Board of Directors
Chief Executive Officer
Jessica Wirgau, Chief Executive Officer, joined the Community Foundation of the New River Valley in 2005 as a Community Advisor, volunteering her time to read grant applications as part of the Distribution Committee. In 2006, she joined the Board of Directors and during her tenure served as chair of both the Scholarship and Distribution Committees. Jess joined the staff in 2009 as Assistant Executive Director, and in 2011 became the Executive Director (now CEO) when Andy Morikawa retired after 13 years in the role.
Jess earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Duke University and the University of Virginia, respectively. She went on to earn her doctorate in Public Administration and Public Affairs from Virginia Tech in 2014. Prior to working for the CFNRV, she worked for the Town of Blacksburg on the restoration of the Alexander Black House, and later for Virginia Tech on the development of the Moss Arts Center.
Jess currently serves on the Advisory Boards of the Virginia Impact Investing Forum and Virginia Tech Adult Day Services. She also serves on the Human Services Advisory Committee for New River Community College. She lives in Blacksburg with her husband Joe and two sons, Russell and Michael.
Lindsey Gleason, Assistant Director, joined the Community Foundation of the New River Valley in April 2022. Her projects include communications, GiveLocalNRV Giving Day, fundraising, and coordinating workshops for local nonprofit leaders and community members.
Prior to joining CFNRV, Lindsey worked at Virginia Tech for more than eight years, focusing on communications and fundraising work for Student Affairs Advancement and VT Engage: The Center for Leadership and Service Learning. She began her career in the nonprofit world at Accion, a global microfinance nonprofit.
Originally from Vermont, Lindsey earned her bachelor’s degree in international affairs and minored in linguistics at Northeastern University in Boston. During her time in college, she studied abroad in Accra, Ghana for a semester. Now based out of the New River Valley, Lindsey enjoys traveling, reading, cooking, and spending time with loved ones.
Administration & Programs Manager
Laura Pynn serves as the Administration and Programs Manager of the Community Foundation of the New River Valley. Since joining the staff in 2007, Laura has managed the grant and the scholarship programs as well as the general administrative duties of the foundation. This is a position she very much enjoys as she is a process-oriented thinker and enjoys every aspect of the foundation. She has watched the foundation grow from a $5 million foundation to a $13.8 million foundation and revels in the fact that it is still growing!
Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Laura served as the Assistant Executive Director of a nonprofit organization serving the needs of recovering alcoholics. She worked there for 10 years before leaving there to pursue a Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Radford University. She graduated from Radford University summa cum laude in 2007.
Laura moved to the New River Valley in 1989 where she raised her four children as a single mother. In addition to raising a family, she volunteered and served two terms on the Advisory Council of the RSVP Program of New River Community Action. Laura currently serves as the President of the Floyd Rotary.
Laura lives on her 80-acre goat farm in Floyd County where she hikes, gardens, and makes goat cheeses in her spare time. She enjoys seeing her grown children excel in their careers and especially enjoys her three grandchildren.
Margaret Hurst, First Steps Program Coordinator, joined The Community Foundation in April 2023. In this role, she provides leadership and administrative support for First Steps: the NRV’s Early Childhood Education and Development Network, including managing a four-year project funded with a $1.15 million grant from the Town of Blacksburg to stabilize and expand the early childhood education and development workforce in the NRV.
Margaret brings extensive experience to this role, serving in various roles in the early care and education field.
Margaret’s passion for caring for and learning about young children flourished during her time working as Education Team Lead at Little Saint Child Development Center. In 2018, she worked with New River Community College as an Early Childhood Navigator for the Davenport Institute, to upskill and uplift the local early childhood workforce. In her most recent role with Child Care Aware of VA, she served as Western Regional Manager, providing services to families and educators to improve accessibility, affordability, and quality of childcare. Margaret earned her bachelor’s degree in human services, family and child development from Virginia Tech.
As lifelong residents of the NRV, Margaret and high school sweetheart, Rob, love to float the New River, fish, create things with their hands, and enjoy life on the farm. They enjoy traveling with and learning from their two adult daughters, Blair and Grace.
C. Barry Anderson
Robert K. Miller
Robert Nicholson, III