Charlottesville Area Community Foundation Welcomes Three New Board Members

We are excited to announce that three new board members have joined our Governing Board (from left to right): Charles Lewis, Josephus Allmond, and Ashleigh O’Brien.

Charles Lewis has founded multiple organizations and holds key roles, including serving with the Black Professionals Network of Charlottesville. He produces and co-hosts the community-based talk show In My Humble Opinion, and is co-owner of Out of Sight Events, a local event company. Charles works as a Senior Unified Communications Engineer at UVA Health, and is a trusted community leader, and proud family man.

Josephus Allmond is an Associate Attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center, where he focuses on energy regulatory and environmental justice litigation. He attended Duke Law School, where he was involved with the Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, the Graduate and Professional Student Council, and the Black Law Students Association. Josephus currently lobbies at the Virginia General Assembly on solar and other clean energy issues. He also serves as the Membership Chair for the 100 Black Men of Central Virginia.

Ashleigh O’Brien is Director of Sustainable Investments at CornerStone Partners. She holds a Master’s in International Affairs from Johns Hopkins University. Ashleigh has led investments for the Johns Hopkins University Investment Office and the International Finance Corporation. She has expertise in impact investing, and through her prior experience at the World Bank, understands the complexities of different financing approaches that must be tailored for communities.


Bama Works Fund Awards $784,540 to 135 Nonprofits

The Bama Works Fund of Dave Matthews Band at the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation is pleased to announce its Spring 2024 grant funding decisions, totaling $784,540 and supporting 135 nonprofits throughout the region. With this round of grants, the Bama Works Fund continues its commitment to Charlottesville and the surrounding counties.

This grant cycle, the Bama Works Fund is supporting a wide range of organizations, including those working to mitigate food insecurity, provide youth programming, and support the reduction of gun violence. As always, funding priority was given to organizations impacting lives in the City of Charlottesville and the Counties of Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Nelson, and Orange. For a full list of Spring 2024 grant recipients, download the Bama Works 2024 Spring Grant Recipients PDF.

Brennan Gould, President and CEO of the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, says, “The commitment of the Dave Matthews Band to this region is remarkable. So many individuals have been positively impacted by this grant program, and we are deeply grateful for the critically important work of the organizations that will benefit from these grant awards.”

Twice each year, the Bama Works Fund awards gifts through a competitive grant cycle. The next application period opens on July 1st, with an application deadline of August 29th. For more information, please visit our website or call us at (434) 296-1024.

Symia Tabron Named Accounting Manager

The Charlottesville Area Community Foundation (Community Foundation) is thrilled to welcome Symia Tabron as our new Accounting Manager. Symia will work closely with our finance team and play a key role in ensuring the foundation delivers on our mission to improve quality of life as a community-centered, equity-forward organization by maintaining strong financial health, sound fiscal stewardship, and organizational integrity and compliance. 

Symia’s financial expertise, meticulous attention to detail, and dedication to the Charlottesville community make her a perfect fit for our team,” Brennan Gould, president and CEO of the Community Foundation, shared. “We are excited to have Symia join our team and contribute to our mission.” 

Symia brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in accounting and financial management. Previously, she held the position of Staff Accountant at Greater Charlottesville Habitat for Humanity where she was responsible for guiding the finance department in migrating software and restructuring chart of accounts. She also served in significant roles at Charlottesville Abundant Life Ministries, and the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority, bringing over 15 years of expertise in finance and leadership across various sectors, including public accounting, non-profit, and for-profit enterprises. 

“I’m excited to learn about all the grant opportunities in our community and how my role will facilitate the distribution of this funding,” Symia said. “I’m especially looking forward to taking on this leadership role and being able to learn, grow and develop from and with the foundation.” 

Symia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a minor in Sociology from the University of Virginia.  

In her free time, Symia is either volunteering on the football field, watching youth and high school games, or on a plane traveling to a new destination. She enjoys attending sporting events, spending time with friends, and discovering new places.  Symia is married to Scottie and has two sons, Clarence and Ian. 

Charles J. Lewis III Resilience Education Fund

The non-profit organization, Resilience Education is proud to announce the establishment of the Charles J. Lewis III Resilience Education Fund that will be managed by the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation. This meaningful gesture of generosity from the Lewis Family, in memory of their late nephew, will help Resilience to continue building more impactful initiatives in the form of higher education and professional support for incarcerated and released individuals.

