Nonprofits | Philanthropy
PRESIDENT AND CEO, COMMUNITY FOUNDATION FOR A GREATER RICHMOND, RICHMOND
Historians will likely focus on two things regarding 2020: COVID-19 and protesters hitting the streets to demand racial justice. Under Armstrong’s leadership, the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond worked to address both the pandemic and social justice.
The philanthropic organization manages more than 1,200 charitable funds. Early in the pandemic, it partnered with other organizations to create the Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund, providing more than
$7 million to Richmond-area nonprofits working on problems such as eliminating evictions.
Last summer, the Community Foundation worked with the region’s Black giving circles SisterFund and Ujima Legacy Fund to launch the Amandla Fund for Social and Racial Justice.
Armstrong has a long history of working to build strong communities. She previously served as an executive at United Way Worldwide and as CEO for the United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg.
FAVORITE SPORTS TEAM: West Virginia Mountaineers
ONE THING I WOULD CHANGE ABOUT VIRGINIA: That it learn from its history and become a place known for addressing its racial inequities.
TRACEY D. BROWN
CEO, AMERICAN DIABETES ASSOCIATION, ARLINGTON
Early in the COVID-19 crisis, Brown went into action, raising awareness that people of color have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic — and that, even in normal times, this population is at higher risk of developing serious health issues like heart disease and diabetes.
“We have an obligation to dismantle these inequities and eliminate the devastating impact they have on families and communities,” the American Diabetes Association CEO said in June.
Last summer, the ADA launched #HealthEquityNow, a national campaign designed to spur leaders into addressing systemic inequities. In recent months, Brown also joined forces with three other Black female CEOs of health-related nonprofits to advocate for policy changes to end health disparities.
Brown herself is among the 13% of African Americans who live with diabetes. She developed Type 2 diabetes after giving birth to her daughter 17 years ago.
Brown began volunteering for the ADA while working for Sam’s Club as its senior vice president of operations and chief experience officer.
CEO, GOOD360, ALEXANDRIA
Connelly came to GOOD360 in 2019 after a long career at United Parcel Service, where he last worked as vice president for network operations. His 32 years of supply chain and logistics expertise gets put to good use at the nonprofit, which distributes goods donated by companies to the needy around the world via a network of more than 90,000 nonprofits.
In June 2021, Connelly and his team shipped several containers of goods to survivors of April’s volcanic eruptions on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent. “It is fulfilling for me to be able to leverage my background and skills in logistics to help people in need,” Connelly says.
Connelly also sits on the board of Remedium Life Science of Georgia, a manufacturer of low-grade medicinal cannabis products.
WHAT MAKES ME PASSIONATE ABOUT ME WORK: Finding a second life for products that would otherwise most likely be thrown out is rewarding
FIRST JOB: Dishwasher at an Italian restaurant
SOMETHING I WOULD NEVER DO AGAIN: Use plastic bags
JACK DYER ‘J.D.’ CROUCH II
PRESIDENT AND CEO, UNITED SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS, ARLINGTON
Seven years ago, after a long leadership career in the public and private sectors, Crouch was tapped to head the United Service Organizations (USO).
During the pandemic, Crouch helped the USO pivot to continue its mission of providing support programs and entertainment for America’s military service members and their families. In 2020, the organization launched a virtual programming series for service members, featuring more than 100 celebrities. This June, the USO — which celebrated its 80th anniversary in February — returned to its history of in-person performances with a tour including country duo LoCash.
Before joining the USO, Crouch was CEO of federal contractor QinetiQ North America, exiting after the company was sold in 2014.
Crouch served as principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for international security policy under President George H.W. Bush, and he was later deputy national security adviser under President George W. Bush. From 2004 to 2005, Crouch was the U.S. ambassador to Romania.
Along with former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger, Crouch was among 11 members removed from their seats on the Defense Policy Board by the Trump administration in November 2020.
DEBORAH M. DiCROCE
PRESIDENT AND CEO, HAMPTON ROADS COMMUNITY FOUNDATION, NORFOLK
Over the last year, the Hampton Roads Community Foundation has been funneling its energy toward projects supporting COVID-19 recovery or battling racial injustice.
Under DiCroce’s leadership, the foundation has awarded more than $1.25 million in COVID-19 response grants. This spring, the organization also partnered with the Eastern Virginia Medical School’s M. Foscue Brock Institute for Community and Global Health to host a virtual forum about the pandemic’s impact on mental health.
