Headwaters exec to head community foundation

Jane Bowling-Wilson will head the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation.
Jane Bowling-Wilson will head the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation. | Rappahannock News

Jane Bowling-Wilson, an experienced education and nonprofit leader, has been chosen to serve as executive director of the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation.

After a national search, the community foundation serving Fauquier, Culpeper, Rappahannock and Madison counties found its new leader in its own back yard.

The long-time Rappahannock County resident, executive director of Rappahannock’s education-focused Headwaters Foundation, will begin her new duties in August.

“We’re fortunate to find in Jane everything the community foundation will need to succeed in the future — deep experience in the nonprofit realm, a gift for fundraising, empathy and infectious energy,” said John McCarthy, chair of the community foundation’s board. “She’s exactly the right person to build on the community foundation’s first 15 years and take us forward.”

Bowling-Wilson spent the past four years running Headwaters, a nonprofit providing independent support and increased community involvement for the Rappahannock County Public Schools. During her tenure, Bowling-Wilson expanded the organization’s four programs — Next Step, Starfish Mentoring, After School Enhancement and Teacher Mini-Grants — and increased scholarship awards. She also cultivated new donors and organized the popular and successful Taste of Rappahannock fundraiser. Since the organization’s founding in 1997, Headwaters’ students have gained success in higher education, professional life and have learned the value of being responsible citizens.

“I’ve long appreciated the important leadership role the community foundation fills in the life of our region,” said Bowling-Wilson. “I’m grateful to the community foundation’s board and eager to work with donors and nonprofits to address both issues and opportunities in our four counties.”

Prior to Headwaters, Bowling-Wilson was an art director and designer for print, web and retail businesses. She spent 14 years as a public school teacher and chairman of the Fine Arts Department at Warren County High School. She cofounded PAVAN (Performing and Visual Arts Northwest), a five-county partnership with Shenandoah College and Conservatory providing public school children with fine arts enrichment.

Though she leaves Headwaters officially on Aug. 1, Bowling-Wilson said Tuesday, she will still head the team that puts on September’s Taste of Rappahannock, the foundation’s annual dinner-and-auction fundraiser at the Miller Barn in Sperryville.

Bowling-Wilson succeeds Cole Johnson, another former Headwaters Foundation executive who left the community foundation this past March to join the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

Now celebrating its 15th anniversary, the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation builds philanthropic capital locally to enhance the quality of life in Fauquier, Culpeper, Rappahannock and Madison counties. The community foundation entered 2015 with $8.4 million in assets and some 70 active funds. It made 434 local grants for more than $1.1 million in 2014 and has provided nearly $4 million in grants since its founding.

Its second annual Give Local Piedmont online event this past May raised more than $730,000 for 137 local nonprofits.

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