Lemuel E. Lewis (MBA ’72), University of Virginia Darden School of Business alumnus, has been awarded Darden’s highest honor for his outstanding contributions to the school and wider community. Sandra Wicks Lewis (CLAS ‘72) was one of the first African American women to graduate from the College of Arts & Sciences in 1972 at the University of Virginia and recently served on the board of the Karsh Institute for Democracy. Over the years, the Lewis Family has supported the development of Resilience Education and its programs for justice-impacted communities with regular donations. This new fund demonstrates not only a lifelong commitment to formerly incarcerated people, but also provides the practical means for others to follow suit.

“I first met Tierney Fairchild several years ago when she had just started the Resilience Program. Of course, I knew Greg, her husband, from my work at Darden. During the intervening years, I stayed connected with Tierney and from time to time she gave me an update on the program’s progress. Hearing about the graduation ceremonies and the lower recidivism rates that followed made the humanity and importance of this program even more meaningful to my wife and me,” said Lewis.

“Also, during this time, we had a family member who was incarcerated and had recently been released. Although he was a UVA graduate and an Air Force veteran, he had great difficulty getting a job due to having been incarcerated. One thing led to the next and, unfortunately, he died after being out of prison for less than three years,” he explained. Life after incarceration is often fraught with complex challenges; the new fund acknowledges this by commemorating the life of “Chuckie” and financially supporting programs designed to achieve economic mobility for justice-impacted individuals.  

“The Resilience Education program is an incredible aid in helping those who have been incarcerated transition back into society with the skill sets and support that will enable them to be productive. Growing up in Lynchburg, VA, I was taught to make sure we left this world a little better than we found it. To this end and in remembrance of Chuckie, we established this fund. During my life I have invested in many different things, but I know none of them will have a greater return than this one,” said Lewis.

“Greg and I have long admired Lem and Sandra as trailblazers at UVA and Darden, and we have always appreciated their guidance and encouragement. Their leadership, service, and philanthropy at UVA, in Charlottesville and the greater Commonwealth is well known. Resilience Education is so grateful to be the recipient of this important fund honoring their nephew. We look forward to helping it grow and to expanding our impact,” said Tierney Fairchild, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Resilience Education.

With additional financial support from the Charles J. Lewis III Resilience Education Fund, Resilience will continue pushing back against employment barriers by developing education programs within correctional facilities, growing its professional support network (Resilient Professional Community) and initiating conversations in the Fair Chance Business Education Consortium.

About Resilience Education:

Resilience Education is a non-profit organization focused on breaking the cycle of incarceration by improving the economic mobility of formerly incarcerated individuals through high-quality business education and post-release support. By partnering with correctional facilities, academic institutions, and private sector allies, Resilience Education empowers formerly incarcerated individuals to excel in the workforce. For more information, visit

About Charlottesville Area Community Foundation:

The Charlottesville Area Community Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for those negatively impacted by inequitable systems in Charlottesville and the surrounding seven counties. In collaboration with donors, the foundation facilitates grants, scholarships, and other non-monetary support to community-based organizations working to address the ever-changing needs of our region.

Reflections on the First Six Months of our Solidarity Program

Six months ago, the Community Foundation launched our Solidarity program to support racial equity movement building — efforts that go beyond providing services and relief, and instead seek to collectively reimagine and alter unjust systems, and shift power to achieve long-term, community-level change. The most effective drivers of racial equity are the social movements led by those most affected by injustice. The Solidarity Program therefore supports movement building led by Black and ALAANA (African, Latine, Asian, Arab, and Native American) members of our community.

“Movement building is the effort of social change agents to engage power holders and the broader society in addressing a systemic problem or injustice while promoting an alternative vision or solution.” 

Julie Quiroz-Martinez, From the Roots: Building the Power of Communities of Color to Challenge Structural Racism, Akonadi Foundation, 2010 (pg. 5)

There’s been tremendous enthusiasm and learning that will undoubtedly shape future iterations of the Solidarity program. In the first six months of our pilot year, we received an unprecedented number of applications, which affirmed the need for programs supporting racial equity movement building in our region. From the very beginning, we envisioned the Solidarity program as an ongoing conversation with the community and are excited to continue adapting it in the coming months.

If you are interested in providing feedback, want to share your experience applying for the grant, or are willing to take part in a focus group to help us take the next steps in reimagining the Solidarity program, please email us at

Kisha Bwenge Named Senior Capacity Building Manager

The Charlottesville Area Community Foundation (Community Foundation) is pleased to welcome Kisha Bwenge as our new Senior Capacity Building Manager. Kisha will work closely with the Programs team to provide direct capacity building support to grant partners, oversee the Catchafire program, and serve as the primary liaison for our Agency Funds. 

