The Community Foundation of the New River Valley (CFNRV) is excited to welcome three new members to its Board of Directors. Each July, the board roster changes as board member terms expire, and new members join. This year, we are thrilled to welcome Onassis Burress from Radford City, Dominick McKee from Montgomery County, and Jill Williams from Pulaski County.
Onassis Burress relocated to Radford from Georgia a few years ago and has been an asset to the New River Valley ever since! He is a graduate of Columbia College where he earned both a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration degree. Onassis is a veteran of the United States Air Force, earning an Armed Forces Service Medal during Operation Joint Guard in Bosnia. He is an Investment Officer and Financial Consultant with First Citizens Investor Services.
Onassis also serves as a City Council Member for the City of Radford and is the public relations officer for the Harvey-Howe-Carper American Legion Post 30. He serves on the board of the New River Community College Educational Foundation. Onassis also has served as the President of the Radford Chamber of Commerce and as a board member for the New River Community College Board.
When not working, Onassis enjoys volunteering within the local community and coaching a girls travel basketball program. He also enjoys spending time with his four children and working towards the completion of a Doctor of Business Administration degree. He was even featured on seven Baywatch Hawaii episodes as an extra!
Onassis looks forward to serving on the Board of Directors with many community leaders. One of the reasons he said “yes” to serving on the board is because of the many different scholarships and grants that we award to NRV nonprofits. He will serve on the foundation’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force, a natural fit given that his dissertation focuses on diversity, equity, and inclusion in hiring practices.
As a Radford citizen who was not familiar with the CFNRV, he hopes to bring more awareness to Radford organizations of the CFNRV and would love to work with Radford organizations to become more engaged and involved. We look forward to having Onassis join the board, and we know that he will continue to make a difference in the New River Valley.
Dominick F. McKee
Dominick McKee relocated to Montgomery County from Roanoke County three years ago. He has dedicated his career to making a difference in public education working in various capacities with students, faculty, staff, and administrators. Over the past 19 years, he has served as a guidance counselor, assistant principal, and human resources administrator in the K-12 education systems in both Roanoke and Montgomery County Public Schools.
Dominick attended Radford University, completing both his undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and his master’s degree in Counseling and Human Development. He earned his Administration and Supervision License and Endorsement in 2007 and in May 2022 he will graduate with his Ed. D in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education.
Dominick is a member of the Community Group and was first introduced to the CFNRV when participating in a listening session with the foundation’s DEI Task Force, other members of the Community Group, and representatives from the Dialogue on Race and Montgomery-Floyd-Radford chapter of the NAACP. Dominick joined the board to learn more about the region and its many nonprofit organizations.
He will serve on the Distribution Committee, where he will have the opportunity to read grant applications for the Responsive Grant Program – and get to learn the ins and outs of NRV nonprofits! Dominick grew up in a large military family, where he moved around a lot and is happy to settle in the NRV. When he is not working, you can find him spending time with his family and animals – as his family, who are big animal lovers, adopted two shelter puppies during COVID. We are thrilled to have Dominick join us, where he can get to know the community, and give back.
Jill Williams is a Pulaski County native, who moved away for two decades and returned to Pulaski to raise her family. She currently serves as Acting Executive Director of the Calfee Community and Cultural Center, a project to revitalize the historic Calfee Training School which educated African Americans in Pulaski County from 1894 to 1966.
Jill is also the principal consultant for Wide Angle Strategies, providing technical assistance to organizations in grant-writing, planning, and community reconciliation efforts. She has also worked for New River Community College, the Center for Social Inclusion, and the Surdna Foundation in New York, among other public and nonprofit organizations. She has impressive expertise in conflict resolution, community reconciliation, and social justice initiatives.
Jill has been involved with the CFNRV for several years. In her work at New River Community College, she was introduced to the CFNRV through Mobilize NRV, a collaboration between NRCC, Radford University, Virginia Tech, and community organizations to develop meaningful community-university engagement opportunities.
Later, she brought her valuable perspective on engaging diverse communities with dignity and compassion to the CFNRV as a mentor to the Christiansburg Institute through the CFNRV’s 2019 Nonprofit Accelerator, and as a speaker on effective community engagement for the Third Thursday Society. Jill will serve on the foundation’s task force to update its strategic plan. She hopes that during her time on the board, she will help build capacity, and get more money in the hands of underrepresented groups. We are honored to have Jill join us!
The leadership of the board has also changed slightly. Dr. Pat Hyer will continue in her role as President. Pat says “The Foundation is committed to bringing diverse perspectives to our decision making so that we can serve all NRV residents effectively. It is a joy to welcome these three new board members for the expertise and passion they bring, and for the insights they can share from their home communities. We look forward to engaging them in the work of the Foundation!”. David Riggan will transition from Vice President to the role of Treasurer, while Dr. Kathy Krendl will serve as the Vice President. Paula Alston will continue in her role as the Secretary. We thank them for their leadership and commitment to the foundation and our region.