Previous Hosts


Carol Olson

Carol has worked and volunteered in the nonprofit sector for over 15 years. she focuses on arts, activism and equality. She co-founded the Virginia Art Therapy Association and was Executive Director of a regional rape crisis center for several years. She continues to support and volunteer for local and national nonprofits on art therapy, domestic and sexual violence, services for elderly and radio broadcasting. She currently produces The V Word and Community Conversations on Recovery broadcast from WRIR 97.3 Richmond. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, a graduate degree from George Washington University and is a graduate of the 2006 Mid-ATTC Leadership Program. She is honored to join Inspire Indeed to highlight nonprofits and programs around the area.

Favorite thing about RVA: the constant evolution of its cultural identity

Most inspired by: the courage people can show in the most difficult and frightening of circumstances

Random fact: Carol used to be a personal chauffeur to one of the most interesting and inspiring feminists for arts, healing and equality.


Alan R. Hutson, Jr., MPA, CFRE

For the last thirteen years, Alan Hutson has dedicated his energies to converting people’s passions and good ideas into viable programs within well-run organizations. Building on a background in business and economics, he has helped increase the capacity of the nonprofit sector to strengthen communities and serve unmet societal needs.
Specifically, he works to demystify the fund development process for nonprofit CEOs and their boards by removing psychological barriers and breaking technical challenges into manageable pieces. He emphasizes that fundraising success can be achieved by anyone through education, hard work, and experience.
In his role as Managing Partner of The Monument Group, as well as in his approach to client selection, Alan lives by the philosophy of Margaret Mead: “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Alan deeply believes that the real brilliance is in the program side of nonprofit organizations. He feels privileged to be able to devote his managerial skills and fund development expertise to bringing those programs to scale, and is humbled by the determination and dedication of nonprofit program staff members. He feels that the excellent program staff deserves an excellent fundraising strategy to support their cause.
Alan’s professional affiliations reflect his commitment to advancing the field of philanthropy. He is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Virginia Association of Fundraising Executives. In 2009 and 2011, Alan was invited to speak at the Southern African Institute of Fundraising (SAIF) where he also performed pro bono consultation with nonprofits ranging from an HIV/AIDS orphanage to a leadership development academy for the chronically unemployed. In 2011, SAIF asked him to help chart the future of SAIF through a strategic partnership with AFP. He will be presenting at SAIF again in 2013. Additionally, Alan serves as the facilitator for a Fifth District Federal Reserve Bank’s community engagement series. Alan currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has presented at the Virginia Fundraising Institute (2012) and at AFP’s International Conference (2013).
Alan’s leadership within the nonprofit world can also be seen in his volunteer work. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy, where he chairs AFP’s Annual Fund for the United States. In the recent past, he has served on the Central Virginia Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (Past Board Chair), Circle Center Adult Day Services (Past Governance Committee Chair), and 1708 Gallery (Past Finance Committee Co-Chair).


Elaine Summerfield

Contact Information:


For over 20 years, Elaine has been dedicated to the nonprofit sector through roles such as foundation program officer, administrative director of a community health center, grants management, and fundraising.  In her desire to get others engaged to create positive change in the community, Elaine co-founded HandsOn Greater Richmond, where she continues to volunteer as its Advisory Council Chair. Elaine is a 2008 graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond, and in 2007, she was named one of Style Weekly’s Top 40 Under 40.  Elaine earned a BA in English from University of Washington, and an MPA from Portland State University.


Mark Hickman

Mark Hickman believes in the power of partnerships among the nonprofit, private and public sectors to solve the most difficult challenges facing our society. Collaboration starts with awareness and communication, so Mark works to connect sectors, industries, organizations and individuals that can strive toward common goals. Together we can build on our existing strengths, pursue creative solutions and innovate ideas that work.
Mark volunteers his time for causes he cares about, has worked in the nonprofit and corporate sectors, and was a co-founder of a local small business. He is currently senior manager of government & community affairs at the Greater Richmond Chamber. Mark graduated from the University of Richmond’s Jepson School of Leadership Studies.
Favorite thing about RVA: its neighborhoods and people
Most inspired by: unexpected kindness, the small things that turn into big things
Random fact: Mark has four ethnicities in his direct heritage

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