversight of administrative functions, including responsibility for Massey’s wellness centers as well as corporate human resource and benefits administration. Following the acquisition, he held the position of vice president for enterprise risk management at ANR. In this role, Poma implemented plans to mitigate high impact events and improve the company’s early risk warning capabilities.

Poma said the common thread in his career has been human resources.

“It’s the most vital part of any organization,” he said. “It’s important that people feel valued – that they feel that they are contributing to something very important and that they are part of a culture where they feel like more than employees.”

Poma noted that one of the things that excites him about coming to William & Mary is the energy and enthusiasm college communities offer.

“I look forward to building on that energy and enthusiasm to attract, motivate and retain faculty and staff,” he said.

In addition to his two degrees from William & Mary, Poma holds a Juris Doctorate from Emory University School of Law.

Poma met his wife, Marybeth McDevitt Poma, at the College. She holds a master’s degree from the School of Education. The Pomas currently reside in Richmond, Virginia. They have been married for 27 years and have two children, J.C., age 25, and Caroline, age 22. He credits the support of his wife and family for his successful career.