Toms new head of Harvest Foundation

January 3, 2009

The board of directors of The Harvest Foundation has chosen Paul B. Toms, Jr. as president, effective Jan. 1.

Toms succeeds Robert M. Davis, who served as board president for the previous year.

"I am confident that The Harvest Foundation is in very capable hands with Paul Toms as board president," Davis said.  "he has a tireless commitment to this community and to the foundation and brings a stong focus to all of his work."

A lifelong resident of Martinsville, Toms is the chairman and chief executive officer of Hooker Furniture Corp.  In addition to serving previously as treasurer and vice president of The Harvest Foundation board, he was a member of the Memorial Hospital board.

Toms said he has no plans to make major changes as president, and his one-year term will be "more just building on what we already have."

He called Harvest "a very well-run organization" with "some good initiatives under way."

"It's just a matter of staying the course and doing things that are going to benefit the whole community," he added.

The Harvest Foundation was established in 2002 from the sale of the Memorial Hospital of Martinsville.  It invests the proceeds of that sale in programs and initiatives in the areas of health, education, and community vitality locally.

"We just need to focus on health, education and community vitality and make sure we are very wise stewards of the resources that are entrusted to us," Toms said.  "I dont think we can be everything to everybody, but if we are prudent, we can make transformative change in the area."

The Harvest Foundation aims "to really get at the root causes of the problems we have and correct the causes, instead of throwing money at the problems," he added.

"We have a very committed board ... and a very hard-working and diligent staff," Toms said.

As for plans for the sports arena and revitalization of uptown, he said, "we want to make sure that whatever we do (uptown) is transformative and sustainable." and should be based on "a master plan with input from all the stakeholders."

Toms lives with his wife, Debble, in Henry County.  They have three sons.


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