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.
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.
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.