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User Spotlight: Charles Faison, John Randolph Foundation

Get to know Charles FaisonGrant Program Officer with the John Randolph Foundation – this week’s ConnectVA User Spotlight!

Tell us about your background.

Well, I guess you could say I have a rather diverse background.  I earned my undergraduate degree in biology through VCU in 2001.  Since that time, I?ve tried to find my niche, starting with working in a toxicology laboratory ? even serving in the National Guard for 12 years ? then decided on a career change into business management.  I worked as a management trainee for a for-profit company which would?ve required me to move to California.  I?m born and raised in RVA so, I couldn?t bring myself to leave indefinitely.  I then stumbled upon a management training position with a large nonprofit in Richmond and, I?ve been working in various roles within the nonprofit sector ever since.

What do you do and why do you find it rewarding?

I am fortunate to have my rather curvy career pathway lead me to my current role as Grant Program Officer for John Randolph Foundation located in Hopewell, Virginia.  Wow, I find it rewarding for a number of reasons including the tremendous work environment and culture, the opportunities to meet and collaborate with so many dynamic, community-minded professionals, and the ability to contribute to the success and wellbeing of individuals, organizations, and communities.  I feel at home here amongst like-minded people.  And, I truly feel that, at John Randolph Foundation, we don?t simply make grants, we make impacts. 

What lessons have you learned?

You know, there?s always something to learn.  I?m learning a great deal about the field and practice of philanthropy.  But, I think one of the biggest lessons I?ve learned in this role stem from the importance of relationship building.  I used to work alongside the very individuals and organizations who now submit funding requests to me for their various community endeavors.  I have had to learn, and continue to work at, managing this new relationship dynamic.  There is a distinct awareness that is so important to this job.  We cannot and could not fulfill our mission and vision without the efforts put forth by our grantee partners.  Remaining cognizant of this symbiotic relationship and developing insight into the grantees? perspective is a virtue. 

What are you especially proud of?

I am most proud of our team at John Randolph Foundation.  From our Trustee leaders to the staff and volunteers, I have the honor of working alongside some of the most dedicated, talented people in our region.  Rarely are those who quietly do their jobs to the best of their ability and serve the causes that are dear to them recognized publicly.  That?s what?s great about the ConnectVA User Spotlight.  Everyone here I believe is exceptional in their own right, but together, we profoundly influence positive change in Hopewell and the Tri-Cities region. 

And, what?s next?

I am excited about the growth happening at John Randolph Foundation.  We have quite a bit of work ahead; however, it?s all worthwhile.  We are working with our partners in Hopewell to promote and support the upcoming City Point 5K which will be held on Saturday, October 25th.  If interested, please feel free to visi www.citypoint5k.org for details! 

For my part, I look forward to contributing to improving our grants program in all facets.  I am tinkering with continual process (and quality) improvements here and there, fine-tuning so to speak.  But really, I want our grants program to stand out regionally as one that operates at its best and also continues to demonstrate success measured, not only by its efficiency, but by its value to stakeholders and the community as a whole.


Do you know someone who should be featured in the ConnectVA User Spotlight?  Email admin@connectva.org for more details!

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