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Tennille Checkovich is no stranger to the Chesapeake Bay, having grown up in Hampton, Virginia, which was the launching point for weekend fishing trips with her extended family on the Bay. Her passion started at a young age and was solidified with a high school biology trip to Port Isobel and Tangier Islands. Tennille’s passion for a cleaner Chesapeake Bay for all continues on as her children are growing up and learning about the Chesapeake Bay. In Fall of 2019, her daughter made that same trip to Port Isobel Island that Tennille made 30 years earlier.
Having received her JD at Yale, Tennille is now the Deputy General Counsel for Smithfield Foods, Inc. where she is working to expand and restructure the company’s law department. Outside of her practice, Tennille has provided pro bono assistance in partnership with the Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC) in Richmond, Virginia for the last 13 years. Her volunteer work with LAJC has focused on issues impacting racial and social justice, including representing incarcerated juveniles seeking sentence modifications or reductions in Serious Offender Review Hearings in trial courts throughout Virginia. Most recently she has worked with LAJC to eliminate Virginia’s unconstitutional court-debt related drivers’ license suspension scheme.
Although she works in litigation, Tennille was drawn to the Alliance because of our mission – to bring together communities, companies, and conservationists to restore the lands and waters of the Chesapeake Bay. She believes that it is important for the Chesapeake Bay to be clean and healthy for her kids, and future grand kids, to enjoy.