Gilbert T. Bland is the Immediate Past Chairman of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. His extensive board experience currently includes LEAD Virginia, the state Chamber of Commerce and Elevate Early Education with prior tenure on the Board of Visitors for Old Dominion University and the Board of Trustees for the James Madison University Foundation.
Professionally, Mr. Bland serves on the Board of Directors of the National Franchise Association and as President of the Burger King Minority Franchise Association. Chairman of The GilJoy Group, Mr. Bland has owned and operated more than 70 Burger King and Pizza Hut franchises in in Virginia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
Mr. Bland has received numerous awards for his community service and business initiatives including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award in recognition of his lifetime community achievements. In 2014, Virginia Business Magazine designated Mr. Bland as one of the 50 Most Influential Virginians. His current community service extends to the Board of Directors for the Hampton Roads Community Foundation.
Mr. Bland earned a B.A. in accounting and economics from James Madison University and an MBA from Atlanta University. Mr. Bland was inducted into the Omicron Delta Epsilon economics honor society and Beta Gamma Sigma honor society for business. He resides in Virginia Beach.