Pictured above: Allyson Rothrock
The Harvest Foundation announced today that its president, Allyson Rothrock, is retiring and a search is underway for its next leader. Partnering with the foundation’s board of directors in the search is Korn Ferry, a global executive search and recruitment firm.
Rothrock will retire in mid-to-late 2020 following her tenure at Harvest, which began with the creation of the foundation. In 2002, she served on the board of directors at Memorial Hospital of Martinsville-Henry County when the decision was made to sell the nonprofit hospital to a for-profit hospital network unlocking the resources necessary to create The Harvest Foundation. She’s served as president of the foundation since 2008.
“Allyson is an exceptional leader who has grown the foundation tremendously throughout her 17 years of service,” said David Stone, chairman of the Harvest Foundation Board of Directors. “Under her leadership, the foundation has grown its investments and its staff, and it has supported a number of projects and programs that make our community a wonderful place to live, work and play. Allyson has ensured that the foundation is in the best possible place for future growth, and we wish her the very best in her upcoming retirement.”
Those interested in the position can send a resume and cover letter to HarvestFoundationPresident@KornFerry.com. The job description and additional information will be available at www.theharvestfoundation.org.
“We are excited to advance into the next chapter of grant-making at Harvest,” said Stone. “Our work over the past 17 years has helped shape Martinsville-Henry County into the beautiful community it is today, and our work is far from finished. While change is never easy, we look forward to the next generation of leadership at the foundation.”
Since its inception in 2002, The Harvest Foundation has supported Martinsville-Henry County through its grantmaking to bolster its workforce, increase educational attainment, improve access to healthcare, and overall, create opportunities for residents to lead productive and fulfilling lives.
Harvest was instrumental in the creation of a combined economic development office, the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. (EDC), serving the entirety of Martinsville and Henry County. In the past five years with support from the EDC, 1,893 new jobs have been created with $198 million in capital investment and $53.8 million in added payroll. As of September, the unemployment rate in Martinsville-Henry County is 2.9 percent, the lowest it has been since 1998.
Funding for K-12 education has been a constant throughout the foundation’s body of work. In recent years, Harvest has partnered with Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) to create the SEED fund, a program offering two years of college at no cost to high school graduates and homeschooled equivalents from Martinsville-Henry County. With Harvest’s support, PHCC also is increasing the workforce pipeline with a focus on nursing, welding, and Industry 4.0, comprising specialties in technology and engineering.
Creating the infrastructure in 2005 for the Martinsville-Henry County Coalition for Health and Wellness was one of the foundation’s flagship projects. Now, with two federally-qualified health centers, and a host of supportive services and care, the Coalition serves more than 6,600 patients each year totaling nearly 18,000 visits.
In partnership with the County of Henry and The City of Martinsville, Harvest developed the Smith River Sports Complex in 2009 to serve as a multi-use outdoor recreation space with state-of-the-art turf fields, grass fields, outdoor playground areas and rentable meeting space. The foundation also invests in other community amenities including improvements to boat slips and camping areas at Philpott Lake, the expansion of Martinsville-Henry County’s trail network, and the expansion of the community’s blue-way network.
In the immediate future, Harvest is working to improve access to childcare and housing in Martinsville and Henry County. Committee work comprising partnerships with the County of Henry, the City of Martinsville, the Martinsville-Henry County EDC, and many other local and regional partners, is underway. A housing summit with representatives from real estate, developers, lenders, and community officials was held in July, followed by a childcare planning session in October. Work is expected to continue throughout 2020 to result in viable projects and programs.
“I am passionate about Martinsville-Henry County and the work we do at the foundation with our partners,” said Rothrock. “Transformation takes courage and it takes time – it’s not something that happens overnight or in a silo. I am grateful for everything we’ve been able to achieve. It’s been the experience of a lifetime. I look forward to seeing what the foundation and our community will accomplish in the future.”
The Harvest Foundation hopes to announce the new president by June 2020.
“Working with Korn Ferry throughout this process has been phenomenal,” said Stone. “They realize the gravity of connecting us to the right leader who understands our community and the importance of building meaningful relationships that underscore everything we work to accomplish at Harvest. There is no single person or organization that can do it all, but working in true partnership, anything can be accomplished.”