Participants include state and local government issuers, not-for-profit issuers, investment bankers, attorneys, financial advisors, rating agency analysts, trust officers and municipal market investors. VRA associates, past and present, males and females, have supported the state organization since its founding in May 2012 and have actively participated in educational programs and activities designed to support current and future women in public finance.
The Virginia Chapter's events are designed to provide mentoring and networking opportunities for women and to attract young women to careers in public finance. A key initiative of the organization is its scholarship support to deserving young women in a college or university Virginia and the District of Colombia desiring a career in public finance. The Mary Blackwell Barnes Memorial Scholarship, named in honor of Mary B. Barnes, VRA's former Director of Financial Services, provides financial support in amounts that have ranged from $2500 to $3000. VRA Executive Director Stephanie Hamlett, Policy Director Jean Bass and Program Manager Stephanie Jones serve on the Scholarship Committee, for which VRA has provided financial support.
In addition to its scholarship, the organization recognizes the achievements of outstanding women in public finance. VRA is particularly proud that some of its associates have been honored by the Chapter over the years. WPF recognized VRA Board Members: State Treasurer Manju Ganeriwala and former Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan, as well as VRA Board-alternate Evie Whitley, former Virginia Department of Treasury Director of Debt Management, with its prestigious "Lifetime Achievement" awards. Also, VRA Program Manager/Compliance Officer Stephanie Jones was a recipient of the group's "Rising Star" award and became a member of the Virginia Chapter's Board in 2014.
(Pictured Above: VRA Executive Director Stephanie Hamlett and VRA Board Member Barbara Donnellan, 2015 recipient of Women in Public Finance, Virginia Chapter, Lifetime Achievement Founders Award)