Krystal Thompson new CEO for NRCA

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Krystal Thompson
Krystal Thompson

New River Community Action’s Board of Directors is pleased to welcome the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer, Krystal Thompson. As the CEO, Ms. Thompson will be responsible for the successful leadership and management of the agency. Ms. Thompson will oversee the planning and implementation of the agency’s programs and services to ensure full compliance and resources to address needs of the community and low-income clients for NRCA programs.

Ms. Thompson is a human service professional with many years in the nonprofit, for-profit, and public arenas. Krystal has experience in program development and implementation, grant writing, fundraising, strategic planning, budgeting, fiscal, regulatory compliance, and human resource management. She comes to NRCA from the State Director position with Family Preservation Services and, previously, the Executive Director for the Brain Injury Services of SWVA and the Chief Operating Officer at the Commonwealth Catholic Charities.

Ms. Thompson has a Master of Arts in Education degree in Counseling Education and Student Personnel Services and a Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Child Development from Virginia Tech. Krystal also comes with her Certification in Mission-Based Leadership and Organization Development from the University of Notre Dame and Catholic Charities USA. Ms. Thompson has served in multiple board leadership and volunteer roles in her community.

Ms. Thompson has been working with outgoing CEO, Terry Smusz, on the leadership transition that will occur when Ms. Smusz retires on June 30, 2021.

“The board reviewed over 100 applications from all around the United States as part of a months-long process,” said John McEnhill, Board Chairperson. “We are confident that Krystal has the right mix of leadership skills and experience to work effectively with our diverse, active Board of Directors and our many valued community partners and empower NRCA’s dedicated staff guided by our mission.”

New River Community Action is a non-profit agency working with community partners in the New River Valley to address local conditions of poverty. NRCA offers hope and help through services that meet basic needs, strengthen families, promote school readiness and economic stability to improve the lives of over 8,000 people each year. NRCA administers numerous human services programs including Head Start; early childhood home visiting and case management; homeless prevention, shelter, and rapid rehousing; emergency food pantries; ex-offender reentry services; and income tax return assistance. For more information, visit