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Four Advisory Members provide input to the Board. The Board of Directors and Advisory Members to the Board come from a variety of professions, bringing a breadth of expertise to DRF. They are also representative of the geographic area the Foundation serves.
Jim Bebeau, a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), is the Executive Director of Danville-Pittsylvania Community Service (DPCS), an organization providing community-based treatment and prevention services for those with behavioral health or developmental disabilities. Holding an undergraduate psychology degree from Hampden-Sydney College, a graduate counseling degree from Longwood College, and post-graduate work at Lynchburg College, he has extensive experience in behavioral healthcare and has worked in various capacities at DPCS since 1994. Jim is a native of Danville and has a strong commitment to the community, serving in various volunteer capacities since 1992. He is a Life Member and Life Board Member of the Danville Life Saving Crew, having served as an Advanced Life Support provider and more recently as a Board Member and Vice President. Jim is a member of the Danville Riverview Rotary Club and was the 2008/2009 Club President. He serves on the Board of Directors of Smart Beginnings Danville-Pittsylvania, the Danville Area Training Center, the Virginia Association of Community Services Boards as a Vice Chair, and has also served on the Board of Directors of the Danville Science Center, Sacred Heart School and the Boards of Directors for the Community Policy & Management Teams in both Danville & Pittsylvania County. Jim is an avid biker – enjoying the local trails on a mountain bike and the scenic county farmlands on a road bike.
Anna works in Corporate Business Development as a Strategic Analyst at Noblis, a science, technology and strategy development company. She graduated from James Madison University where she studied English Literature and Chinese with a focus on interdisciplinary studies: the intersection between math, science, art, literature and philosophy. Upon graduating she took her first job in Shenzhen, China as an English teacher and Foreign Expert at Shenzhen Institute for Information Technology. She then moved on to Oakland, CA where she first worked in publishing and then at The National Equity Project where she worked on a design team focused on creating systems-design solutions for problems related to racial, social and economic equity. In her free time, Anna enjoys spending quality time with friends and family, traveling, the great outdoors and learning as much as she can across a broad range of disciplines.
Cathy is the president of New Ground Consulting Group where she works as a strategic thought partner and leadership coach to a wide variety of clients across the United States. Her career-spanning passions over two decades have remained centered on cultivating the potential in people and organizations through a unique blend of coaching, leadership development, training and consulting. She is a Certified Professional Coach and adjunct faculty member at American University in Washington, DC, where she designs and delivers courses for senior and executive leaders across the federal sector. She earned a BA in English from Appalachian State University, an MBA from Averett University, a Certificate in Corporate Citizenship from Boston College, and a Certificate in Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University. Prior to founding her company, Cathy worked in Organizational Communication for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Public Affairs at Miller Brewing Company, and as a journalist with daily newspapers in her native North Carolina. She and her husband Phillip live in Caswell County, where they enjoy long walks, the outdoors, gardening, cooking and the joys of a rural lifestyle.
The DRF Board of Directors is composed of 11 regional leaders, each serving limited, rotating terms. Four Advisory Members provide input to the Board. The Board of Directors and Advisory Members to the Board come from a variety of professions, bringing a breadth of expertise to DRF. They are also representative of the geographic area the Foundation serves.
Jessie Barksdale was born and raised in Pittsylvania County, VA. He also lived in Trenton, NJ during his teenage years. Jessie is a graduate of Taylor Business College, Philadelphia, PA, a U.S. Army Veteran and a retired Civil Servant of the Federal Government. He worked for the US Department of Defense and the Federal Aviation Administration in Alaska and Washington, DC. He is a private pilot with a multi-engine instrument airplane rating. Jessie also serves as a Mission Transport Pilot for the local Civil Air Patrol. He was elected to the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors in November 2011 and served as Chairman in 2014 and 2016. He serves on multiple boards and committees for the County and the City of Danville. Jessie resides in Chatham (Spring Garden), and enjoys playing the bass guitar, flying, traveling, and gardening.
Chris Eastwood, Chair
Chris Eastwood, a Financial Advisor and Limited Partner for financial services firm Edward Jones, is a native of Pittsylvania County. Prior to becoming a member of the Board, he served as an advisory member and as a member of the DRF Financial Investment Committee. In addition Chris serves on the Danville Community College and Danville Life Saving Crew Boards. He is a lifelong member of Mount Tabor Baptist Church where he also serves as a deacon and children’s leader.
