By Tim Ryan

The Rotary Club of Newport News proudly welcomed a distinguished guest – Sister David Ann, a dedicated member of the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters and the Executive Director of the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters Foundation. Her extensive background in education and administration has been a driving force in her impactful work.

The Bernardine Franciscan Sisters Foundation, under Sister David Ann’s leadership, is a cornerstone in the community, supporting a range of charitable works on the Virginia Peninsula. Focusing on healthcare, education, and human services, the foundation is a beacon of hope and assistance. For more details on their mission and activities, visit their website.

Sister David Ann also highlighted her involvement with the Housing Development Corporation of Hampton Roads (HDCofHR). This organization is pivotal in providing affordable, quality housing for those in need, including low-income families, the homeless, and the disabled, emphasizing the transformative power of secure housing.

Key takeaways from Sister David Ann’s presentation included:

1. The Importance of Philanthropy: Understanding the critical role of philanthropy in empowering non-profits to serve communities effectively.

2. Addressing Housing Needs: The essential need for accessible, affordable housing, and the efforts of organizations like HDCofHR in meeting this need.

3. Unique Organizational Structure: A fascinating aspect of HDCofHR is its ‘working’ Board of Directors, which plays an active role in operations due to the lack of staff.

Beyond her professional achievements, Sister David Ann’s personal interests, such as biking, traveling, and enjoying theatrical productions, reflect her well-rounded personality. Her active participation on various Boards of Directors exemplifies her commitment to societal improvement.

Her presentation was a powerful reminder of the impact of collaboration and service. As members of the Rotary Club of Newport News, we’re inspired to continue our work with renewed vigor, guided by the example set by leaders like Sister David Ann.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to Sister David Ann for her inspiring talk and encourage readers to explore the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters Foundation website to learn more about their transformative work.