Jo Nelson is the Director of Total Action for Progress’ This Valley Works component. In this role, Ms. Nelson is responsible for top-level management of 16 programs with more than 40 funding sources. Programs primarily focus on economic stability of individuals and families. They encompass the broad areas of homelessness services, education services, employment training services, ex-offenders services, veterans’ services, and two-generational services. Programs are funded through a variety of sources at the federal, state, and local level including the United States Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, and United Way of the Roanoke Valley. Ms. Nelson supervises a staff of approximately 50 professionals whose backgrounds range from case managers to employment specialists.
In addition to managing the component staff and budgets, she is also responsible for program design and development; grant writing, collaborative efforts in the community, as well as oversight of two Boards of Commissioners who advise the component and the agency. She served on the Roanoke Pride’s Prism Foundation as the community liaison to other non-profits. Ms. Nelson has participated in the Professional Fellows Program sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs working with delegates from Morocco, Mongolia, Peoples Republic of China, and Taiwan; and served as faculty for their Professional Fellows Congress. She is a certified Results Oriented Management and Accountability Implementer, as well as a Certified Fatherhood Facilitator.
Ms. Nelson has more than 35 years of experience in non-profit management having served in leadership positions in both Louisiana and Virginia. In previous positions, Ms. Nelson has served as Director of Development for Virginia’s Explore Park; Executive Director of the Central Virginia Area Agency on Aging; Lynchburg YWCA Family Violence Prevention Program Coordinator, and Adjunct Faculty in Human Services at Central Virginia Community College. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business and a master’s degree in counseling from Louisiana Tech University.