By Debbie Adams
Tammy Entsminger Shepherd has been appointed by the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors
to fill the vacancy in the Vinton Magisterial District left when former supervisor Jason Peters
was elected in November to serve as Roanoke County Commissioner of the Revenue. Her
appointment was approved in a special called meeting on Jan. 11, 2024.
She was sworn into office at the Roanoke County Courthouse on Jan. 12 by Judge James
Swanson, accompanied by her husband Robert, family members, and Board Chairman Phil
“Tammy has prior experience in serving Roanoke County while on the Board of Equalization
and is familiar with departments and staff,” the Board of Supervisors noted. “A life-long resident
of Vinton, coupled with expertise in business operations, finance and management, positions her
as an outstanding representative for the Vinton District.”
“I am deeply grateful and privileged to be chosen as the representative of the Vinton Magisterial
District during this interim phase,” Shepherd said. “I’ve earned a living working in Vinton, and
now I have an opportunity to give back to the community that has supported me.”
Shepherd is a graduate of William Byrd High School with the Class of 1987. She attended
Virginia Western Community College and has worked in the field of real estate for more than 35
years. She holds a Virginia Real Estate Broker License and Virginia Real Estate Salesperson
She has owned Shepherd Realty Group since 2017 where she manages the day-to-day operations
and is an active salesperson. Prior to becoming a small business owner, she was employed as the
business manager for 14 years at L.T. McGhee and Company. There she was responsible for
managing more than 150 properties and gained extensive experience in real estate, finance,
accounting, and management. She also worked for 16 years in real estate sales with L.T.
McGhee and Company.
Shepherd was selected to as a member of Roanoke County’s Board of Equalization in 2022. The
five members of the BOE (one from each county magisterial district) are appointed by the
Circuit Court of Roanoke County. The purpose of the BOE is to provide property owners an opportunity for a formal hearing. The BOE determines if the property in question is assessed at
more than its fair market value or is not uniform with other properties.
She has also served on multiple Homeowner Association (HOA) boards.
Shepherd has supported the schools and students as president of the William Byrd Football
Booster Club and treasurer of the William Byrd Booster Club.
She and her husband Robert reside in Vinton. He is a commercial insurance broker and well-
known as a long-time sandlot football coach.
They have four adult children, all graduates of William Byrd– Autumn (Class of 2010), Hunter
(2014), Dalton (2018), and Macy (2023). Hunter teaches Health and PE and is the head football
coach at Cave Spring High School– with his father as one of his assistants. The Shepherds also
have two grandsons.
The Board of Supervisors accepted applications for the vacant Vinton seat until January 1, 2024.
Nine applications were received. Applicants were asked to submit a 300-word essay on why they
wanted to be the supervisor to represent the Vinton Magisterial District and why they felt they
were qualified to serve. The board voted unanimously to appoint Shepherd.
Shepherd says she received a “gentle nudge” from former employer Leon McGhee to apply for
the position on the board.
McGhee says Shepherd grew up as “the kid next door” to his family in Montgomery Village and
even mowed his yard. She began working for him early in her career as his office manager,
serving as his “right hand person.” She eventually earned her real estate license and worked as an
associate broker with his office until opening her own business in 2017.
When McGhee learned about the vacancy on the Board of Supervisors and their search for a
candidate to fill Peters’ position, Shepherd immediately came to mind.
McGhee says he encouraged her to apply for several reasons: “She is a self-made person; she is a
great learner and listener; and she has been very involved in the community through the sports
program at William Byrd. As a realtor she knows the Vinton and Mount Pleasant areas; she
would do a great job; and she is dependable and pleasant to work with.”
Moreover, he “trusted her with his books” for years, so he “knew what she could do.” He
believes she can continue the “excellent job” Jason Peters has done through the years. McGhee
also considered the significance of Shepherd being the first woman to represent the Vinton
District on the Board of Supervisors.
Shepherd will hold office until a special election November 5, 2024. The person elected then will
serve the remainder of Peters’ term, which expires on December 31, 2025.
“I’d like to thank the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors for their support and giving me the
opportunity to represent the citizens of Vinton and Roanoke County,” said Shepherd. “Jason
Peters has been an outstanding representative on the board for many years, and I know I have big shoes to fill. I’m a life-long resident of Vinton and very excited to be able to give back to the
She is looking forward to working with Vinton Town Manager Pete Peters (who she says is
doing a great job) and Vinton Town Council to benefit the citizens of Vinton. She is especially
interested in working on issues involving the schools and public safety; her father, Billy
Entsminger, was a firefighter for Roanoke City for 36 years.
“I look forward to working with the citizens, Roanoke County staff, and my fellow board
members. I invite citizens to reach out to me to talk or share their concerns at any time. When we
all work together, we can accomplish so much more. Also, thank you to everyone who has
called, texted, and messaged me on Facebook with congratulations and support in my new role.”
Citizens may reach Shepherd by phone at 540-314-1684 or by email at email@example.com.