NRCA welcomes new CEO

NRCA welcomes new CEO 4

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

Ms. Smith grew up in a rural area in a farming family that needed supports like those provided by New River Community Action. After high school, she left rural Georgia and joined the US Navy, serving during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. After completion of her service, she graduated from San Diego University with her BA in English, and later with her JD in Litigation in 2005 at George Mason School of Law. She has additional training in Nonprofit Management from Harvard Business School as well as various other applicable training.

As Jennifer was seeking services for her daughter with autism, she became involved in nonprofits as the Founder of a school for students with Autism (as well as other programs supporting people with disabilities) with The Arc of Loudoun. Jennifer has extensive experience working with low-income families building and funding strong service programs. She is dedicated to community service with a passion for solving problems. Her work with The Arc of Loudoun included partnering with Head Start to support preschool students with disabilities.

She understands program development to meet community needs, from services, to fundraising, to budgets to management. She has strength in breaking down vision into strategic planning steps to accomplish that vision. Her career in the nonprofit industry is driven by her desire to live and work in building a community where everyone can thrive.

“She is dedicated to the professional development of staff and Boards in the community service arena. She has an open-door teamwork management style that will be an excellent fit for our Senior Team and all our employees”, said Laura Walters, Board Chairperson. “She has the balance it takes to successfully manage a nonprofit dedicated to excellent client services with the Business background necessary for the success of the agency. Her personal philosophy fits well with Community Action’s Vision and mission of helping give a hand up not a handout.”

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, CHIP, Homeless and Housing Programs, To Our House, Emergency Assistance and Food Pantries, VACARES, VITA, Floyd Back Pack Program, Thriving Families Safer Children, Whole Family Approach. These programs support our mission of promoting and supporting the well-being and self-reliance of individuals, families, and communities.

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