“Kisha’s leadership in community building, and passion for advocacy make her an ideal candidate for this pivotal role,” Brennan Gould, president and CEO of the Community Foundation, said. “Her dedication to empowering community partners and driving equitable and people-centered outcomes is a valuable asset for our work. We’re excited to welcome her to the team.” 

Kisha has spent her career helping organizations increase their impact through stronger communications and engagement. She most recently served as Advisor at trubel&co, and Senior Community Building Manager with Open Contracting Partnership, where she led and developed the organization’s first community-building strategy.  

“I am thrilled to be joining the Community Foundation and contributing to our community-centered equity-forward, regenerative philanthropy practices across the region,” Kisha said. “I am especially looking forward to learning from our grantee partners, while helping meet the need for additional non-financial support from the foundation.” 

Kisha holds a BA in International Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. In 2023, she was named an Equity and Feedback Fellow by Feedback Labs, and has been awarded a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Fellowship by the Mellon Foundation.  

In her free time, Kisha loves exploring Virginia with her partner Tony and their two dogs, Benny and Zuzu, hosting dinner parties with her local Cookbook Club, or learning new tricks on her retro roller skates. 

Daniel Fairley II Named Donor Relations Manager for Advised Competitive Grants

The Charlottesville Area Community Foundation (Community Foundation) is pleased to welcome Daniel Fairley II as our Donor Relations Manager for Advised Competitive Grants. Daniel will work closely with the Advancement team to build relationships with both fundholders and community partners. He will lead all aspects of the Community Foundation’s application-based, competitive, and donor-advised grant programs. 

“Daniel’s leadership experience, and passion for our region make him a perfect fit for this position,” Brennan Gould, president and CEO of the Community Foundation, said. “He has deep ties to the community and has been dedicated to helping to improve lives throughout our region. We’re excited to have him on our team.”  

Daniel most recently served as the Youth Opportunity Coordinator for the City of Charlottesville, where he focused on Black male achievement. He also serves as the president of the 100 Black Men of Central Virginia, was selected to participate in the Obama Foundation’s Inaugural Leaders USA program, and was recently recognized as a Distinguished Dozen by the Daily Progress. 

“I am delighted to embark on a new chapter as the Donor Relations Manager for the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation,” Daniel shared. “I am truly excited to play a pivotal role in connecting the vast needs of our community with the generosity of our donors. As I step into this role, I eagerly anticipate learning from our community partners. Their insights will guide us in developing high-impact funding opportunities that will contribute to fostering a more equitable and thriving region. I am enthusiastic about the prospect of making a meaningful difference and being a bridge between the aspirations of our community and the philanthropic contributions that can bring positive change.” 

Daniel holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Richmond and a Master in Higher Education Student Affairs Administration from the University of Vermont. He served as a board member with Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry, was a founding member of the University of Virginia’s Equity Center, and a board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Central Virginia. 

As a devoted father to an adorable 2-year-old daughter named Leila and a loving husband to wife Rachel, Daniel’s family is his source of inspiration. Beyond work, he’s fascinated by the latest in electric cars, and you might catch him exploring on his OneWheel Electric Unicycle on the downtown mall or other trails. 

Twice is Nice Announces 2023 Grant Recipients 

Charlottesville, Virginia, December 12, 2023 – Twice is Nice, Charlottesville’s leading upscale resale boutique, with support from the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, today announced its 2023 grantees. A total of $270,000 is awarded to twenty-six local nonprofits, each dedicated to serving seniors in need in Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Greene, Louisa, Nelson, and Fluvanna. 

Having contributed more than $1.5 million to our community in the last decade, Twice is Nice continues its impactful support of nonprofit organizations dedicated to serving seniors in need.  

“Thanks to the considerable generosity of our donors and the tireless devotion of staff and volunteers, Twice is Nice is able to turn second hand, recycled items into first rate services delivered by our exceptional grantees,” said Gordon Walker, Twice is Nice Board President. “This year, the grants awarded had a special emphasis on understanding and supporting positive aging, considering factors like lifestyle choices, access to health care, societal circumstances, and essential health determinants such as discrimination, economic security, education, and housing.” 

