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ConnectVA Spotlight: Christina Manikus, Adult Education Programs Coordinator, Sacred Heart Center

Tell us about yourself. My name is Christina Manikus and I am the Adult Education Programs Coordinator at the Sacred Heart Center. I started my relationship with Sacred Heart Center as a volunteer teaching English as a Second Language after I had recently moved to Richmond from Argentina. While in Argentina, I had taught English, and I was able to bring my experience to share with the other teachers. I joined the staff towards the end of 2014 and have since evolved in my role from Development Assistant to Volunteer Coordinator and now working primarily with the adult programs. This has given me a well-balanced sense of the organization and nonprofits in general. In a former life I focused more on communications, since I studied Media Arts & Design with a minor in Theater & Dance at JMU and worked on a few movie sets afterwards.

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Nonprofit Directory Launching on ConnectVA

The Community Foundation is excited to announce the upcoming launch of a new Nonprofit Directory on ConnectVA.org. On September 24th, the directory will combine the best of two well-known and well-utilized resources – ConnectVA and GiveRichmond – into one location. “After gathering feedback from the community, we will streamline our two systems to provide a more seamless experience for nonprofits needing to share information, as well as individuals seeking it,” said Scott Blackwell, Chief Community Engagement Officer at the Foundation. “Going forward, we will continue to evolve ConnectVA to build bridges within and across sectors for improved organizational communication and maximum impact.” The Nonprofit Directory now allows organizations to provide a high-level overview of their organization, or they can go one step further to showcase detailed financial data, organizational leadership and key programs. Visitors to the site will also enjoy easy access to other popular features of ConnectVA including current job postings, upcoming events, human services and listings for items needed or available. This change is part of the Community Foundation’s ongoing effort to create efficiencies, promote transparency and build connections that help advance the important work of the region’s nonprofit sector.

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ConnectVA Spotlight: Daphne Swanson, President & CEO, Junior Achievement of Central Virginia

Tell us about yourself. My name is Daphne Swanson, President & CEO of Junior Achievement of Central Virginia (JACV).  I have been with Junior Achievement for 13 years.  Prior to joining Junior Achievement, I worked at Deloitte where I was as an auditor primarily working with clients in the mortgage and financial industries as well as local government. I’m originally from upstate New York, but moved to Norfolk, Virginia where I attended and graduated from Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science.  Seven years later I received a Post-Baccalaureate Degree in Accounting from Virginia Commonwealth University and shortly after became a Certified Public Accountant.  I have an 18 year old daughter who recently graduated from Maggie Walker Governor’s School and will be attending VCU in the fall. I serve on the board of ChamberRVA and Henrico Firefighter Foundation and a member of the West Richmond Rotary.  I am also an Advisory Board Member for BB&T of Richmond and I sit on the Virginia Career and Technical Education Advisory Committee.

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Event Recap: Nonprofits@Noon with Katie Botha

In June, a crowd of young nonprofit professionals gathered at the Virginia Holocaust Museum to hear Katie Botha, Vice President of Development & Communications at Special Olympics, share about her career journey at YNPN RVA’s Nonprofits@Noon event. What is Nonprofits@Noon? This professional development deep dive on “Nonprofit Career Journeys” is offered through the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network RVA (YNPN RVA). Attendees experience informative and insightful talk and discussion about building a career in the nonprofit field and have the chance to network with a broad range of nonprofit YPs at each event.

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ConnectVA Spotlight: Kristin Vinagro, Director of Communications, Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity

Tell us about yourself. My name is Kristin Vinagro and I am the Director of Communications at Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity.  I’ve been with Richmond Habitat for a little over seven years, and I absolutely love it!  Prior to working for Habitat, I worked for the United Way in Fredericksburg, Virginia as an Information Services Specialist, helping to direct individuals in need to services and working with local nonprofits to help build their capacity and foster partnerships. I am a double graduate of the University of Mary Washington, graduating in 2006 with a Bachelors in Historic Preservation, and again in 2007 with a Masters in Education. In my non-work life, I have a wonderful husband who is a teacher in Chesterfield County and two adorable cats.  My favorite hobby is traveling to new and exciting places!

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Help Somebody Spotlight: Marta Lefleor, The McShin Foundation

The Help Somebody Hall of Fame celebrates and recognizes good people doing good work in RVA.  We encourage our readers to nominate nonprofit staff, volunteers, board members and community members who are making a positive difference. This month, we are recognizing an avid volunteer and board member at The McShin Foundation – Marta Lefleor.  The McShin Foundation is a recovery resource foundation whose mission is to deliver a message of hope to individuals with a Substance Use Disorder and to facilitate their journey to a healthier life.

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Community Foundation Announces 2018 Community Impact Grants

The Community Foundation for a greater Richmond, together with its donors, is pleased to announce Community Impact grant awards for 2018, totaling $2.83 million to 78 organizations across the region. Community Impact grants support local nonprofits whose strategies and outcomes align with the Foundation’s four focus areas: community vibrancy, economic prosperity, educational success, and health and wellness. Over the past year, the Foundation has adopted funding priorities in education, housing, and workforce development initiatives that will increase access and opportunity for low-income residents in Richmond. A significant number of grants were awarded in the City of Richmond, where economic challenges tend to be the highest, with a focus on the East End, Northside and Southside (including the Jefferson Davis Corridor) neighborhoods. Ten grants were also awarded in the Petersburg area, primarily in education. The awards support nonprofit partners who are focused on high quality programming, systems, and advocacy and policy.

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The Community Foundation Launches New Brand and Renewed Purpose

The Community Foundation is excited to introduce our new brand—one that allows us to honor our past while preparing for our future. The world has changed since we were established 50 years ago. Our community is more diverse, our needs are different and our desire to give back is growing. But one thing has not changed, and that is the need for leadership to connect our community and be a catalyst for positive change.

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ConnectVA Spotlight: Sarah Williams, UnboundRVA

Tell us about yourself. My name is Sarah Williams and I’m the Executive Director of UnBoundRVA.  I have a BBA and MBA from The College of William and Mary.  I grew up in Halifax, Virginia where giving back and the importance of small businesses for creating generational wealth were ingrained in me. The first business I started was at age 12 selling candy and drinks at my brother's baseball games. I served for six years on the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence Board- now part of the Community Foundation - with RVA superstars like Kathie Markel, Ted Chandler, Sherrie Armstrong and Kevin Allison - that set the bar high for excellence by our nonprofit sector.  My work with small business owners has been what I have loved as a banker and an investment advisor and for four years as Chairman of the Board of UnBoundRVA.

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Help Somebody Spotlight: Angela Harper, Northstar Academy

The Help Somebody Hall of Fame celebrates and recognizes good people doing good work in our RVA community.  We encourage our readers to nominate nonprofit staff, volunteers, board members and community members who are making a positive difference. This month, we’re recognizing Angela Harper – an IEP/IAP Liaison at Northstar Academy.  Northstar Academy is a unique and highly successful non-profit school serving children in grades K-12. They promote educational excellence and career opportunities for students with disabilities who have academic, physical and social challenges.

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