In 2019, the foundation’s board adopted a racial equity statement stating that “advancing a more equitable and inclusive community” is key to its mission. In April 2021, DiCroce posted a statement in response to a jury finding former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty in the May 2020 murder of George Floyd. “Let us not forget what we saw, what we heard, and what we felt,” she wrote. And in June, the foundation announced plans to award $1 million in grants to 30 local Black nonprofits.
Before joining the foundation in 2013, DiCroce served for 14 years as president of Tidewater Community College and for nine years as president of Piedmont Virginia Community College.
ANNE LYNAM GODDARD
PRESIDENT AND CEO, CHILDFUND INTERNATIONAL, RICHMOND
After 15 years leading the 83-year-old global child development organization, Goddard plans to retire in May.
Raised by an Irish family that immigrated to the United States when she was a young girl, Goddard joined the Peace Corps in 1979. That took her to Kenya, where she lived in a house made of mud and traveled by motorbike. “I never imagined myself as a CEO,” she said in June. “I just wanted to make a difference in the world.”
Upon returning to the United States, Goddard earned a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She then spent two decades working overseas for humanitarian agencies in developing countries before joining ChildFund.
Last year, ChildFund helped 13.6 million children and family members in 24 countries, improving their access to health care, nutrition and education.
Announcing her retirement, Goddard does not seem headed for a golf course. “I am excited to explore new avenues where I might continue contributing to helping children and communities thrive,” she said.
PRESIDENT AND CEO, CHARITIES AID FOUNDATION OF AMERICA (CAF AMERICA), ALEXANDRIA
In his ninth year as CEO of CAF America, Hart can talk a blue streak about regulatory compliance.
A week after India changed its laws governing foreign donations last September, Hart dedicated 30 minutes to the topic on “Caring and Funding: The CAF America Podcast.”
While it might not be the most rousing subject matter, failing to understand a country’s regulatory framework can have consequences. When India faced a major COVID-19 outbreak this spring, the law change kept some Indian nonprofits from accepting donations from international organizations.
In addition to touting its vetting protocol for global charities, CAF America can assure donors their gifts are tax-deductible, which is not the case when individuals give directly to foreign charities.
In addition to his work leading CAF, Hart has written and co-written several books about fundraising and nonprofits.
FAVORITE SONG: “Shining Light,” by Annie Lennox
FAVORITE BEVERAGE: Scotch whisky from Islay
WHAT I’VE LEARNED: To believe in the power of a well-motivated team
LT. GEN. JAMES B. LASTER (USMC, RET.)
PRESIDENT AND CEO, MARINE TOYS FOR TOTS FOUNDATION, QUANTICO
Since taking leadership of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation in January 2020, Laster saw the nonprofit collect and distribute 20.2 million toys to more than 7 million children last year.
This April, Toys for Tots announced plans to partner for the second year with Alexandria-based logistics nonprofit Good360, committing to provide a million toys for Good360 to distribute to children. In 2020, the nonprofits distributed 2 million toys, books and games to families in need due to the pandemic — Toys for Tots’ first major initiative outside the Christmas season.
“We realize the importance of reminding children that there is still joy to be found in simple gifts every day, no matter how difficult things may be right now,” Laster said in a statement.
Laster retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in January 2018, after serving for 38 years. From 2011 to 2012, he served in Afghanistan as the deputy chief of staff for joint operations. In 2012, he became chief of staff of the U.S. Special Operations Command.
Laster earned a master’s degree in national strategy from the National War College. In 1989, he received the Marine Corps’ Leftwich Trophy recognizing outstanding leadership.
KEVIN A. LYNCH
PRESIDENT AND CEO, NATIONAL INDUSTRIES FOR THE BLIND, ALEXANDRIA
Lynch has worked for the National Industries for the Blind (NIB) or its associated agencies for 40 years, acting as the organization’s head since 2008.
Founded in 1938, the organization and its network of associated nonprofits make up the nation’s largest employer of people who are blind.
Under Lynch’s leadership, NIB recently launched NSITE, a resource connecting employers seeking to broaden their talent pool with qualified job seekers who are blind, visually impaired and/or veterans.
The Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation donated $95,700 in March to fund an NSITE Cisco Academy training program. The first such program adapted for the learning styles of people who are blind, it will prepare students for jobs in cybersecurity.
Before joining NIB, Lynch worked as executive director of Georgia Industries for the Blind, where he managed three manufacturing plants that employed 165 people who are blind. Prior to that, he was director of manufacturing for the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired of Greater Rochester, New York, where he negotiated contracts with commercial customers including Eastman Kodak Co. and Xerox Corp.
