Tuesday, May 2nd

Wednesday, May 3rd



Tuesday, May 2nd

7:30 am

Registration Opens

Wellness Sponsor

8:00 am

Breakfast for Pre-Conference Attendees

8:30 am

Pre-Conference | CEO Retreat          *Pre-registration required

If you’re looking for renewal, enlightenment, entertainment, and the answers to all your questions, then kick off this year’s conference with a unique opportunity to connect with your CEO and Executive Director peers. Spend time connecting with, and learning from your colleagues and engaging in important conversations about the topics that keep you up at night. Walk away with some good connections, some new ideas, and a renewed understanding that you’re not alone in your leadership journey.

Session Designers

Travis Jackson | Wythe-Bland Foundation

Kate Keller | The Harvest Foundation

Mike Monteith | Peninsula Community Foundation of Virginia

Dr. LaTonya Penny | Laughing Gull Foundation


Workshop Facilitator

Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat


8:30 am

Pre-Conference | Trustee Workshop          *Pre-registration required

Join your fellow trustees for this half-day workshop and interactive retreat to explore your unique role as fiduciaries, strategy leaders, and organizational champions. During this peer-to-peer gathering, trustees will learn, share, and build connections in a trustee-only space.

Session Designers & Participants

Claire Gastanaga (facilitator)  | Change Servant 

Erin Hogan | Bank of America Private Bank

Allen Mast | Truist Foundation & Endowment Specialty Practice

Rick Moyers (moderator) | Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge (Trustee)

Abraham Segres | Richmond Memorial Health Foundation (Trustee)

Myra Goodman Smith | Jenkins Foundation (Trustee)



8:30 am

Pre-Conference | Roanoke’s Hidden History Walking Tour         *Pre-registration required

Grab a cup of coffee and breakfast and join fellow funders as Nelson Harris, former Roanoke mayor and author of “Hidden History of Roanoke,” sets the backdrop of the Star City of the South through storytelling. After a time of Q&A, attendees will leave the hotel to start a guided walking tour of the Historic Gainsboro neighborhood, a “predominantly Black enclave where more than a century ago residents seeded their own self-sufficient businesses, medical facilities, churches and schools and fostered one of the most vibrant centers of Black culture and commerce in the American South.” The tour concludes at the Harrison Museum of African American Culture.

Session Designers

Mary Fant Donnan | The Alleghany Foundation

Denny Huff | Bedford Health Foundation

Jessica Wirgau | Community Foundation of the New River Valley

Pre-Tour Speaker

Nelson Harris | Heights Community Church


11:30 am

Session Transition & Networking Break

Grab a cup of coffee and a snack as you catch up with old friends and make new acquaintances. We’ve included at least half an hour in between sessions to allow you to connect and network with your fellow funders.


Tuesday’s Networking Breaks are Sponsored by 

12:00 pm

Opening Plenary | A Snapshot of Some of the Commonwealth’s Most Critical Issues and How Virginia Communities Can Build A Better Future

Last year’s inaugural conference included a session about the demographic shifts shaping Virginia’s present and future. So, how do implications of current data and opportunities inform our work? How can members deepen our understanding of the data and develop or build on innovative efforts which are foundational for transformative change? Hear from three experts at national, state, and local levels about what combination of efforts can lift up what works, and where philanthropy can support improved outcomes.

Session Designers & Participants

Battle Betts | Obici Healthcare Foundation

Paulin Cheatham | Dominion Energy

Jill Coleman | Cameron Foundation

Mary Fant Donnan | The Alleghany Foundation

Dr. Anthony Iton | The California Endowment

Patricia Mathews (moderator) | Northern Virginia Health Foundation

Toni Rozanski | Casey Family Programs

Sonya Waddell | Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Dwayne Yancey | Cardinal News


1:30 pm

Session Transition & Networking Break

2:00 pm

Breakout Session | Local Impact Investing: Addressing Critical Community Opportunities and Challenges with Flexible, Patient Capital

Philanthropy is changing. In this session, we will explore the opportunities and challenges that are motivating VFN members to use our social and financial capital differently.  Through a mix of candid conversations and small group exploration, we will discuss and uplift, why VFN members are becoming strategic, patient, and flexible capital providers, how foundations are identifying and aligning with their ecosystem partners to expand impact and we will all get a sneak peek into a VFN member-only resource to facilitate learning and collaboration to expand our impact.  

Session Designers & Participants

Chris Crothers | Jessie Ball DuPont Fund

Debby Kasemeyer | Northern Trust

Deb Markley | VCC Social Enterprises

Michelle Nelson | Community Foundation for a greater Richmond

Caroline Nowery | VCC Social Enterprises

Lisa O’Mara | VCC Social Enterprises

Stephanie Randolph | Purple Tiger


Breakout Session | The Earth is on Fire…Let’s Get Fired Up!!!

In the funding community, support for our environment is frequently viewed as separate from core funding priorities. With growing evidence of the acceleration of climate change, it is time to recognize the intersections between our environment and focus areas such as health, housing, economic development, and social justice. The environment can provide a lens for unity among seemingly disparate priorities. Join us to hear from passionate and dedicated individuals working to ensure our future generations can thrive on this shared planet. You may discover ways you already support the environment and will be inspired by stories of how this urgent need is being addressed through philanthropic partnerships and solutions.

Session Designers & Participants

Jamie Baxter | Chesapeake Bay Funders Network 

Carolyn Champion | Dominion Energy

Christine Gyovai |  Dialogue + Design Associates

Holly Hatcher | The Genan Foundation

Joe Maroon | Virginia Environmental Endowment

Grey McLean | Adiuvans Foundation

Elaine Summerfield (moderator) | Heritage Wealth Advisors


Breakout Session | Our Kids aren’t Alright: Finding Solutions to Virginia’s Youth Mental Health Crisis

Two-thirds of our high school students report feeling nervous, on edge. One in ten middle schoolers have contemplated suicide. Fifteen percent of parents report unusual anger among their 5 to 11-year-old children. A third of twenty-somethings across the state are evidencing clinical levels of depression. 

The state’s youngest residents – ranging from school age to high school, college, and beyond – need strong support systems and spaces for their voices to be heard. Join us to hear from multiple perspectives: young people and a panel of youth mental health professionals as we examine how the pandemic has impacted youth mental health, and professionals who will share how policy, philanthropy, and community can work together to ensure that young people are able to thrive. 


Session Designers & Participants

Allison Gilbreath | Voices for Virginia’s Children

Elizabeth Hughes | Community Foundation for Northern Virginia

Andy Johnston | PATH Foundation

Valerie Liggins | The Cameron Foundation

Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat | JL-S Consulting

Emily Moore | Voices for Virginia’s Children

Angela Prater | Virginia Mental Health Access Program

Amber Roos | Altria Group

Toni Rozanski (moderator) | Casey Family Programs

Justin Savoy | Recovery High School for Chesterfield County Public Schools


4:00 pm

Session Transition & Networking Break

New & Prospective Member Networking Break

4:30 pm

Cocktail Reception

Arts Sponsor
In partnership with

LIVE Performance

The Alum Ridge Boys & Ashlee

6:00 pm

Dinner Plenary | Philanthropic Leadership: Joining with Communities to Build a Better Future

In this dinner plenary, we will hear from local leaders in Virginia who have successfully created and scaled place-based initiatives that provide resident and community-driven solutions to complex challenges. As these leaders share their stories, we will learn more about how these place-based initiatives got started and are sustained, as well as how community voice plays a significant role in shaping their programs. Philanthropy can support place-based initiatives by using community voice to inform investment of multi-year financial capital, leadership, and partnerships to achieve collective impact.

Session Designers & Participants

Scott Blackwell | Community Foundation for a greater Richmond

Victor Branch | Bank of America

Mary Fant Donnan (moderator) | The Alleghany Foundation

Erin Hogan | Bank of America

Kristen Johnson | REAL LIFE

Audrey Trussell | Community Foundation for a greater Richmond

Binti Villinger | Calfee Community and Cultural Center

Jessica Wirgau | Community Foundation of the New River Valley


8:00 pm

After Party

Join us at the bar as we gather for informal networking and community building after the dinner plenary.

Wednesday, May 3rd

8:00 am

Breakfast Opens

8:30 am

Breakfast Plenary | Reimagining the Safety Net

Existing social safety net programs and benefits can provide assistance during different stages of an individual’s and family’s life and can help to reduce vulnerability and poverty. During COVID, these benefits were lifesaving. Some of the most effective programs at reducing poverty are the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC), as well as guaranteed income payments and housing supports. Unfortunately, many communities are unaware of these programs and the role of philanthropy in working across sectors to ensure individuals have access.

In this breakfast plenary, we will hear from foundation, nonprofit, and government leaders on how they are working with communities and lifting voices of those with lived experience to enhance legislation, ecosystem coordination, and support beyond funding dollars. In addition, speakers will discuss how to reimagine the social safety net beyond current services, to deliver critical services that communities need.


Session Designers & Participants

Dr. Danny Avula | Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Social Services

Leigh Anne Collier | The Commonwealth Institute 

Edward Jones (moderator) | ABFE & Weissberg Foundation (Trustee)

Vivien McMahan | United Way of South Hampton Roads 

Heather Peeler | ACT for Alexandria

Evette Roots | Wells Fargo

Brandi Yee | ACT for Alexandria


10:00 am

Session Transition & Networking Break

Grab a cup of coffee and a snack as you catch up with old friends and make new acquaintances. We’ve included at least half an hour in between sessions to allow you to connect and network with your fellow funders.


Wednesday’s Networking Breaks are Sponsored by

10:30 am

Breakout Session | Opportunities for Philanthropy to Step into Policy and Advocacy in the Aging Continuum

Join us as we explore how funders can address the needs of older adults in their community by engaging along the policy and advocacy continuum. From building awareness, convening providers and local officials, and demonstrating the importance of policy change, this work can take many different forms. Hear from colleagues across the state who have prioritized older adults and worked to change the system of care in their communities.

This session is also applicable to funders interested in engaging in policy and advocacy across other issue areas.  Attendees will be invited to share their experiences on the policy and advocacy continuum.


