Donna Fleming Cuviello, Class of 2005
Donna Fleming Cuviello
What is new and exciting with you now or since your time with Lead Virginia?
It's been nearly 15 years since I participated in the Lead Virginia class, so much has changed for me personally. Throughout my career and into retirement, I've been an advocate for the well-being of children. My passion for preventing child abuse and neglect led me to joining the Board of Directors for SCAN of Northern VA in 2013. Over the years, I've held numerous leadership positions for SCAN, including Board President and currently serve as the Chair of the Honorary Board.
In Virginia, (statewide) over 136,000 children were reported as abused and/or neglected, with more than 72,000 determined to be valid cases in FY2019 according to the Virginia OASIS Data report.
Several years ago, I retired after 39 years of a combined career in the private and nonprofit sectors. I've become a Florida resident, while still having a home in Old Town, Alexandria. My husband, Pete and I are often traveling – internationally and within the US. We recently completed a major trip – 6 weeks to Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji – a lifetime experience!
How did Lead Virginia shape you as a leader?
My experience with Lead Virginia – both while in the class and as an alumnus – affected my approach of leadership from a more "individualist" to a "collective." Meeting and building collaborative relationships with so many leaders from across the Commonwealth is powerful. Through a collective voice and a willingness to address issues impacting our communities is beneficial to all.
Since Lead Virginia, how have you put your social capital to work?
Within a year of completing the Lead Virginia class program, I was presented with an opportunity to join a nationally based nonprofit organization focused on increasing college enrollment and career planning of youth from low-income families. Through the Lead Virginia experience, I learned of the high school dropout and post-secondary rates in Virginia for this population of youth needed to improve. So, I left my executive position in the private sector to head-up the national capital regional office where we teamed with Arlington and Alexandria public school districts, along with districts in Maryland and DC. After five years, I went on to becoming the VP of operations where I led the national work across the country.
What was your biggest takeaway or lesson learned from Lead Virginia that continues to resonate with you today?
The power of relationships with leaders from across the commonwealth, inclusive of various backgrounds, is beneficial to our collective communities.