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Women's Center introduces new Communications and Development Officer

The Women’s Center is excited to welcome the newest addition to our staff, Leigh Ann Carver (pictured above right at the Center's recent 25th anniversary/renaming celebration).

The others in the photo (from left to right) are: Wynne Stuart, Associate Provost for Academic Support and Classroom Management; Chuck Moran, Marketing Communications Manager of the Women's Center; Sharon Davie, Director of the Women's Center; Ed Hootstein, Sharon Davie's husband; Carrie Daniel, Student Assistant to the Director.

Leigh Ann is the Communications and Development Officer. She leads the Center’s outreach efforts and keeps all who are involved with and support the Center’s work informed of its current programs and future plans. Leigh Ann has worked to promote educational organizations, nonprofits and small business in the Charlottesville area throughout her career.

Leigh Ann graduated from Tulane University with a B.A. in Political Economy before earning her J.D. from U.Va.

She was the Director of Advancement and Assistant Head of School at Mountaintop Montessori on Pantops for nine years. Mountaintop serves 200 school-year families with children from 18 months old through 8th grade, and nearly 100 more summer SEED camp families with preschool and elementary aged kids.

As a progressive educational institution and a small nonprofit organization Mountaintop has quite a lot in common with the Women’s Center. Montessori education expects that children’s natural eagerness to learn and to belong within a community will lead them into productive lives. Adults in a Montessori setting provide students with some specific tools to aid their growth and then they watch the students to see whether they need more help or whether they are ready to work independently or to help other students.

During the time Leigh Ann was at Mountaintop, she was particularly involved in leading the school through a rebranding (2009-2010), and in building a culture of philanthropy among the school’s parents, trustees, staff and volunteers. As Mountaintop progressed through its 25th and 30th anniversaries during her tenure, Leigh Ann helped lead its growth from the youthful stage in which a small school is more like a co-op or a small family business into a mature stage in which its programs are accredited by state and national peer review bodies and its governance is sound and strategic.

Before Mountaintop, Leigh Ann worked for about seven years at Scarpa where she was the operations manager. Working in a well-run small business is a great way to learn marketing as well as getting to know so many savvy local women who are leaders in their fields and strong supporters of Charlottesville’s nonprofit community. The customer service lessons of listening and building rapport translate well to donor relations, too.

Leigh Ann’s family lives on about 60 acres southwest of Charlottesville. She has a 20 year-old son who is studying mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech, and a 17 year-old daughter and a 14 year-old son who are students at Monticello High School. All three were students at Mountaintop during and prior to the time that she worked there.

Photo by Peggy Harrison

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