Delegate Israel O'Quinn was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates on November 8, 2011. He represents the 5th House District which is comprised of Bristol City, Galax City, Grayson County, Smyth County (part) and Washington County (part).
As a strong advocate for Southwest Virginia, Israel works to ensure the Fifth District is well-represented in Richmond. His legislative committee assignments include Energy and Commerce, Privileges and Elections, and Rules. He has also served on Finance as well as Militia, Police and Public Safety and is the Deputy House Majority Leader. Israel is a member of the legislative Coal and Energy Commission and the Commission on Electric Utility Regulation and is Past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center. Israel is also Co-Chairman of InvestSWVA which is a business attraction and marketing campaign working to bring new industries to our region.
As a citizen legislator, Israel is employed by K-VA-T Food Stores, the parent company of the Food City retail supermarket chain. He currently directs the company's Office of Strategic Initiatives, in addition to chairing the company's Energy Conservation Committee, which has implemented a number of energy conservation measures throughout the K-VA-T distribution center and numerous stores. Prior to joining the K-VA-T team in 2006, Israel served in various roles in government and campaigns. He spent two years in the office of Attorney General Jerry Kilgore and worked on a number of political campaigns, including those for Governor, Attorney General, US Senate, House of Delegates and various local offices.
Israel is Past Chairman of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, which has Five Star accreditation from the US Chamber of Commerce. Israel is a recipient of the The Business Journal's Top 40 Under 40 award, as well as Emory & Henry College's Young Alumnus of the Year award. While at Emory & Henry College, Israel played on the varsity baseball team and graduated with degrees in Political Science and History. He now serves as a member of the college’s Board of Trustees. Israel is also a graduate of Patrick Henry High School in Glade Spring, Virginia.
Israel and his wife, Emily Gentry O'Quinn, reside in Washington County, Virginia. Emily works as a corporate communications professional and she is an avid supporter of community organizations at both the state and local levels. Over the years, her service on a number of boards has focused on various business and philanthropic initiatives including expanding educational opportunities for children and increasing access to the arts.