Alexis Ehrhardt is President & CEO of the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce, where her work focuses on serving the business community to make a stronger Dan River Region. Prior to that, she served as the founding Executive Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness at Averett University. Raised in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Rockville, MD, Alexis has lived in the region since 2000. She graduated magna cum laude from Emory University with a B.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Spanish, holds a Master’s degree in Higher Education from the University of Virginia, and a doctorate in Leadership Studies from Lynchburg College. A 2016 graduate of Lead Virginia, Alexis is a gubernatorial appointee to the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, and serves on the City of Danville’s Transportation Advisory Committee, the Middle Border Forward Advisory Board and the Dan River Region Health Collaborative.
Carolyn B. Evans
Danville is home for Carolyn, who was born and educated in the city. Employed by the City of Danville, she is Director of Customer Service for the city′s Utilities Department, and was elected by city employees and served as chair of the Employee′s Retirement System Board of Trustees, a role she has held since 2011. An active member of Calvary Baptist Church, Carolyn has served as church clerk for almost 30 years. She is a member of the Board of Directors for Danville City Employees Federal Credit Union. She is a graduate of Danville Community College. Carolyn enjoys spending time with family, crafts, and especially enjoys reading.
E. Gregory Hairston
A native of Cascade and current resident of Danville, Greg graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University and the Marshall Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary. He is currently the sole practitioner of his own law office in Danville. Greg serves as President of the Danville Branch of the NAACP and is an active member of the local graduate chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., as well as being a member of the Board of Trustees with Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church.
A self-described Army brat, Dr. Henderson has lived many places in the United States, but calls Danville home. A board-certified pulmonologist practicing pulmonary and critical care medicine in Danville since 1983, Bill graduated from the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia and completed his residency and fellowship at Michigan State University. Bill has enjoyed serving the community on the Hospital Board, as Chairman of the Mental Health Services Board, and as Chief of Danville Regional′s Medical Staff.
He is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine. You will frequently see Bill on his handcycle enjoying the beautiful Dan River from the spectacular River Walk!
Charles H. Majors, Vice-Chair
Charley earned his law degree from the University of Virginia, was admitted to practice law in Virginia, Georgia and Florida, and joined the Danville firm of what is now Clement & Wheatley in 1972. With a specialty in corporate and banking law and after 20 years of practice, Charley became president of American National Bank and Trust Company and American National Bankshares, Inc., in 1993, and was named Chief Executive Officer in 1994. Charley now serves as Board Chairman of the Bank and the holding company. He is the past chairman of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Virginia Bankers Association and Danville Regional Foundation. He is the current chairman of the Future of the Piedmont Foundation. In 2013, he served as President of the Federal Reserve Board′s Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council and was the 2013 recipient of the Kiwanis Citizen of the Year Award.
Tommy is president/CEO of First Piedmont Corporation a privately owned regional waste management company with corporate offices located in Chatham, Virginia. Tommy joined First Piedmont in 1980 after graduating from Virginia Tech. He is currently a member of the Chatham Rotary Club, a member of the Advisory Board of American National Bank, on the Board of Trustees of the National Waste and Recycling Association and on the Board of Directors of the Old Dominion Agricultural Foundation and Complex.
Martha Walker currently serves as one of three Community Viability Specialists with Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) and is a faculty member in Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. She works with counties and cities throughout Virginia as well as multiple state agencies assessing community needs, facilitating community-based action plans, and identifying resources from Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, and other state and federal agencies. In 2015, she received the Virginia Tech Alumni Award for Excellence in Extension (Individual Specialist) in addition to the programming awards she received throughout her career with Extension. She was an elected member of the Pittsylvania County School Board between 1996 and 2004, is past president of the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce, and has served on various non-profit boards. Martha has a Bachelor’s degree from Averett College, a Master of Science degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and a Doctor of Philosophy from Old Dominion University.
Tammy Wright-Warren, a native of Danville and current resident of Pittsylvania County, is Chief Operating Officer of Negril, Inc. Negril is a Medicaid Waiver Provider serving intellectually disabled adults in Danville, Pittsylvania County, South Boston and Richmond. Tammy serves on the board of The Boys and Girls Club of the Danville Area, Danville Community Policy Management Team, Lions Club and HAVEN. She is very excited about the future of downtown Danville and the revitalization of the city. Tammy is a graduate of Averett University and she is married to Craig Warren. They have three children, Craig, Tamela and Shaneqwa.
Vincentt Sutton II
Susanne R. Bell
Susanne joined DRF in March 2020 and serves as the Senior Program Officer focused on education. She’s a native Virginian and is thrilled to be back in the Commonwealth. Before joining the Foundation, Susanne served as senior consultant with the Smarter Learning Group, with a majority of her time devoted to the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (GLR). She joined the GLR Campaign a year after it launched and built field capacity among the network of GLR communities as it grew from 124 to 300+. Susanne also worked at First Book, a unique social entrepreneurship nonprofit where she led relationships with a number of national nonprofits, and was an inaugural staff member at the National Summer Learning Association, where she conducted quality assessments, program evaluations and policy analyses. She holds a bachelor’s from Carson-Newman University and a master’s in public policy from Johns Hopkins University.
