Virginia Association of Fundraising Executives

Annual Awards Luncheon

  • Tuesday, April 11, 2017
  • 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
  • The Woman's Club (Bolling Haxall House)
  • 0


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:
  • For members of VAFRE
  • For individuals who are not VAFRE members, but work at an organization that does employ a member.
  • For individuals who are not VAFRE members and do not work at an organization that employs a member.
  • For VAFRE members who have prepaid for all of their meetings.

Registration is closed

Join VAFRE on April 11th as we honor our 2017 Nina Abady and Rising Star Award winners at The Woman's Club at the Bolling Haxall House. Our special guest speaker will be Melody Barnes, former Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council, who will discuss philanthropic and non-profit models that create new pathways to solving old problems.   

This year's honorees are:

  • Samantha Wheeler Marrs, Nina Abady winner, and
  • Alexandra Wiles, Rising Star winner.

Click here to learn more about our winners.

Thanks to our Presenting Sponsor

Click here if you would be interested in sponsorship information or table purchases. Click here for more details on our award winners.

Our speaker

Melody Barnes is currently a Vice Provost and Senior Fellow at New York University, formerly served President Barack Obama as an Assistant to the President and as the Director of the Domestic Policy Council, which coordinates the domestic policy-making process in the White House. She is also Co-Founder and Principal of MBSquared Solutions LLC, a domestic policy strategy firm, Chair of the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions and a director at Ventas, Inc., a real estate investment trust.  Before serving in the White House, Ms. Barnes was the Senior Domestic Policy Advisor to President Obama’s campaign. From 2005 to 2008, Ms. Barnes was the Executive Vice President for Policy at the Center for American Progress, where she had previously been a Senior Fellow from 2003 to 2005.  She also served as Chief Counsel to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy on the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1998 to 2003, and as his General Counsel from 1995 to 1998.

During her tenure with the Domestic Policy Council, Barnes coordinated key Administration initiatives to reform the federal government’s relationship with local governments and communities. In partnership with the private and non-profit sectors, the country’s first Social Innovation Fund currently supports the work of community-based organizations prepared to scale solutions to health care, economic and youth development challenges. Similarly, the Strong Cities, Strong Communities program deploys the human capital and resources of over a dozen federal agencies and the philanthropic sector to implement locally-conceived economic development plans in chronically ailing cities around the country.

With her husband, Barnes is co-founder of ForeverView Farms, a Central Virginia agricultural business that produces high-quality, free-range livestock using regenerative practices that improve the ecosystem and will create economic opportunity in the region and beyond.

Born and reared in Richmond, Virginia, Barnes received her law degree from the University of Michigan and her Bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she graduated with honors in history. Barnes recently returned to her hometown to deepen her work on the local level and currently resides in Richmond with her husband, Marland Buckner.   


  • 11:30 a.m. Registration
  • 12:00 p.m. Plated Luncheon
  • 12:30 p.m. Awards Program
  • 1:30 p.m. Adjourn (time approximate)    



  • Carpooling is encouraged.
  • There are parking decks available at 2nd and Grace Streets (prepay $7.00) as well as 4th and Franklin Streets (hourly rate of $3.50). Both of these decks are CASH ONLY.
  • There is also a variety of on-street parking available in the neighborhood.


Cost to attend:

$30 for members (no additional fee for Season Pass holders), $35 for nonmembers employed by a member organization, and $40 for nonmember guests. Tribute Tickets are just $45!


Fees support program costs and administration. Registrations should be received by Tuesday, April 4th.



Contact VAFRE Administrator Mary Kidd at (804) 368-3398 or by e-mail to


Cancellation Policy

Credits for a future meeting or refunds will be given if notification of cancellation is received at VAFRE’s office prior to noon on the Tuesday before the Awards Luncheon. If cancellation is received after noon on Tuesday, credits and refunds will be given at the discretion of the Management Company based on the number of late registrations received. In the event of illness or an emergency, credits or refunds may be granted at the discretion of the Management Company.

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© 2017 Virginia Association of Fundraising Executives (VAFRE). All rights reserved.
VAFRE • P.O. Box 6605 • Richmond, VA 23230
Office/Fax (804) 368-3398

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