May 12, 2015

Danville Regional Foundation (DRF) was named the recipient of the 2015 Pinnacle Award by the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce at the organization’s annual awards dinner on May 11th.  The Pinnacle Award is presented to a business or organization whose outstanding achievements serve as a model for success.

DRF was organized 10 years ago with a vision of a thriving Dan River Region that works well for everyone.  While many individuals and organizations had recognized the need for transformation, DRF positioned itself as a catalyst for innovation and an agent for transformation. Understanding that significant community change takes time, this organization has focused on long term efforts that promise sustained positive impact for the Dan River Region.

“DRF is truly committed to the development, promotion, and support of activities, programs, and organizations that address the health, education, and well-being of the region′s residents,” commented Chamber Chair Steve Kaylor in making the presentation.  “DRF recognizes that to advance the common good, it takes the ability and necessity of individuals working together. They will be the first to tell you that any success that has been achieved has been due to the partnerships with people and organizations who share their commitment to expanded opportunity and increased well-being for all the region′s residents.”

Over the past 10 years, DRF’s work has been guided by clear values.  They work to eliminate unfair gaps between groups in health, education, and economic opportunity so that residents can thrive in an economy equal to thriving regions elsewhere.  They encourage innovation which inspires regional pride and produces excellent outcomes for present and future residents. They seek active partnerships with all segments of the community.  They operate with fairness, encouraging dialogue to build trust and understanding.

Since 2005, DRF has partnered with 106 community organizations – organizations such as Averett University, Danville Community College, the YMCA, the Boys & Girls Club, the Olde Dominion Agricultural Foundation, Danville’s River District, the Arc of Southside, the Community Foundation of the Dan River Region, Get Fit, Paths, and the Northern Pittsylvania County Food Center, to name a few.

DRF has committed more than $76 million through more than 260 grants.  Additionally, they have approved 87 ‘Make It Happen’ and ‘Make More Happen’ grants totaling over $850,000.

DRF has invested in building talent for our region through their support of summer interns, year-round interns, fellows, Middle Border Forward, the Dan River Year, and Engage programs.

This organization has also ignited conversations throughout our region by supporting research and reports around economic development, the River District, and entrepreneurship.

DRF began a Speaker Series in 2009 by bringing innovative thinkers to the Dan River Region to encourage every citizen to create positive change.  They’ve also sponsored community reads. 

DRF has also supported our non-profit community by bringing the Duke Nonprofit Management training classes to this region.

The foundation is led by an 11-member Board of Directors who comes from a variety of professions, bringing a breadth of expertise to the work of this organization. The day-to-day operations of the organization are led by a talented and professional team of visionaries. 

Accepting the award, on behalf of DRF, were Charles H. Majors, chairman of the board, and Karl N. Stauber, President/CEO.

The Chamber’s Pinnacle Award recognizes an influential business or organization that has made a strong local economic impact. The recipient’s leadership and dedication to a variety of interests should contribute significantly to the socio-economic prosperity of the Danville-Pittsylvania County region. The recipient should be respected professionally and throughout the community for commitment to excellence and vision for future generations.  Business (profit or not-for-profit) nominees must operate in the Danville and Pittsylvania County area.

Criteria for the award include:

  • Recognized leadership in making a key contribution to the quality of life in the region ;
  • Innovative and entrepreneurial leadership;
  • Active involvement that advances their profession or industry.


The Chamber presented its first-ever Pinnacle Award in 2011 to Averett University.  The 2012 award winner was Danville Regional Medical Center, and the 2013 award winner was the Olde Dominion Agricultural Foundation.  The 2014 winner was American National Bank & Trust.