Janet Brooking / Executive Director

Janet Brooking has served as the Executive Director of DRIVE SMART Virginia since May 2005. Under her leadership, the organization’s budget has grown ten-fold and its programming has won dozens of honors from Virginia PRSA awards, Governor’s Transportation Awards, and Telly Awards. Prior to Janet’s time at DRIVE SMART, she spent ten years as State Campaign Director for the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign where more than $28,000,000 was raised for charity during her tenure. Janet received her Bachelor of Science degree from Mary Baldwin College and her Certificate in Philanthropy from the University of Richmond. She is also a graduate of the Virginia Collaborative Leaders Program through the Institute for Educational Leadership, The Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia, and the Center for Creative Leadership. She serves on the board of the Virginia Service Foundation and recently served on the Advisory Board of Visitors at Mary Baldwin College and is past President of the American Society of Safety Engineers, Colonial Chapter. Janet is the recipient of Drive Safe Hampton Road’s 2022 Lifetime Safety Achievement Award.

Contact Janet Brooking at

Ben Bruce / Strategic Partnership Manager

Ben Bruce joined the team at DRIVE SMART Virginia in January 2022.  As our Strategic Partnership Manager, Ben oversees the Virginia Partners for Safe Driving initiative and works to strengthen our relationships in the business community.  He also manages the teen driver simulator program and is involved in the marketing activities of the organization.

Prior roles have been in sales, marketing, and business development.  A native to Virginia, Ben is married and has four children.  He attended James Madison University and has a degree in Business Management.

Contact Ben Bruce at

Rich Jacobs / Public Relations & Outreach Manager

Rich Jacobs joined DRIVE SMART Virginia in May 2015. As our public relations manager, Rich is DRIVE SMART Virginia’s primary contact for the public and the media. As outreach manager, he travels to events around the state in support of our programs.

Before joining DRIVE SMART Virginia, Rich was News Director for a group of five radio stations in Richmond. He has received awards from NASA, Richmond Fire & EMS, the Navy League, and has won three awards from the Virginia Association of Broadcasters.

Contact Rich Jacobs at

Leah Hostetler / Finance Manager

Leah Hostetler joined DRIVE SMART Virginia full-time in 2021. As Finance Manager, she handles fiscal operations, day-to-day office functions, and grants management. She also coordinates DRIVE SMART Virginia’s online store, which provides free materials to individuals, schools, and organizations.

Previously, Leah worked in administrative and records management positions for more than thirty years. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Contact Leah Hostetler at

Kristin Pettway / Deputy Director

Kristin Pettway joined DRIVE SMART Virginia in April 2009. She is currently the Senior Project Manager in charge of teen driver and simulator programs. She has also served as Project Manager for Trucking Programs. Kristin worked as a Program Coordinator for Rutgers Cooperative Extension for several years, helping to provide New Jersey’s farmers with the tools to ensure their future. She graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science degree.

Contact Kristin Pettway at