Virginia Early Childhood Foundation Elects New Board Officers & Members

Richmond, Va. (Sept. 20, 2019) –The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF), a statewide public-private entity that supports early childhood development and school readiness for the Commonwealth’s youngest children, elected two new board members at the organization’s fall board meeting on Sept. 18.

Todd Norris is Senior Vice President of Community Health & System Advancement with Ballad Health, an integrated healthcare delivery system serving areas of Va., Tenn., N.C., and Ky. In this capacity, he helps lead the system’s comprehensive transformation to become a community health improvement organization focused on reducing the regional disease burden through prevention and disease management, and addressing the social needs and social determinants of health through engagement with community-based resources. Previously, he seved as Senior Vice President of System Advancement for Wellmont Health System, which merged with Mountain States Health Alliance to become Ballad Health. In that role, Norris was responsible for marketing, communications and philanthropy for the health system.

Dietra Y. Trent, Ph.D. began serving as Chief of Staff at George Mason University in August 2019, and will continue in that capacity during the tenure of GMU President Anne Holton. Most recently, she held the position of Senior Director for Equity Research and Training within the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she earned a Ph.D. in public policy. An accomplished public official, she served as Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Virginia under Governor Terry McAuliffe. During her career, Dr. Trent also served in the administrations of Governor Tim Kaine and Governor Mark Warner.

“We welcome Todd and Dietra to our talented team of statewide business and community leaders, all of whom are deeply committed to ensuring a strong start for every child in the Commonwealth,” said Ned W. Massee, president of Croatan Advisors and board chair of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation. “Their many years of experience in the health care and education sectors will provide unique insights to our work as we strive to shape and inform a vision for early childhood development and school readiness in Virginia.”

#  #   #

About the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation: VECF creates results-oriented partnerships to ensure that young children are healthy and prepared for school, life and workforce success. To learn more about VECF and the Smart Beginnings initiatives, visit

Media contact: Sara Hunt,, 804-994-1120