Kelly Persons was selected as the Executive Director of NOVA’s Educational Foundation, where she is responsible for initiating, cultivating and maximizing philanthropic support. Persons reports to both the NOVA President and the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
Her responsibilities include fundraising, Board relations, and Foundation administration. Persons is accountable for developing and implementing strategic, long-term plans to generate philanthropic support for priorities identified by NOVA and the Foundation Board. She also oversees all scholarship and emergency aid programs for NOVA students.
“I am excited to join Northern Virginia Community College and to lead the NOVA Foundation,” said Persons. “Working with Foundation Board members and the NOVA Foundation team, we will continue to enhance fundraising to raise crucial support for programs and initiatives that align with the College’s strategic plan.”
Prior to joining NOVA, she served as the Executive Director of the Novant Health UVA Prince William Medical Center Fondation, where she managed day-to-day operations, the Foundation’s budget and administration and all aspects of fundraising, donor stewardship and Board relations. In a similar role at SkillsUSA, Persons led a team that raised $3.8 million annually, and was responsible for a robust donor portfolio that included Toyota North America, Snap-on Tools, NCCER, 3M, GE and Newell Rubbermaid. She effectively managed and motivated the SkillsUSA Foundation, a volunteer board composed of industry partners/c-suite level leaders.
For nearly seven years, Persons served as administrator of the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation (LCEF) and led corporate philanthropy for the company. During her tenure, the LCEF grew from a $3 million private foundation awarding grants to 80 recipients to an impactful public foundation providing grants in excess of $19 million.
She brings a track record of building and sustaining relationships in the community. Recently, she was recognized as a Champion by the Cherry Blossom Breast Cancer Foundation in Middleburg, Va., for ramping up fundraising to support no-cost mammography screenings for financially-fragile community members.
Persons attended Wells College in Aurora, NY, where she received her B.A., in American Studies. She is also a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS).