GEORGE PROTO: Why I’m Running for Mayor


April 27, 2014 

Cape Charles is a remarkable little town and has come a long way since my wife and I first visited it and purchased property in 2000.  At the same time it also has its problems.  Some of these problems are faced by towns all over the country.  For example, how do we manage our finances wisely so as to keep the town growing without unduly burdening our residents and businesses?  How do we maintain and improve our infrastructure for the benefit of all?

Others are more a product of frustration over disagreement with the process for making decisions or with the decisions themselves.  Disagreement and healthy debate are a good thing in any government, but at some point people need to find a way to compromise and go forward without contentiousness and bitterness.  We need to set aside our emotions and address the problems themselves rather than speaking from anger, however much we may feel that anger is justified.

I am running for Mayor for two reasons, first because I believe that we should give back to society for the good lives we’ve been given, and second because I feel I have developed the skills necessary to help bring this town together over a lifetime of experience and therefore can make a difference.

Over the years I’ve lived and worked in many places and with many different types of people, often leading teams to solve some pretty tough problems.  I can use this background to help diminish the discontent we live with now and let Cape Charles reach its fullest potential.

The best way to accomplish this is through open communications, following the processes that are in place and making sure to the best of my ability that all the factors in making a decision are out on the table.  This means not only explaining clearly the situation and the facts behind it, but listening with an open mind to what the people of the town have to say.  There is no way that any one person can do this alone – it requires us all working together – but I can help make this happen.


I was born and raised in the Philadelphia area and attended Drexel as a co-op student where I received my B. Sc. in physics.  I lived at home and paid for my tuition by a combination of a scholarship and my co-op income.  Upon graduation I went to work for the National Security Agency, where I had also done my co-op periods.  It was at this time that I met and married Nancy, my wife of 44 years.

Subsequently I resigned NSA to attend the University of Virginia, where I received my Ph. D. in Materials Science.  After graduation I took a Post-Doc at the University of Port Elizabeth, South Africa doing research and teaching physics.

Upon returning to the U. S. I was hired by IBM.  I worked there for 30 years in a wide variety of technical and business roles.  For much of my career these required leadership of diverse groups of people,  often spanning multiple countries and continents. I was responsible for projects that demanded that people worked together in order to be successful. Most of the latter part of my career dealt with managing and solving crises.  I consider myself to be a problem solver and was able to lead effectively by communication, gaining consensus, and focusing on the issues rather than personality or cultural differences.  I would bring these strengths to the Office of Mayor.

After retiring in 2007 I taught briefly for American Military University.

We moved to Cape Charles in 2011 and formed Sweet Annie’s, a small, boutique chocolate business.  Our product, made here in Cape Charles, is sold in various locations on the Shore, in Virginia Beach and at various local markets and festivals.

I am active in Emmanuel Episcopal church in Cape Charles, President of the Business Association, was a member of the Cape Charles by the Bay website committee, and a member of the Our Town Grant Committee.  I am also a member of the ESVA Tourism Summit board.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  I am happy to meet with anyone who would like to know more about me. You can email me at [email protected]  to ask a question or arrange a meeting.  You can also find me on Facebook at George Proto for Cape Charles Mayor to get additional information.  I need your support and I ask you to vote for me on May 6.

The Wave is providing every candidate in the May 6 elections the opportunity to answer the question “Why I’m Running.”
CLICK for Frank Wendell
CLICK for David Gay
CLICK for Deborah Bender



8 Responses to “GEORGE PROTO: Why I’m Running for Mayor”

  1. Kearn Schemm on April 27th, 2014 9:30 am

    So as mayor, you would oppose closed council sessions and believe in the right of the people to speak (sometimes for more than three minutes) at meetings? You would not meet with developers without telling other town elders? I look forward to asking you a few questions at the candidates forum.

  2. Randy Gibson on April 27th, 2014 11:02 am

    Nice write-up. I like the problem solving aspect; an ability that is not given enough credit. But I need to know more about your politics. Regards, RG

  3. Debbie Suddeth on April 27th, 2014 4:01 pm

    Sounds like someone with the qualifications, ambition and good ole common sense who will think outside the box and lead our town in a positive direction. Good luck George!

  4. Wayne Creed on May 1st, 2014 5:50 pm

    Very nice review of your qualifications, background and why you want to run for Mayor — hailing from Philly is a also a big plus in my book. I think you also did a very nice job in the candidate forum. I only wish you were running for Council instead :-)

  5. Roseann Vhin on May 2nd, 2014 5:38 am

    Mr. Creed, as a come here I am confused by your statement. You seem to think Mr. Proto brings skills needed to the table, but you prefer he was running for town council.
    – Do you feel he needs that experience before he is elected mayor?
    – Or is the council the real political mechanism in Cape Charles, and his talents would better serve Cape Charles as a council member?

  6. Wayne Creed on May 2nd, 2014 8:43 am

    Ms. Vhin, in a nutshell, I really like Mr. Proto as a person, and believe he has great skills, experience and talent that would really fit well with the decision-making body, our council. That said, I still believe that due to experience, knowledge of Cape Charles (culturally, socio-economically, as the president of a 100-year-old Cape Charles business), a sharp, decisive intellect, the historical family background that lends to a more organic long-term vision, as well as good old-fashioned Shore connections, that Mr. Wendell is by far the superior candidate for Mayor. That’s all.

  7. Melvin W. Williams, Jr. CWO USCG (Ret) on May 8th, 2014 11:20 pm

    “And The Beat Goes On.” It’s still the same old song as I’d expected it to be, because Lynn don’t have enough support from the townspeople she grew up with. There are those who could’ve voted but didn’t, and some who were qualified didn’t sign up so that they could participate. Why? As it’s always been, a lack of interest, foot dragging, and laziness. There may have been those who were actually scared to vote for Lynn Mitchell. On the other hand maybe it was her fault for not applying herself to get the voters to vote for her via an elections committee. There are enough people in the local neighborhood who could’ve got involved and given her more votes than she got. You’re slowly loosing your town to outsiders, who are now starting calling the shots more and more. $$$$$$$

  8. Will And Kathy Smyth on May 16th, 2014 9:58 am

    Best of luck George and Nancy!