Harvest Foundation names director

November 11, 2008

Rothrock has been with foundation since beginning

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Martinsville resident Allyson Rothrock has been named executive director of The Harvest Foundation. Rothrock, who has lived in the area for 30 years, has been with the foundation since it was founded in 2002. She has been assistant executive director twice and interim executive director three times.

Rothrock said she is “thrilled” to be taking the director’s job on a permanent basis. She does not foresee any major changes in Harvest’s direction. “The plan is continuity,” she said Monday, “and continued work in relationship building with our nonprofit partners.” Harvest awards grants to programs and initiatives to address local challenges in health, education and welfare. It works with numerous nonprofits and agencies in the area, and Rothrock said building relationships with those groups is essential to Harvest’s success.

“The relationship part of this work is the most important part of what we do,” she said. “We couldn’t be successful without our partners ... they are the ones that come up with ideas and implement the work.” Rothrock said she will continue to work with and mentor the grantees. She also should have more opportunities “to be out in the field talking and hearing new ideas and working on things that may be transformative for this community.”

Unlike some periods during which Rothrock has been interim or assistant director, she said the foundation is fully staffed now with program officers who are knowledgeable in their fields. Not all of them are local, but Rothrock said she believes the combination of their expertise and her knowledge of the community “is a win-win situation for everybody.”

 There are seven people on staff at Harvest, including three program officers and an associate, all of whom deal with grantees. In her years with The Harvest Foundation, the organization has committed more than $60 million to improve quality of life in Henry County/Martinsville.

According to a news release, Rothrock’s selection came after “an extended regional search” in which 12 applicants were reviewed and four were interviewed. The board approved Rothrock’s selection Monday.

“I am passionate about this community and the work we do here. I also value, honor and support our community partners that implement this critically important work,” Rothrock said in the release. “Transformation takes tenacity and courage. It is not something that happens overnight or in isolation. A solid vision coming from important community conversation, visionary leaders and the support of ambitious work is what will help guide our future.”

Robert Davis, president of The Harvest Foundation, said: “Personally, I am very pleased that we went through our due diligence and that Allyson was selected. She has six years of experience with the foundation, so she brings continuity as well as passion and integrity.”

Harvest has no immediate plans to hire an assistant executive director, Rothrock said. She said she is eager to get to work in her new position. “I think it’s really a bright future in front of us, and I’m very optimistic about what the future holds for us,” she said. “And when I say us, I mean our community.”

The executive director position had been vacant since March, when Rich Killingsworth left the post to pursue other interests.

Before joining the foundation, Rothrock was president and owner of Best Travel Inc., a full-service travel agency in Martinsville, for 15 years. She is married to Dru Rothrock, a Martinsville native. They have two sons, Dyer, a senior at the University of Georgia, and Cole, a high school junior.

The Harvest Foundation was established in 2002 from the sale of the Memorial Hospital of Martinsville/Henry County. For more information, visit www.theharvestfoundation.org.


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