In June, Sharon Goodwyn became the first African American and first woman to serve as board chair of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation.
Goodwyn, an attorney for more than 30 years with Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, said in a news release that she is deeply grateful for the board’s faith in her ability to uphold and advance the vision, mission and values of the community foundation. The board provides oversight of the organization’s $525 million in assets and supports its mission to make life better in Hampton Roads.
“There’s no place quite like the community foundation, and there’s no better time to lead its work in addressing racial inequities in our region, growing its charitable footprint and working together to create a thriving community for all,” she said.
Deborah DiCroce, foundation president, CEO and board secretary, said the community foundation prioritized providing leadership to create a more inclusive and equitable community when it launched its 2018-2023 strategic road map four years ago.
“Our work on this strategic priority is central to the foundation’s vision of a thriving community with opportunity for all,” she said.
To date, the work has included an assessment of the foundation’s internal practices and policies, a public forum series focused on race and a 25-step plan focused on inclusivity and equitability. DiCroce said one of those steps called for an increase in representation for people of color on the 15-member board of directors in an effort to better reflect Hampton Roads and stakeholders’ diversity.
Since the strategy was launched in 2020, the board has elected six new members, including four people of color.
“Each officer brings a distinct perspective and expertise that assists the community foundation in accomplishing its mission, engaging the community and stewarding resources that help Hampton Roads thrive,” DiCroce said.
Established in 1950 as the Norfolk Community Trust, it merged with the Virginia Beach Foundation in 2010 to create the overarching Hampton Roads Community Foundation. The organization is the largest grant and scholarship provider in the region with more than $344 million provided to date. Last year, the foundation gave more than $20 million in grants and scholarships, including close to $1 million to Black-led nonprofits.
Sandra J. Pennecke, 757-652-5836, firstname.lastname@example.org