RICHMOND, VA -- In August 2009, Nicholas J. Covatta, Jr., of Accomac, Va., was elected Chair of the Virginia Commission for the Arts. Prior to being appointed to the arts commission board by Governor Tim Kaine in 2006, Covatta served three years as an advisory panelist for the Commission. Covatta is also an amateur stage actor, but feels it necessary to keep his day job.
Covatta is the managing director of Eastern Shore Nursery of Virginia, a 300-acre wholesale grower of landscape ornamental plants. In addition, he founded and is chair of Atlantis Investors, which controls two operating companies -- CFE Equipment Corporation, a forklift dealership and rental company in Virginia and Maryland; and Metropolitan Finance, an equipment leasing company. Atlantis Realty, LP, is an affiliated real estate partnership.
From 1980 to 1986 Covatta was executive vice-president of AI International Corporation, a New York-based, Kuwaiti-owned private investment company. Previously, he was vice president of Gulf Oil Corporation, staff executive of General Electric Company, a senior consultant with Boston Consulting Group, and chairman of Logitron, Inc.
Covatta is the former president of the board of directors of the North Street Playhouse, based in Onancock, and a director of Shore Memorial Hospital and the Eastern Shore Community College Foundation. He is a member of the Corporate Development Committee of MIT and an active member of Grace United Methodist Church.
Covatta holds an MBA from Harvard and an SB from MIT. He lives on a farm on the eastern shore of Virginia with his wife and two daughters.
The Virginia Commission for the Arts is the state agency that promotes greater public participation in the arts. With funding from the Virginia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts the Commission provides technical assistance in arts management and awards grants to artists, arts organizations, schools, and local governments. Last year the Commission helped to make possible 39,943 arts events for the public with a combined attendance of 7.7 million people.