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Senior Leadership

Pictured is Bryan Garey, vice president for human resources for Virginia Tech.

Bryan Garey
Vice President for Human Resources

Bryan has over 25 years of HR and organizational development experience. 

As part of the HR team at Virginia Tech, he is spearheading change that will position HR to better support a growing and changing university, helping to create a work environment and experience for all faculty and staff to develop and thrive in support of our bold Beyond Boundaries vision.

Bryan has a bachelor of arts degree (magna cum laude) from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, a master of fine arts degree from the University of Virginia, and a master of sciences degree in management from the University of Florida.

A native of Baltimore, Bryan has spent the last 30 years working as a professional actor and director, educator, and HR professional. His HR experience includes work with a nonprofit startup, a Fortune 100 company, and higher education.  Bryan is certified as a Professional in Human Resources through the Society of Human Resources Management and has been a featured speaker at state, regional, and national conferences of human resources and higher education.

Over the years, Bryan has lived in Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Gainesville, and Charlottesville and is happy to be part of the Hokie Nation.


Marie Bliss

Marie Bliss
Assistant Vice President of Human Resources Administration

Marie has extensive HR experience in business, non-profit, and academia. 

She brings a collaborative approach to change management and process improvement. She previously served as vice president, human resources, with Goodwill Industries of the Valleys. Among her accomplishments, she transformed the organization’s open enrollment process from paper to online and replaced many paper recruiting processes by creating a new digital onboarding experience. Marie also served as director of HR services at Advance Auto Parts, where she led the company’s HR support center and was responsible for payroll, benefits enrollment and administration, and leave of absence processes for 75,000 employees.

Marie joined Virginia Tech in 2019. She leads the administration team and continues the transformation work to provide simple, timely, and accurate HR services and information. Since her arrival, she has provided multiple process improvements and guided the launch of five new systems to support the transformation. Marie holds a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix. 


Pictured is Sandee Cheynet, assistant vice president of talent for human resources at Virginia Tech.

Sandee Cheynet
Assistant Vice President of Talent

Sandee brings 25 years of human resources leadership experience from several Fortune 500 and 100 companies.

She first joined Virginia Tech in 2018, holding several key positions. From December 2018 to October 2019, she served as division director to the Office of the Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer. In addition, she served as the interim executive director for the Office of the President from July to October 2019.

Sandee returned to Virginia Tech in the role of assistant vice president of talent for Human Resources in 2021 after working as an executive vice president and chief administration officer in the logistics industry. She leads the HR Talent Team, which are the areas of the division that support the entire life cycle of an employee at Virginia Tech. These areas include compensation, employee relations, Hokie Wellness for employees, talent acquisition/recruiting, talent development, and communications.

She received both a B.S. in business management and an MBA from Virginia Tech. She is a certified Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and holds SHRM-SCP and SPHR certifications.


Pictured is Susan Hughes, senior advisor to the vice president for human resources at Virginia Tech.

Susan Hughes
Senior Advisor to the Vice President

Susan is a forward-thinking and driven executive with versatile experience across public and non-profit sectors, including higher education. 

She specializes in human resources leadership, public administration, and project management. She has served in a variety of key HR leadership positions since joining Virginia Tech in 2016.

She was appointed senior advisor to the vice president in June 2021. In this role, she leads the division's policy and compliance, finance, and employee programs teams in addition to providing change management support for key HR initiatives. Prior to this role, she served as interim associate vice president for HR strategic engagement, assistant vice president of HR administration, interim director of HR administration, and special projects director.

At Virginia Tech, Susan has led the implementation of new systems, recruited and hired numerous positions, improved administrative processes, launched training programs and partnerships, and many more accomplishments. She received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s in public administration from the University of North Florida.


Pictured is Curtis Mabry, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources Consulting and Strategic Services at Virginia Tech.

Curtis Mabry
Assistant Vice President for Consulting and Strategic Services

Curtis is a long-time member of the Hokie Nation as both an alumnus and an employee. 

He is one of the longest tenured members of the HR team, arriving in 2001. Since that time, he has held multiple roles, including HR specialist, senior compensation analyst, HR manager, director of staffing and recruiting, senior director of HR initiatives and partnerships, and executive director of consulting and strategic initiatives. He was named assistant vice president in February 2022.

Curtis has been instrumental in the development and execution of Virginia Tech’s HR transformation, in particular leading efforts to build the cohort of division directors, who lead the development and delivery of HR services and programs within individual business units and colleges. He has played a key role in recruiting, hiring, and onboarding the division directors and, in his new role, guides the delivery of service and each director's efforts.

Curtis continues to lead other strategic functions such as data analytics and the HR generalist team and provide direct leadership to clients as needs warrant. He also identifies opportunities and spearheads strategic change efforts.