Kathy Milam Announces Her Retirement: A New Chapter Begins

Katherine (Kathy) Milam recently announced her decision to retire from her position as Executive Director of The Community Foundation of the Dan River Region, effective June 30, 2024. Kathy stated that serving in this role for the past five years has been a profound privilege, which offered her a unique perspective on philanthropy and complemented her previous extensive experience in grant writing.

In reviewing her years as Executive Director, Kathy takes pride in the achievements of The Foundation. During that time, the organization’s assets experienced substantial growth, increasing from $37.8 to $57.4 million. Annual grants and scholarships awarded rose from $1.3 to $1.7 million, and the number of funds managed by The Foundation increased from 151 to 183.

Kathy has accomplished much important work with The Foundation, most notably collaborating with donors to establish scholarships and endowed funds. Kathy stated, “Every new fund created represents a donor’s passion or values. Memorial funds, established for loved ones, pull at your heartstrings.” Noteworthy examples of new endowed funds include The Free Clinic of Danville Fund, dedicated to preserving The Free Clinic’s legacy and perpetuating its mission, and the Danville Historical Society Endowment Fund, supporting the preservation of the National Tobacco Textile Museum’s collections.

Kathy also played a key role in the establishment of the Unrestricted Community Fund, which was initially funded by a gift of $882,000 from an estate.  This fund provides vital support for the Foundation’s annual Competitive Grant Cycle. The creation of a Coronavirus Relief Fund demonstrated the organization’s adaptability in responding to unforeseen challenges, rallying generous donors to provide urgent assistance to nonprofits affected by the pandemic. The board of directors subsequently established an Emergency Preparedness Fund with a long-range plan to have substantial funding immediately available for future crises. 

The sale of the Faith Home property provided a significant boost to the Faith Home Fund, another unrestricted fund that supports grants throughout the community. Recently, the settlement of the Estate of Robert T. Marshall stands out as a blessing, marking the largest gift to The Foundation to date, thanks to Mr. Marshall’s generosity.

Kathy also applied for and received approval for two major three-year grants from the Danville Regional Foundation.  The funds awarded are for regranting purposes during The Community Foundation’s annual Competitive Grant Cycle.

During Kathy’s tenure, The Foundation twice applied for and received reaccreditation approval from the National Standards for Community Foundations.  This accreditation indicates that The Foundation meets the highest standards for philanthropic excellence.

Thanks to Kathy’s leadership, the staff’s active participation in the Virginia Funder’s Network and attendance at conferences such as the Annual National Conference for Growing Community Foundations has highlighted The Foundation’s dedication to continuous learning and collaboration.

Kathy stated that working for The Community Foundation requires not only a passion for the great work of nonprofit organizations and students in our region, but also the desire and drive to grow the funding available to help organizations and students thrive. She added that the work requires compassion as well as a high level of accountability, problem solving, and attention to detail.  The Foundation’s continued development is guided by the vision and strategy outlined in the five-year Strategic Plan adopted by the board of directors in 2022. 

Kathy ended by saying, “It is with much gratitude and respect for the team of staff and board members with whom I have worked closely during the past five years, that I joyfully turn the page to the next chapter of my life.  Every day was a genuine pleasure, working and learning alongside such an intelligent and caring group of people.”

Foundation Administrator Job Filled

We are happy to announce that Debrielle Williams is our new Foundation Administrator. We welcome Debrielle to our team!

2023-24 Scholarships Awarded


The Community Foundation of the Dan River Region announces today a total of 151 scholarship awards to 140 local students.  The scholarships, totaling $337,608.95, are the result of The Community Foundation’s 2023-24 scholarship cycle.

With 269 qualified students applying, the awards were made to 140 students from 64 separate scholarship funds.  The Foundation awarded scholarships to 87 high school seniors and 53 undergraduate or graduate students.

The Foundation’s annual scholarship reception was held Sunday, June 4th at the Pittsylvania County Community Center to celebrate scholarship recipients who attend, or attended, the following schools:  Bartlett Yancey High School, Chatham High School, Dan River High School, Galileo Magnet High School, George Washington High School, Gretna High School, Tunstall High School, Halifax County and Westover Christian Academy.  There were also awards made to homeschool students. To view the Scholarship Reception Program please visit https://www.cfdrr.org/scholarships/2023-scholarship-reception-program/

CFDRR History: New Executive Director in 2019

CFDRR’s 25th Anniversary: Celebrating Key Milestones in Our History

In 2019, Katherine W. Milam became the Executive Director of the Foundation upon Debra Dodson’s retirement.  In her time with CFDRR, the Foundation has seen a growth in total charitable assets from over $37 million in 2019 to over $51 million in 2021.  Kathy is dedicated to the Foundation’s mission to improve and enrich the lives of people in the community by encouraging the generosity of donors; by receiving, managing and distributing important resources; and by meeting a variety of charitable purposes in the community.


Katherine W. Milam

25th Anniversary Story Published in Area Magazines

The Community Foundation is excited to announce the publication of “Celebrating 25 Years: Community Foundation of the Dan River Region,” a feature article written by Katherine Milam, Executive Director. The article was published in River City Area and Hyco Lake Magazines in their November 2021 issues.

Read the full article here:

Celebrating CFDRR’s History: Veterans Memorial

CFDRR’s 25th Anniversary: Celebrating Key Milestones in Our History

In 2004, CFDRR served as fiscal agent for a new Veterans Memorial. Lawrence McFall steered the project. In the same year, the Veterans Memorial at Dan Daniel Park in Danville was completed.  Over 6,500 bricks have been sold. A permanent endowment for the Memorial was created in 2010.


Veterans Memorial at Dan Daniel Park and Mr. Lawrence McFall

Celebrating CFDRR’s History: Loyal Street Office

CFDRR’s 25th Anniversary: Celebrating Key Milestones in Our History

In 2007, the Foundation purchased its new office at 541 Loyal Street in Danville.  Formerly the Law Office of Brian Turpin, the location offers more than 3,000 square feet of space with multiple offices, two conference rooms, and on-site parking.


541 Loyal Street Office

Celebrating CFDRR’s History: First Executive Director

CFDRR’s 25th Anniversary: Celebrating Key Milestones in Our History

In 1999, the Foundation hired its first full-time Executive Director, Debra Dodson.  During her 20 years with CFDRR, Debra devoted her time to building a permanent endowment for the region through the generosity of over 4,000 donors.  Debra helped the Foundation grow from $10 million in assets in 1999 to over $37 million in assets in 2019.


Debra L. Dodson

Celebrating CFDRR’s History: Faith Home Fund

CFDRR’s 25th Anniversary: Celebrating Key Milestones in Our History

In 1998, assets of the Faith Home Foundation were gifted to create the donor advised fund, Faith Home Fund. This included the land, buildings, and financial reserves of the former Faith Home orphanage totaling $7.7 million.  This brought the Community Foundation’s assets to $8,324,655.


Faith Home Land and Buildings

Celebrating CFDRR’s History: First Director

CFDRR’s 25th Anniversary: Celebrating Key Milestones in Our History

In 1996, the Foundation hired its first part-time Executive Director, Bob Wiles (left).  He directed the inception and growth of the Foundation with care, enthusiasm, and dedication.  Mr. Wiles was instrumental in attaining over $10 million in assets during his service to the Foundation.


Bob Wiles and Fred Leggett