The 2023 Twice is Nice grant recipients are as follows: All Blessings Flow; Alliance for Interfaith Ministries (AIM); Albemarle Housing Improvement Project (AHIP); Central Virginia Legal Aid Society; Charlottesville T’ai Chi Center; Feeding Greene, Inc-The Food Pantry of Greene County; Fluvanna County Habitat for Humanity; Fluvanna Meals on Wheels; Fluvanna-Louisa Housing Foundation (FLHF); Front Porch C’ville; Greene Alliance of Church Community Efforts (G.R.A.C.E.); The Haven at First & Market; Heart and Soul Fitness with Nicole; Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA); Loaves & Fishes; Local Food Hub; MIMA Music; Meals on Wheels of Charlottesville/Albemarle; PACEM; Piedmont Habitat for Humanity; Piedmont Housing Alliance; Piedmont Regional Dental Clinic; Start A Spark of Central Virginia; Virginia Supportive Housing; WellAWARE Neighborhood Healthcare Advocates; We Bring the Music.

“It’s all about giving back to the community,” said Lori Woolworth, Operations Manager at Twice is Nice. “We like to say we provide ‘new homes for old stuff,’ which means we sell high quality merchandise at affordable prices, while promoting sustainability. Twice is Nice has no inventory costs and relies on 120 dedicated volunteers for 75% of its labor.  Proceeds from our shops help fund local nonprofits that offer programs supporting seniors in need. We are so grateful to our donors, patrons and volunteers. Without the community’s support, we could not have awarded $270,000 in 2023 grants, or $1.5 million over the past decade.”

The Charlottesville Area Community Foundation is happy to support the work of Twice is Nice and contribute an additional $35,000 toward their 2023 grant funds. “We share the vision of Twice is Nice that all community members, including seniors in need, should have the opportunity to belong, participate, contribute, and thrive. We are delighted to continue our partnership with Twice is Nice and support numerous local organizations improving senior lives in our communities,” said Chaquita Venable, Donor Relations Manager at the Community Foundation. 

Community Foundation Announces Inaugural Grantees of PB&J Fund

Charlottesville, Virginia, November 29, 2023 – The Charlottesville Area Community Foundation is thrilled to announce the recipients of the inaugural PB&J Fund grants. These grants support local programs and initiatives empowering children and families through culinary and nutritional education, fostering food sovereignty, and enhancing access to healthful food for underserved communities.

The inaugural year of the PB&J Fund represents a significant step towards committee-recommended funding, underscoring the foundation’s dedication to inclusive and community-driven decision-making in shaping the role philanthropy plays in our region. The fund awards one-time, unrestricted grants of up to $25,000, to be used over one year, or multi-year, unrestricted awards up to two years ($50,000 total).

The 2023 PB&J Fund grant recipients are as follows: Boys & Girls Club of Central Virginia; Child Health Partnership; Community Housing Partners; Creciendo Juntos; Cultivate Charlottesville; International Rescue Committee; Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry; Wartime Fitness Warriors. The Charlottesville Area Community Foundation is happy to support the necessary work of these organizations. 

“Our goal in transitioning to a grant making entity was to ensure that PB&J’s mission continued throughout the community – to make healthy and delicious food accessible to all community members. The organizations supported through this inaugural grant year are deeply rooted in communities and are carrying out this mission through their work,” said Alex Gross, chair of the PB&J Fund and former Executive Director. “The committee and I are excited to learn from these community partners as they begin to implement their programs and strategies and are grateful for their commitment to working towards a community centered in food sovereignty.”

Vivi Rogers Named Director of Finance

The Charlottesville Area Community Foundation (Community Foundation) is pleased to welcome Vivi Rogers, as our Director of Finance. Vivi will work closely with our finance team and play a key role in ensuring the foundation delivers on our mission to improve quality of life as a community-centered, equity-forward organization by maintaining strong financial health, sound fiscal stewardship, and organizational integrity and compliance. 

“Vivi’s leadership and management experience, her professional expertise, and her passion for the foundation’s mission make her an outstanding fit for this position,” Brennan Gould, president and CEO of the Community Foundation, said. “We are thrilled to have her on our team.” 

Vivi most recently served as Director of Client Accounting at Forward Financial Intelligence. She previously served as Director of Finance & Operations for the Mind and Life Institute. Vivi brings more than 30 years of experience and expertise in finance and leadership in public accounting, non-profit and for-profit enterprises. 

“I have been interested in the work of the Community Foundation for many years and have now found myself seated at the table with talented and committed colleagues working to fulfill our mission with our community partners and donors.  I am eager to learn more and contribute to our equity forward organization.” 

Vivi holds a BS in Accounting from Indiana University Bloomington and has led finance and administration teams for several small businesses and nonprofits in Chicago, Santa Fe, and for the past 17 years in Charlottesville.   

Vivi enjoys the quiet that comes with being in the woods and finds joy in cycling the many hills of our region.  She always says yes to a coffee with a friend, and lately has been discovering the art of weaving.