Afira has enjoyed a two-decade career as a health and human services executive, successfully leading innovation and growth for five thriving nonprofit organizations, most recently serving as the President & CEO for the United Way of the Roanoke Valley in Southwestern Virginia. Having generated more than a quarter billion dollars in support of social innovation over the course of her career, her extensive development, leadership and programmatic design experience contribute to the vision and strategic direction of Spring Impact.

Career Highlights:

  • Implementation of social solutions in partnership with more than 300 individual nonprofit organizations
  • The design and execution of an innovative student homelessness initiative focused on rapidly and permanently rehousing school aged youth
  • Launching a regional care coordination collaborative for the uninsured, linking people to medical providers and social services by streamlining the intake process and expanding access points

Afira is frequently called upon to serve as a presenter and guest speaker on a wide variety of subjects related to social justice, poverty alleviation, leadership, social innovation, consultative fundraising and design thinking. She was recognized as one of Tampa Bay’s Under 40 “Up and Comers” in 2011 and was honored by the Tampa Bay Business Journal as a “Business Woman of the Year” finalist in 2014. Afira was awarded the NAACP’s Citizen of the Year Award in Roanoke, Virginia in 2016.

Areas of Interest:

  • Mixed-income neighborhood design and development
  • Asset-based poverty alleviation strategies
  • Trauma informed social infrastructure
  • The intersection of women’s health and poverty

Public Speaking:

  • Women Who Serve PanelBizwomen Summit, Tampa Bay Business Journal, Tampa (2014)
  • Bootstraps: A look at what it takes to get ahead in America– CityWorks Xpo, Roanoke (2015)
  • The Modern Homefront– Virginia Women’s Conference, Roanoke (2015)
  • When Doing What’s Right Means Doing What’s Hard– NAACP Citizen of the Year Awards, Roanoke (2106)
  • Confessions of a Reformed “Know-it All”: Knowing Your Worth and Knowing When to Listen – C3: Career Connection Conference, Hollins University, Roanoke (2016)
  • Transforming Neighborhoods into Communities Through Mixed-Income Design- Virginia Statewide Neighborhood Conference, Roanoke (2017)
  • Oppression isn’t New, it’s New to You– Women’s March Roanoke, Roanoke (2018)
  • That’s How We Role– Virginia Women’s Conference, Roanoke (2018)
  • Strategies to Overcome Structural Inequality to Create Systems of Economic and Social Justice- Virginia Tech, Blacksburg (2018)
  • Confidence, Ego, Head and Heart: What I’ve Learned from Being a Woman Who Leads- University of Virginia, Danville (2019)
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