Session Designers & Participants

Susan Hallett | Bob & Anna Lou Schaberg Foundation

Denny Huff | Bedford Community Health Foundation

Fred Karnas | Richmond Memorial Health Foundation

Robin Mockenhaupt (moderator) | Virginia Funders Network

Sherry Norquist | Sentara Healthcare

Deborah Oswalt | Virginia Health Care Foundation 

Courtney Rice | Richmond Memorial Health Foundation

Katina Williams | Family Lifeline

Jessica Wirgau | Community Foundation of the New River Valley 


Breakout Session | Beyond the Grant: Challenges Facing Virginia’s Nonprofit Sector and How We Respond

What is the greatest challenge for our grantees statewide? How can they bring more diversity into leadership? What are they seeking from us and one another? Join us for this interactive session as we explore the results of the new Virginia Nonprofit Sector Report, released this spring by Center for Nonprofit Excellence and underwritten by the PATH Foundation and the Obici Healthcare Foundation. Gain a deeper understanding of the field of capacity building, leading practices for funders engaged in it, and how to make the case for investing in the capacity of grantees. With your colleagues, share lessons learned, discuss future opportunities, and build a community of practice around capacity building. This session is discussion-based through which we will learn from and co-create with each other. 


Session Designers & Facilitators

Cristine Nardi | Center for Nonprofit Excellence

Dan Layman | Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge


Breakout Session | Racial Justice: Funders Coming Together to Build the Possible

Are you interested in building trust with other funders and communities in support of racial justice? Are you part of a funder network looking to have impact on a specific issue? Are you interested in exploring participatory grantmaking but not sure how to start, or what it even means? What could be possible if you joined together with other funders to center racial justice, pool funding, and deepen your partnership with community by utilizing participatory grantmaking?

Come to this session to hear from two groups of national, regional, state, and local foundations that came together as thought and funding partners to launch two justice-oriented pooled funds utilizing participatory grantmaking approaches: the Fund for Black-led organizations in Virginia and an in-development fund to support environmental justice organizations in Virginia. You will also hear from a foundation that created a fund to support economic and racial justice for Black families in Richmond. They will share their commitments to racial justice, their institutional stories of how and why they came together, how they built trust with each other and community over time, why participatory grantmaking is important, and how they got their Boards on board. There will be an opportunity for attendees to share their “why” stories in small groups based on where you are; whether you’re just curious, interested in starting a pooled fund, have a fund that is evolving, or anything in between – there is space for you at the table.

Planning & Conversation Team 

Kendra Allen | if, A Foundation for Radical Possibility

Edgar Aranda-Yanoc | Meyer Foundation

Jamie Baxter | Chesapeake Bay Funders Network 

Stephanie Glenn | Community Foundation for a greater Richmond

Dawnn Leary | Greater Washington Community Foundation

Ria Pugeda | if, A Foundation for Radical Possibility

Ricshawn Roane | Weissberg Foundation


Breakout Session | Workforce Development: The Urgency of Collaborating, Scaling, and Shaping our Workforce Now

Foundations from across the Commonwealth will share how they’ve leveraged their roles as financial sponsors, conveners, and matchmakers to support the development of innovative workforce solutions and bring them to scale for maximum impact. Our panel discussion will include workforce partners and foundation leaders as they reflect on the unique role funders play in advancing their region’s workforce readiness, including the critical skills and other supports needed for overall job success. We’ll conclude the session with “office hours” for deeper conversation. 

Session Designers & Participants

Dr. Shannon Anderson | Roanoke College 

Scott Andrews-Weckerly (moderator) | Community Foundation for a greater Richmond

Dr. Julie Brown | Institute for Advanced Learning

Holly Hatcher | The Genan Foundation

Dr. Greg Hodges | Patrick Henry Community College

DeWitt House | The Harvest Foundation

Kate Keller | The Harvest Foundation 

Cynthia Lawrence | Carillion Clinic

Sean McMurray | Wellspring Foundation of Southwest Virginia

Ridge Schuyler | Piedmont Virginia Community College/Network2Work


12:00 pm

Session Transition & Networking Break

12:30 pm

Closing Plenary | Well Being for All Who Call Virginia Home

As we wrap-up our VFN Annual Conference and look to the year ahead, we will focus on what success looks like and how we, collectively as philanthropy and individually as funders, would know if we are successful. We often measure our outputs and our outcomes based on our particular programs and growth in our economy, but do the things that we measure adequately reflect how our society is doing and how we feel about improving our quality of life and our current state and future prospects?

Our panelists will bring their perspectives and dialogue with the audience about what Collective Wellbeing is, and how it can be measured and discussed in our communities and Commonwealth. Collective impact requires that disparate stakeholders have some common goal(s). Together we will explore what actions would best address the needs of our communities and all who call Virginia home.

Session Designers & Participants

Anita Chandra, RAND

Christy Connolly | PATH Foundation

Claire Gibbons | Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Dr. Bill Hazel (moderator) | Claude Moore Charitable Foundation

Erin Hogan | Bank of America

Toni Rozanski | Casey Family Programs