Nonprofits/Philanthropy: TRAVIS STATON
PRESIDENT AND CEO, UNITED WAY OF SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA, ABINGDON
Staton has spent the past decade of his 17 years as head of the United Way of Southwest Virginia shifting the organization toward a community impact model to improve the region’s health, education and financial stability.
In late 2021, his United Way launched a $30 million initiative to build regional public-private partnerships to address child care shortages that are a barrier to work for many families. In March, UWSWVA began offering a coordinated enrollment portal for early childhood care and education on its website. It’s part of its role as the lead organization for Ready Region Southwest, a network charged with coordinating early childhood care and education services and resources.
Staton oversees operations across 17 counties and four cities and has grown the nonprofit’s annual operating budget from $250,000 to $8 million and increased staff from two to 35 full-time employees. In July, he was helping coordinate relief efforts after massive flooding in Buchanan County damaged or destroyed about 100 homes.
A father of four with a bachelor’s degree from East Tennessee State University, Staton says he wants to ensure future generations have the same opportunities he had growing up in Southwest Virginia.