Stephanie S. Blevins
Stephanie was born and reared in Pittsylvania County. She joined DRF in 2005 as an accountant responsible for maintaining cash controls on all accounts as well as managing payroll. She holds a bachelor′s degree in business administration from Averett University and an associate′s degree from Danville Community College. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked as the office manager for the Admissions Office at Chatham Hall, and as an administrative assistant for the plant manager followed by the treasury department for what was then DIMON, Inc.
Clark, a native of Floyd County, VA, and resident of Danville, is DRF's president & CEO leading the Foundation to promote innovation and long-term transformation designed to enhance economic development, education and wellness in Virginia and North Carolina′s Dan River Region. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Radford University, received his master′s degree from the University of Mississippi, and has certificates in economic development from the University of Oklahoma′s Economic Development Institute and entrepreneurship from the Tayloe Murphy Center at the University of Virginia′s Darden School of Business. Clark is also an alumnus of the Southeastern Council of Foundations Advanced Leadership Institute. Clark joined DRF in 2008 after eight years with the Three Rivers Planning & Development District, a regional economic and community development nonprofit in Pontotoc, MS. He began his tenure with DRF as senior program officer before becoming the foundation’s vice president of programs and now president.
Shirley Jo Hite
A native of Pittsylvania County, Shirley Jo earned an associate degree from Danville Community College and joined the workforce as an agency secretary for Jefferson Pilot Life Insurance Company. She then accepted a position with what was then Dibrell Brothers, Inc. (and eventually DIMON Inc.) prior to joining DRF as the executive assistant in 2005.
Alex joined DRF in January 2016 as Administrative Assistant. A native of Lake Zurich, Illinois, a Northwest suburb of Chicago, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Prior to becoming a resident of Danville, Alex began her career at the Dodge Nature Center in St. Paul, Minnesota as their Development Associate and then Marketing and Volunteer Coordinator. Most recently, she worked for the Danville Public Library managing their Reference Desk.
Annie Martinie joined the DRF team in July 2014 as the senior program officer focusing on community health and wellness, working to improve health outcomes in the Dan River Region. Prior to coming to DRF, Annie worked as the Healthy Eating and Active Living Intervention Lead for the NC Community Transformation Grant (CTG) Project in Region 5 that includes Rockingham, Caswell, Person, Guilford, Alamance, Orange, Durham, Chatham and Wake Counties in North Carolina. A native of Sandwich, Illinois, a rural community west of Chicago, she graduated from Bradley University with a degree in public relations and a minor in marketing. She began her career at the United Way of Dane County in Madison, Wisconsin as an assistant director of resource development. Upon moving to a career in health promotion, she has worked as a freelance health writer, small business owner and Program Manager at Be Active North Carolina before joining the NC Community Transformation Grant (CTG) Project in Region 5. Annie recently earned a Master's of Public Affairs from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
A Pittsylvania County native, Starling′s specialties as a senior program officer with DRF include leadership and capacity development. He brings nearly 30 years of nonprofit experience, having worked for Pittsylvania County Community Action, Inc., as the director of planning and budget, and social services-parent involvement coordinator for Head Start. Starling served as a past Vice Chair of the Danville-Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and is a deacon and finance ministry chair for the Greater Brookville Church. He earned a bachelor′s degree in social work from Norfolk State University, a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University, and has graduate studies towards a master′s degree in administration at Lynchburg College.
A native of Pittsylvania County, Lori serves as the director of marketing and communications working to develop strategic marketing efforts for DRF and its regional partners. She has experience that spans public relations; event/sponsorship management and marketing; strategic communications planning; and digital and social media project planning, development and implementation. Prior to joining DRF, she held various positions with Birmingham, Alabama-based Luckie & Company, a national full-service marketing and advertising agency. She is a Cum Laude graduate of Samford University with a major in Journalism/Mass Communications and a minor in Business. She is also certified by the Institute for Crisis Management. Lori is a 2015 graduate of Lead Virginia, a 2016 recipient of the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals PACE (Professional and Community Engagement) Award, a member of the board of directors for God's Storehouse in Danville and holds a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University Office of Continuing Studies.
J.C. joined DRF in August 2020 as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, bringing with him over a decade of specialized accounting experience. J.C. has called the Danville/Pittsylvania County area home since 1989 and has always considered Danville his hometown. Currently a Pittsylvania County resident, J.C. has held upper level financial positions with American National Bank & Trust Company and most recently Daly Hotel Management Inc. He holds a bachelor's degree in Accounting from Averett University and is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia.