Keynote: Confessions of a Reformed "Know-it-All": Knowing Your Worth and Knowing When to Listen

Afira DeVries, U.S. Director, Spring Impact

Afira has enjoyed a two-decade career as a health and human services executive, successfully leading innovation and growth for five thriving nonprofit organizations, most recently serving as the President & CEO for the United Way of the Roanoke Valley in Southwestern Virginia. Having generated more than a quarter billion dollars in support of social innovation over the course of her career, her extensive development, leadership and programmatic design experience contribute to the vision and strategic direction of Spring Impact.

Her career highlights include:

  • Implementation of social solutions in partnership with more than 300 individual nonprofit organizations

  • The design and execution of an innovative student homelessness initiative focused on rapidly and permanently rehousing school aged youth

  • Launching a regional care coordination collaborative for the uninsured, linking people to medical providers and social services by streamlining the intake process and expanding access points


Afira is frequently called upon to serve as a presenter and guest speaker on a wide variety of subjects related to social justice, poverty alleviation, leadership, social innovation, consultative fundraising and design thinking. She was recognized as one of Tampa Bay’s Under 40 “Up and Comers” in 2011 and was honored by the Tampa Bay Business Journal as a “Business Woman of the Year” finalist in 2014. Afira was awarded the NAACP’s Citizen of the Year Award in Roanoke, Virginia in 2016.

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