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Mr. Dickens grew up in a farming community near Snow Hill, NC where he attended Greene Central High School.  He attended NC Wesleyan College where he received a BA Degree in history.  While there he was active in many organizations, was selected to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities and won letters in two sports.

 He moved to Portsmouth in 1969 as a teacher.  Later Mr. Dickens worked for Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority and then entered the insurance industry.  He currently is president of First Service Insurance Agency, Inc., which provides life and health insurance, retirement services and is the largest provider of accident insurance for public schools in Virginia.

 Mr. Dickens was appointed to the Suffolk Planning Commission in 1990 and served as Vice Chair of the Commission and Chair of the Subcommittee on Ordinances.  In 1998 he successfully ran for City Council and became the first ever “rookie” Councilman elected Mayor.

 Since being elected to City Council, Mr. Dickens has served on the board of Directors and Executive Board of the Hampton Roads Partnership and on the Executive Committee of the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance. Mr. Dickens, while serving as Vice-Chair of the Hampton Roads Mayors and Chairs, was selected to represent southside Hampton Roads in developing a position for the coalition on restructuring the Commonwealth’s tax structure by the Mayors and Chairs of Hampton Roads, Greater Richmond and Northern Virginia.  He currently is Chair of the Western Tidewater Water Authority and serves on the Board of Directors of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission.  The Virginia High Speed Rail Development Committee has elected Mr. Dickens to their Board of Directors and Mr. Dickens serves as Co-Chair of the CIVIC Leadership Institute of Hampton Roads

 Married to the former Linda Kay Rankin of Richmond, he is a member of Ebenezer United Methodist Church and resides in the village of Eclipse located in Northwest Suffolk.


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