Holly LeskoProgram Director
Holly joined NRVRC in October 2020 and has been supporting the BCT with business and school outreach throughout the pandemic. She is now helping to position businesses, governments, and communities to be prepared and more resilient to future impacts to health and economy. She has lived and worked in the New River Valley since 1989 and this position is a true return to her roots as her first position after graduate school was with the NRVRC as an economic development planner in 1992. Holly has worked with communities and organizations in the New River Valley region and across the Commonwealth for the past 30+ years in the areas of comprehensive planning, leadership development, economic development and enhancement, educational training and curriculum development, public health assessment and program delivery, grant writing, facilitation, assessment, and evaluation as well as grassroots community organizing.
Her focus in community development is on long-range goal development with community health assessments evaluation tools to create new ways of viewing and approaching issues and concepts through inclusive and diverse community engagement. In previous work at Virginia Tech, she served as the Principal Investigator for the Healthy NRV project in partnership with the NRVRC with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funding. This project was a community-based participatory research program focused on assessing the impacts of health factors in community development and engaging youth in local communities in community health conversations utilizing her skills in community engagement, inclusive partnership-centered programming, as well as digital storytelling and gathering.
Additionally, Holly has worked extensively with federal, state, and local funding agencies and has helped local organizations and communities secure over $6,000,000 in local, state and federal aid to further development and community projects in the region. Holly holds a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech.