Ferrum News

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 business career.

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

#    #    #

See additional photos from Julie Swanson's visit here: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjCb1h9b