Life-long Advocate for Those in Need Brings Her Message to Ferrum College
Lutheran Family Services of Virginia President and Chief Executive Officer Julie Swanson
was on campus yesterday for Executive In Residence program.
Ferrum, Va. (September 20, 2012) – Lutheran Family Services of Virginia (LFSVA) President and Chief Executive Officer
Julie Swanson was on the Ferrum College campus yesterday for the College’s first Executive
In Residence program of the new academic year. In addition to delivering a keynote
address to students, faculty and others from the community, Swanson joined students
in morning and afternoon classes sharing details about her life and work.
Swanson has been involved with programs and advocacy efforts for children, families,
refugees and the elderly throughout her career, which has included positions in the
Virgin Islands, Florida, Colorado and now Virginia. The nature of her work often makes
career changes or management decisions challenging and her method of making hard choices
was of particular interest to audience members.
"Typically when I approach decisions and change, I try to assess everything that is
affecting that situation. My gut and intuition play a big part,” explained Swanson.
“If I come to the decision that our mission is going to be affected in a way that
won't move it forward, I will make the difficult decision."
LFSVA traces its roots to the Lutheran Children’s Home of the South founded in 1888
to provide care for orphaned children. Since taking the helm in 2005, Swanson has
reorganized the structure of LFSVA and through the strategic acquisition of a for-profit
company as well as growth in other divisions, LFSVA has increased from a $10 million
annual operating budget to $25 million with 375 employees. Services provided at 19
locations and six group homes have been expanded beyond children to include older
adults and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The Executive in Residence initiative at Ferrum College brings the real world business
experience of current and retired business professionals to campus. Guest executives
tour the College, audit classes, interact with students and faculty, and are asked
to deliver a lecture sharing their personal experiences and philosophies. Speakers
offer insight on the knowledge, skills and leadership qualities necessary for a successful
Novozymes Biologicals President Patrick Patterson will serve as the College’s next
Executive in Residence on Wed., Oct. 3. His 11:15 a.m. keynote address in the Blue
Ridge Mountain Room, Franklin Hall, is open to the public
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See additional photos from Julie Swanson's visit here: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjCb1h9b