DR. WILLIAM P. MAGEE JR.
CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, OPERATION SMILE INC., VIRGINIA BEACH
A plastic and craniofacial surgeon, Magee founded Operation Smile in 1982 with his wife, Kathy, a former nurse and clinical social worker. The international medical charity has provided free surgical and dental care to more than 300,000 people. The nonprofit’s financial supporters include PepsiCo Inc.’s potato chip brand Lay’s, which featured Kathy Magee on select bags as part of a campaign to support Operation Smile.
The organization was born when the couple traveled to the Philippines as medical volunteers to repair children’s cleft lips and palates. About 300 families showed up seeking care for their children, but volunteers could treat only 40. Before leaving, the Magees promised to return.
One of 12 children, Magee earned his medical degree from George Washington University and his dental surgery degree from the University of Maryland. He left his plastic surgery practice in 2016 to dedicate all his energy to Operation Smile.
FAVORITE SONG: “The Eagle and the Hawk,” by John Denver
SISTER DONNA MARKHAM
PRESIDENT, CATHOLIC CHARITIES USA, ALEXANDRIA
The first woman to lead Catholic Charities USA in its 110-year history, Markham oversees 167 member agencies serving 13 million people each year. It is the largest private network of social service organizations in the United States.
An Adrian Dominican sister, Markham frequently speaks out for the oppressed, advocating for policies to eliminate systemic racism and to protect Americans on the brink of homelessness.
In April 2021, Markham, who is in her sixth year leading Catholic Charities, wrote a letter to a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on border security, facilitation and operations, encouraging lawmakers to enact more humane immigration policies.
“Hearing of the root causes that compel families to make the difficult decision of sending their children to our country in the hope that they may reunite with family members simply to survive should cause all Americans to pause and contemplate such a decision,” she wrote.
A clinical psychologist, Markham led a behavioral health institute in Ohio and served as prioress general of the Adrian Dominican Congregation. Her name was a clue on the TV show “Jeopardy!” in 2017.
ELIZABETH A. McCLANAHAN
CEO, VIRGINIA TECH FOUNDATION, BLACKSBURG
A former Supreme Court of Virginia justice, McClanahan became the Virginia Tech Foundation’s CEO on June 1. The foundation manages the university’s $1.3 billion endowment.
Before taking the job, she served as president and dean of the Appalachian School of Law. There, McClanahan established a partnership among the school, Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business and Ballad Health for a project combining health and legal services at a single point of care.
After earning her bachelor’s degree from William & Mary and her law degree from the University of Dayton School of Law, McClanahan launched her career as an Abingdon attorney. She later served as chief deputy in the state attorney general’s office.
Lawmakers appointed McClanahan to the Virginia Court of Appeals in 2003. In 2011, they tapped her for the Supreme Court of Virginia, where she stayed until 2019.
NEW LIFE EXPERIENCE: Zip-lining at 45 mph at 6,500-foot altitude in Colorado
FAVORITE BEVERAGE: S.Pellegrino sparkling mineral water
WHAT MAKES ME PASSIONATE ABOUT MY WORK: Providing opportunities for students to learn, grow, innovate, create, invent — to achieve their goals and dreams and improve the human condition
INTERIM PRESIDENT AND CEO, UNITED WAY WORLDWIDE, ALEXANDRIA
United Way Worldwide tapped Mehta as its interim president and CEO on March 1, following the departure of longtime leader Brian Gallagher.
Mehta has been associated with United Way as a donor, advocate and volunteer for the past 20 years. He was previously chair of the United Way’s USA board of trustees and a member of its Worldwide board of trustees.
Gallagher abruptly resigned in March, amid a third-party law firm’s examination into how United Way leadership had investigated internal claims of sexual harassment and discrimination. The firm found that United Way Worldwide had not engaged in “actionable harassment, discrimination or retaliation” and had observed “appropriate processes and procedures,” though it recommended that the organization review those procedures.
The world’s largest privately funded nonprofit, United Way works to improve education, strengthen individual financial stability and build healthier communities.
Mehta formerly served as Synchrony Financial’s chief commercial officer and executive vice president and CEO, payment solutions. He is also the former president and CEO, commercial distribution finance, for GE Capital.
CEO, THE NATURE CONSERVANCY, ARLINGTON
After spending a quarter of a century working to protect the environment, Morris became The Nature Conservancy’s CEO in May 2020.
