CIVIC Leadership Institute Newsletter  |  Issue 4 |  December 2020

Happy Holidays from the CIVIC Leadership Institute

A special holiday message from the CIVIC team below!

I look forward to seeing you all soon. Thank you for your work in the community and for being a supporter of CIVIC. We wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season.

CIVIC Alumni, THANK YOU! We are incredibly grateful for your generosity towards our Giving Tuesday Class Challenge. Your contributions helped CIVIC to exceed our goals for this campaign, raising over $22,500! A total of seven CIVIC classes met their goal of raising the amount of their CIVIC class year. Click here for more details on the Giving Tuesday results.

Your support helps CIVIC continue to provide meaningful programming that focuses on the region’s most pressing issues. The Class of 2014 joined us to share why giving back to CIVIC this year was important to them. Click here to watch the video!

In a year when we have been unable to hold our usual fundraising events, your support is more important than it’s ever been. As you reflect on the friendships you’ve made, the contacts you’ve built, and the information you’ve gained, please consider CIVIC Leadership in your year-end giving plans. Here are a few ways you can contribute:

  1. A one-time donation to the Darden Fund – Click here!
  2. Become a CIVIC sustainer and give monthly – Click here!
  3. Give the gift of stock – Call the CIVIC Office at 757-683-6890 for assistance!

Click here for more information about how to support the CIVIC Leadership Institute. We have been truly appreciative of the CIVIC community during 2020.

CIVIC Executive Program

The CIVIC Executive Program launched virtually this fall. We are so grateful to our alumni and community leadership partners who have presented a variety of timely and topical subjects for our executives. We began our year with a wonderful historical overview of the Hampton Roads region by Dr. Newby-Alexander. Doug Smith and Latisha James shared the 757 Recovery and Resiliency Action Framework, and John Martin, Ted Chandler and Tom Frantz led a panel discussion on the future of the Megaregion with guest speakers, Dawna Ellis and Cliff Fleet.

Dr. Janice Underwood shared a powerful call to action on the role that leadership plays in building an equitable and inclusive community for all. The CIVIC executives participated in a conversation on racial justice, equity and inclusion with Dr. Mary Kate Andris, Chief Larry Boone, Dr. Ron Carlee and Dr. Kevin Swann.

The importance of CIVIC engagement was addressed by Councilwoman Andria McClellan, Secretary of the Commonwealth, Kelley Thomasson and President of the Curtis Group, Keith Curtis. The CIVIC Class enjoyed learning more about Offshore Wind with John Larson, Paul Olsen, Nicole Ryf and Cathie Vick.  Transportation is a major topic every year; we were fortunate to be joined by Bob Crum and Kevin Page to learn about the major infrastructure projects happening around the region, as well as a discussion on the regional collaboration that is taking place to drive change. Our programming focused on the community health impact of the pandemic with a session guided by Dr. Cyn Romero, as well as a discussion with Dr. Ruth Jones and Karen Joyner, who lead the region’s Foodbanks. We are grateful to have participated in a special session with CIVIC alum, Secretary Aubrey Layne, as well as a conversation with the leader of the Port of Virginia, John Reinhart.

We look forward to inviting CIVIC Alumni to join us for some more of these exclusive live programming sessions this spring! More details will be shared soon.

As the country grapples with the fallout from the global pandemic and the economic crisis, CIVIC is connecting a community of committed leaders to four key initiatives that will help our region towards recovery: Campus 757, Hospitality Career Pathways, the Megaregion and Diversity and Inclusions Education and Training.

CIVIC Scholars Program

This year, our CIVIC Scholars Program hit the ground, running virtually, welcoming 13 new students into the program to reach a grand total of 38 students in the Class of 2021. The programming this fall focused on a mixture of global topics, local impacts, and professional skills. We heard from Dr. Brian Martin for a look at the impacts of COVID-19 on the community and mental health. Dawna Ellis and senior Scholar, Kaleb Hinman, hosted an in-depth Skills Workshop on mentorship. Dr. Ron Carlee hosted a session titled Leading with Values, Not Bias. Just days before the election, the students spent an evening with Gaylene Kanoyton, examining both local and national political themes. For our final program day this semester, President John R. Broderick joined us for a wonderful conversation on leadership and the challenges and opportunities of the global pandemic.

Our students are perpetually high achieving, and we would be remiss if we did not highlight our Senior Scholar Board. They are taking advantage of the opportunity to create regional change, assisting the Executive Class of 2021 with their CII projects, and we look forward to sharing updates in 2021. Additionally, in 2021 we will launch the first virtual version of our Mentor Link Experience; if you are interested in being a mentor to one of our Junior students, please email

We are so proud of how resilient, flexible, and dedicated our students are—they never cease to amaze us and bring a smile to our faces. We are truly looking forward to the new start of 2021 and the programming we have planned for them!