Tiffany Boyle is a mom, an entrepreneur, and a public servant. A Newport News resident for more than 20 years, she is serving her first term as the city’s commissioner of the revenue.
Boyle’s motivations to run for the position in 2017 stemmed from a desire to improve her community. Though the campaign to victory was challenging, she credits her success to a strong team and its grassroots efforts.
SEEING THE WORLD
“I was born in Miami, Florida, and moved to Newport News in middle school. My dad was working for Boeing at the time and our family later moved to Saudi Arabia, but I went to boarding school in Germany.
“I got to see a lot of the world and make friends all over the place. I moved back to the states after high school and started college at Thomas Nelson and got my bachelor’s in business administration from Virginia Wesleyan. I then pursued a master’s degree in management from the University of Maryland University College.
“After school, I worked as a team leader in collections for Bank of America and at Newport News Industrial in sales and product development.”
Boyle has also served for years as the CEO of a national publication, Emerge, which is a magazine dedicated to promoting and empowering business owners and entrepreneurs.
THE ROAD TO COMMISSIONER
Among her many formative life and work experiences was a stint five years ago in the business license department of the commissioner’s office.
“I worked with a lot of business owners and that was what sparked by interest in becoming one myself with Emerge.”
“In the job I learned that our office is really the first government department a citizen will interact with. I was making suggestions back then to host more town halls and to work more with other departments, but I wasn’t able to implement much from that position.”
So Boyle eventually decided to run for the position of commissioner herself.
“It was a bit of a battle because I came out of nowhere. I wasn’t in the political scene other than being an avid voter. But I pulled a team together of people who wanted to make this office better, many of whom had worked there already. We had to learn a lot about how to campaign and fund-raise, where to knock on doors.
FACE TIME AND WORD OF MOUTH
“I would go to a lot of community events and to different churches every Sunday to meet people. A lot of our success came from word of mouth. My dad is a teacher and my mom is a court reporter, so they spread the word through their connections.”
“The campaign was definitely hectic at times – running to eight different events in a day. But the best part is getting to meet people, letting them know why you want to run, and explaining what the job of the commissioner really is.”
Boyle administers 23 different taxes within Newport News and manages more than 40 employees. Since taking office last year, Boyle has implemented an open door policy for her employees and drafted them a grievance procedure to report and amend problems in the office.
She also has already been recognized by the state commissioner of the revenue – receiving the president’s leadership award, which recognized her commitment to training her team, and an initiative she started across the region called “Commissioners and Cans” which collected 600 pounds of food last year to donate to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore.
WALKING IN PURPOSE
As her career progresses, Boyle plans to continue her involvement with local government and her Emerge publication. She also has big dreams for the city she calls home.
“I’d love to see a business incubation center in Newport News. For there to be more interaction between the city departments and the constitutional offices like ours. And I want to mentor people on how to be good politicians, how to run a clean campaign. Advertising doesn’t have to be about the oppositions, but about what you stand for.”
“I would tell anyone thinking about getting involved in politics to remember to walk in your purpose. You have to really have a purpose for what you’re running for. You have to be authentic. You also have to be positive and learn to deal with stress.
TIME FOR HERSELF
“Between work, children, household duties and three events in an evening, I have had to learn how to manage time and pencil in time for myself.”
“But when I’m not working, I love to travel when I can find time. I also volunteer.
I’m a board member for Access Virginia, I help at the food bank and go out to community walks on the weekends. But firstly I’m a mom – taking care of my 13-year-old daughter, going to her volleyball games, selling concessions, just being there for her.
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