UWRV President and CEO, Afira DeVries, On the Move

United Way of Roanoke Valley will regretfully say farewell to current President & CEO Afira DeVries, who took the helm of the organization in 2015. DeVries’ talents as both a social scientist and a business leader will soon be shared for global impact.  She has accepted the position of United States Director at London-based Spring Impact, working on scalable social impact projects worldwide.

Under DeVries’ leadership over the past four years, United Way of Roanoke Valley has invested approximately $22 million in quality programs, initiatives and community partner grants.  DeVries also led the organization through fundamental change, with a new strategic vision that focuses on funding community collaborations with measurable successes rather than individual programs. She also drove the effort to leverage donor support with grants and investments to multiply community investments ten-fold.

“My time in Roanoke has been a transformative period of professional growth. My life’s work is with this community and this United Way team, which has embraced change and flourished in spite of so many obstacles. I take what we’ve created, with so much drive and resolve, with me around the world. I will always be connected to United Way of Roanoke Valley,” said DeVries.

Dan Berelowitz, Spring Impact CEO, says that in studying DeVries’ vision and innovative approach to social problem-solving with United Way of Roanoke Valley, he knew he’d found his next U.S. leader.

“Afira’s deep knowledge of philanthropy and social change, coupled with inspirational leadership, makes her the perfect candidate to drive dramatic social impact at scale in the US and beyond,” said Berelowitz.

DeVries’ move culminates a 22-year career in the United Way network, working with five UW offices including Roanoke, around the country.  In that time, she has helped to cultivate more than $275 million dollars to advance United Way’s impact in community.

“Afira has been a transformative leader in the Roanoke Valley with an unwavering commitment to the mission of the United Way of Roanoke Valley and our many partner agencies. Her leadership in developing innovations in the delivery systems of social programs that focus on measurable outcomes will have a lasting impact on our community” said Kerry Edmonds, Chair, United Way of Roanoke Valley Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors is currently working on a transition plan, but United Way’s mission, which DeVries was instrumental in forming, continues without interruption: to elevate 10,000 families to self-sufficiency by 2030.

This past fiscal year 11,167 people throughout the Roanoke Valley region were helped through UWRV initiatives, collaborations, and funded partnerships.

For more information, contact:

Connie Stevens
Vice President, Marketing and Communications


Jeff Collignon
Vice President, Resource Development

About United Way of Roanoke Valley

United Way of Roanoke Valley has been dedicated to improving lives in our community for 94 years, proudly serving the citizens of Roanoke, Salem, Vinton and the counties of Botetourt, Franklin, Craig and Roanoke. UWRV fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in our community and works to create sustainable solutions to challenges.