June 21, 2019
Katrina Powell loves a challenge.
Whether it’s growing up on a farm, just across the Virginia line in Providence, North Carolina, serving in the U.S. Army during Desert Storm or working as a city manager for cities wavering between growth and despair, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Foundation’s (SVHEF) new executive director is in her element when the stakes are high.
“I thoroughly enjoy chasing the challenge of ‘making change happen,’ and I’m bored if I’m not pursuing some issue that needs to be addressed or changed,” she said.
A former city manager for diverse cities in Florida and Michigan, Powell is now turning her vast skills and experiences to growing the SVHEF.
Established in 1997, the foundation serves as the primary supporter of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center. While the non-profit has succeeded on many projects, including taking on ownership of The Prizery’s facilities, consistent fundraising remains a challenge.
In December 2018, foundation board members placed their bets on Powell, believing she could face this challenge and succeed.
“We’re very excited to have a person of Katrina’s abilities on board,” said SVHEF chairman Ryan Garrett. “One of her primary duties will be fundraising. Katrina’s very good at managing finances and raising revenues, and she has a proven track record in both. We think she’s the right person to help us change our region’s narrative from survival to growth.”