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 is the President & CEO of Danville Regional Foundation (DRF), a place-based funder that exists to support the expansion of prosperity in a region that includes the City of Danville, Virginia, Pittsylvania County, Virginia, and Caswell County in North Carolina. All of DRF’s work is designed to support our regional partners as they work to improve the education, economic vitality, health, financial stability, and civic capacity for all citizens of the Dan River Region. Since 2005, DRF has made over 400 grants totaling more than $160 million dollars.
Clark grew up in Floyd, Virginia. He received his undergraduate degree from Radford University and his master’s degree from the University of Mississippi. He has Certificates in Entrepreneurship from the University of Virginia, Economic Development from the University of Oklahoma, and Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management from the Harvard Business School.
Clark serves on the Board of GO Virginia Region 3, the Future of the Piedmont Foundation, and is currently Vice-Chair of the Board for the Virginia Funder’s Network.
Joshua Hearne is originally from northeastern Kentucky but has happily lived in Danville since 2008. He graduated from Georgetown College before going on to earn a master's degree from Duke University. Joshua spent several years serving alongside people experiencing homelessness, poverty, addiction, hunger, and discrimination in Danville through Grace and Main Fellowship. During this time, he completed a doctorate at Mercer University focused on asset-based community development and housing-related decision-making. In June 2022, Joshua joined the foundation as the Senior Program Officer focusing on encouraging community engagement, building stronger networks of neighbors in communities and housing. He is passionate about involving people in decisions about what affects them directly and in being a part of building a community that is beneficial to all members.
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.
Willie joined DRF in January 2021 and serves as the Senior Program Officer focused on quality of life. He is a native of Ohio and has lived in North Carolina for the last 11 years. Prior to joining the Foundation, Willie served as the Board & Grant Specialist for Foundation For The Carolinas, where he served over five regional community foundations. Willie also worked at The Duke Endowment as a fellow in Charlotte, NC and an AmeriCorps VISTA in Cullowhee, NC He holds a bachelor’s of science from Brevard 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.