Board Spotlight: Laura Markley

Laura Markley has been with the Connor's Heroes Board of Directors since April 2017. Learn how her passion for non-profits drew her to Connor's Heroes.

Q: What are you most passionate about when you think about the work, mission and impact of Connor’s Heroes?
A: Families. There's something about cancer that deeply impacts families. It's a time of profound upheaval and uncertainty. My brother is an oncologist largely because he saw our mother battle breast cancer while he was in medical school. Connor's Heroes steps in from the first moment of diagnosis and remains involved in kid's lives well past the diagnosis. Connor’s Heroes provides everything from short-term needs (groceries, travel stipends) to long-term impact (emotional support and community building).

Q: What is your favorite experience so far with Connor’s Heroes?
A: The Heroes Art Ball. There's something amazing about seeing the beacons of light and hope that the Heroes are, paired with inspiring artwork created by the kids and professional artists working together. Not to mention, kids in ball gowns and tuxedos are just darn cute!

Q: Why should others support Connor’s Heroes?
A: After working with a variety of non-profits, I believe those with local connections can most efficiently meet the needs of their communities. Local groups aren't hamstrung by national or global oversight or red tape. Founded by a patient's family, and with several patient families on our board, Connor's Heroes is very much in touch with the cancer community and dedicated to helping those families and to be a good steward of its resources.

Q: Why do you believe it is important to give back to your community?
A: We all have gifts. I believe we're called to use them, both for the benefit of our workplaces and for our community.

Q: Tell us about your personal/professional background.
A: After being a double major at William & Mary in English and Accounting, my husband and I got married in the Wren Building and moved to New York City “just for a year or two.” Six years later, I'd spent my time in a variety of financial services (investment banking and private wealth management) and received an MBA from Columbia University. We moved back to Richmond in 2013 to raise our family. Non-profits and philanthropy have long been a passion of mine. In New York, a fellow director and I managed a family's family foundation giving (> $100M). For my MBA I concentrated in impact investing and did an independent study with the Rockefeller Foundation. I joined NRV as the Director of Investments. I work with a variety of start-ups at NRV. The themes are very similar between start-ups and non-profits: using minimal resources for maximum impact towards a problem they want to see changed.

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