Valerie Stewart

Director of Organizational Capacity

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As Director of Organizational Capacity, Valerie creates opportunities and develops partnerships that strengthen nonprofit leadership, strategy and learning capacities. In addition to grantmaking, she leads the coordination of trainings that help nonprofits increase their knowledge of best practices and learn fundamental skills that translate to increased effectiveness.

Valerie joined the BCBSNC Foundation in 2009, after spending two years within the Corporate Communications department of BCBSNC. Prior to that she managed special events and fundraising at Junior Achievement of Chicago. At the Foundation, she first conducted behind-the-scenes work as Operations Manager before moving to focus on nonprofit capacity building. Valerie has been the recipient of the BCBSNC Outstanding Volunteer Award and completed her certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. She has served on the annual conference planning committee for the North Carolina Network of Grantmakers. She was most recently a board member for Girls on the Run of the Triangle as well as served two years on the Board of Visitors for The Eugene S. Pulliam School of Journalism at Butler University. Valerie earned her undergraduate degree in public and corporate communications from Butler University in Indianapolis where she was student body president, and earned an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

What I love about my work:
My early career was wearing multiple hats as an enthusiastic fundraiser trekking in and out of bowling alleys, golf courses and executive conference rooms – all for the intent of furthering the mission of financial literacy. I was humbled and amazed by the passion I encountered, and I continue to have great respect as well as continually learn as I roll up my sleeves and work alongside our nonprofit partners, whether as a funder, board member or volunteer. That same awe inspires me today as I combine my business background with ensuring sustainable results for organizations. I like being creative and it’s important to me to provide high quality, meaningful engagements that deliver new ways of thinking and make a tangible difference.

When not at my desk:
I stay busy outside the office enjoying the outdoors with my husband and chasing after our very active twin toddler boys. When not kicking balls or having a dance party to nursery songs, our family loves anything to do with food. We enjoy traveling and much of it is focused on seeing grandparents. Prior to parenthood, I completed two marathons and several half-marathons, but find more joy and camaraderie now in an easy jog or catching up with friends over a glass of wine. Since becoming a mom, coffee has also become a critical and necessary part of my day.

Favorite thing about North Carolina:
It has to be the weather! I moved here from the Midwest and love how I can enjoy be outside at least nine months out of the year. I admit I’m a Southerner now – as I’ve fallen in love with the food trucks of Carrboro, the mountains in Asheville, the waves at Carolina beach and everything in between.