Vice President of Strategy & Engagement
Wendy has worked in higher education for twenty-one years and was most recently the Vice President of Advancement and University Relations at Radford University in Radford, Virginia. Her senior-level experience has occurred at regional, mid-size public institutions in university fundraising, alumni engagement, special events, and communications and marketing. Her successful track record in growing programs and rebuilding advancement operations is a notable accolade in her professional expertise. Most recently, Wendy began independent consulting where she provides executive level services to organizations in areas of fundraising, staff development and recruitment, and strategic planning.
Her role as Vice President of Strategy and Engagement at Virginia Asset Group will focus on internal and external programming that helps strengthen the relationships we have with clients while also ensuring the culture of the company remains committed to our mission of providing outstanding service. Additionally, Wendy will oversee all special events and our efforts in supporting the community through volunteerism and civic engagement.
Wendy was raised in North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina at Pembroke where she received both her undergraduate degree in Political Science (1999) and a master’s degree in public administration (2007). Wendy earned her doctoral degree in Leadership and Innovation at Arizona State University in May 2022.
Throughout her professional career, she has served on numerous boards and organizations, primarily focused on education, childhood development, and the arts. One of the initiatives that she is most proud of is her involvement with the Julian T. Pierce Memorial Initiative where she worked closely with a small group of American Indian individuals to launch a successful advocacy and fundraising program in honor of the late Julian T. Pierce, a hero among the Lumbee Tribe who fought for equality in public education on behalf of the tribe. Wendy is an active member of the Lumbee Tribe.
Wendy’s pride and joy rests in the eyes of her two children, Christina, 20 and Owen, 14. She values her time with family, enjoys being around people and invoking laughter and joy in others. Wendy resides with her husband Darin Ely in Virginia Beach, VA.