Due to the pandemic, Morris, who lives in Washington, D.C., met her new colleagues and volunteers mostly over Zoom. COVID-19 lockdowns also meant Morris and her team couldn’t travel to Brazil to coach planters working on a reforestation project developed by The Nature Conservancy in partnership with local government there. Instead, they sent the farmers how-to videos over a social messaging app.
Things have changed quite a bit since Morris launched her career 30 years ago teaching English in a small village in Namibia.
She holds a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University, and prior to helming The Nature Conservancy, Morris was president of Arlington-based nonprofit Conservation International, where she worked for more than two decades. In that post, she oversaw programs across 29 countries, impacting more than 1 billon acres of protected land.
CEO, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA FOUNDATION, CHARLOTTESVILLE
The longtime leader of U.Va.’s foundation, Rose works with his team to provide financial services and solutions to benefit Mr. Jefferson’s University and 23 university-related foundations and organizations. In the role, he also oversees a broad range of real estate services supporting the university, serving as steward for about 5,200 acres of university properties, including the Boar’s Head Resort and its Birdwood Golf Course in Charlottesville, as well as the campus’s fraternity and sorority housing.
In March, the U.Va. board of visitors’ building and grounds committee approved a proposal for a 215-room, $130.5 million hotel and conference center at the corner of Emmet Street and Ivy Road. The hotel’s design team includes architects Deborah Berke Partners of New York and Norfolk-based Hanbury.
Earlier in his career, Rose served as an assistant vice president for administration at U.Va. He also held positions in student affairs for Miami University in Ohio and James Madison University.
After receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Miami University, Rose earned his doctorate from U.Va.
LAWRENCE A. ‘LARRY’ SELZER
PRESIDENT AND CEO, THE CONSERVATION FUND, ARLINGTON
For two decades, Selzer has led the Conservation Fund, an environmental nonprofit that aims to restore nature while creating economic and recreational opportunities. Founded in 1985, the fund has protected more than 8 million acres across America.
Selzer enjoyed a big win in June, when an Alaska native village corporation agreed to sell 44,000 acres of land as permanent conservation easements to the Conservation Fund for $18.3 million. The easements will cover a portion of what would have been the northern transportation route for the proposed Pebble Mine in Southwest Alaska, a wrinkle that may prove to be an obstacle to the controversial mining project.
As a kid growing up in Connecticut, Selzer enjoyed watching Mutual of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom” TV show. He earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies at Wesleyan University, going on to conduct research on marine mammals and seabird populations. Later, Selzer received his MBA from the University of Virginia.
Today, he sits on the boards for the Weyerhaeuser Co., a timberland business, and the American Bird Conservancy.
PRESIDENT AND CEO, UNITED WAY OF SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA, ABINGDON
Since 2005, Staton has led the United Way of Southwest Virginia, which works to create solutions for improving the region’s health, education and financial stability.
During Staton’s tenure, he’s guided the organization through eight different mergers and acquisitions, and he now oversees operations across 17 counties and four cities — nearly 20% of the state. In 2018, Charity Navigator named the United Way of Southwest Virginia one of the 10 best United Way chapters out of more than 1,200 nationwide.
In November 2020, the United Way of Southwest Virginia made headlines for a report it commissioned that found that half of Southwest Virginia households earned less than basic living costs in 2018 — and that was before the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. “Even though the cost of living in the region is lower than in the rest of the state, it is higher than what most residents earn,” Staton said.
In 2018, Gov. Ralph Northam appointed Staton to the Virginia Board of Workforce Development. Staton has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from East Tennessee State University.
STACEY D. STEWART
PRESIDENT AND CEO, MARCH OF DIMES INC., ARLINGTON
In recent months, Stewart has joined forces with three other Black female CEOs of health-related nonprofits to advocate for policy changes to end racial disparities in health.
Whenever Stewart gets the mic at their roundtables, she’s quick to point out that Black women are three to four times as likely as white women to die from pregnancy-related causes.
“Black women often articulate that they don’t feel respected and heard,” Stewart told Forbes magazine in November 2020. “Often, they present with symptoms, and their symptoms are dismissed.”
Heading the March of Dimes since 2017, Stewart does everything from overseeing the organization’s global medical research agenda and U.S. health policy agenda to directing brand management initiatives for the nonprofit, which works to improve the health of mothers and babies.
Stewart started her career on Wall Street, but she quickly discovered she was more interested in serving the public. She became chief diversity officer and senior vice president for the office of community and charitable giving at Fannie Mae, as well as president and CEO for the Fannie Mae Foundation. She was also the U.S. president of United Way Worldwide.