McPherson appointed by governor

Published 9:21 pm Saturday, July 17, 2010

Suffolk native Ida Outlaw McPherson will be moving to Richmond soon to take a new job.

McPherson recently was appointed director of the Department of Minority Business Enterprise by Gov. Bob McDonnell. McPherson is a Suffolk native and has practiced law here for years.

“I am interested in the growth and development of small businesses because they are the backbone of the American economy,” McPherson said this week. “This is an excellent time to continue to educate talented entrepreneurs about operating businesses and potential procurement opportunities.”

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The Department of Minority Business Enterprise is charged with creating opportunities for small, women-owned and minority-owned businesses. McPherson’s law practice specialized in representing small businesses, including those in the construction, architecture and education businesses.

“I understand the struggle that small businesses face without access to capital,” McPherson said. “I recognize that we are a more diverse state, and that we need to embrace our diversity so that we can all work together and create additional opportunities so that the state of Virginia can compete globally.”

A graduate of John F. Kennedy High School in Suffolk, McPherson later attended Park College in Kansas City, Mo. She then attended law school at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

After graduation, she returned to Suffolk and opened her law practice, which later expanded to Norfolk and Virginia Beach. She also helped establish the first legal aid office in Suffolk, and was the director of a legal services program in Norfolk during that time period.

Her law firm helped small businesses start up their operations, set goals and develop strategic plans to meet those goals. Her new position accomplishes similar goals, helping educate current and potential business owners in the state about available opportunities.

“I’m a firm believer that people are not really looking for handouts,” McPherson said. “People are looking for opportunity and preparation.”

McPherson will move to Richmond soon to begin her new work, which she said is an honor.

“It’s an incredible opportunity,” she said. “I look forward to moving the governor’s agenda forward in this regard.”

McPherson is not the first person with Suffolk ties to be appointed by McDonnell this year. In April, Helivi Holland, a former deputy city attorney, was appointed to a position in the Department of Juvenile Justice.