January 31, 2018
By Brie Handgraaf, Wilson Daily Times
Virginia Bane might be new to Wilson, but that hasn’t stopped her from hitting the ground running as the new project coordinator for Wilson 20/20 Community Vision.
“She clearly demonstrated the communication skills we need, and her energy impressed me the first time we talked,” said Wilson 20/20 Executive Director Paula Benson. “So much of our work is centered around successful and meaningful relationships with community members and partners, and Virginia was a candidate who clearly offered the skill set needed for this position.”
The 25-year-old New Bern native moved to Wilson in the late summer with her husband, Archer Bane, who serves as director of alumni relations at Barton College. Prior to the move, Virginia Bane was working at Duke University as the director of operations for a new softball program, and before that, she worked in Chapel Hill as a project manager with a collegiate marketing firm.
As the project coordinator, she will use her degree in communications from East Carolina University to handle Wilson 20/20 communication strategies, coordinate teams for the Beyond 21 initiative and participation in community events. Since starting in early January, she has met many community leaders and talked about partnerships.
“In just a very short time, I have realized our organization provides a very unique opportunity for government, health care, economic development, businesses, churches, education, social programs and the press to work together,” she said. “Wilson 20/20 connects all these partners and keeps the momentum moving forward much more effectively and efficiently than any one organization or sector could do alone.
“Wilson 20/20 has been referred to as the glue that keeps the community working together, and I think the glue is pretty important to our future.”
Benson said Bane’s hiring is just one element to a new chapter for Wilson 20/20, which finished a strategic plan late last year. The process led the organization’s board members to approve a new mission statement — “to improve educational opportunities, health and wellness and workforce development in Wilson.”
“I will be quick to agree that any community in our country would list these areas as priorities for improvement, but I think our approach is very different,” Benson said. “Our strategic planning process affirmed the value that Wilson 20/20 offers to the community — we are creating pathways for positive change by building collaborations and partnerships across all sectors. Many communities are struggling to build the type of relationships we have in Wilson.”
Bane’s predecessor, Jessica Bailey, left the position in December to handle marketing and public relations at Wilson Community College. Benson said the position was changed to a project coordinator through the strategic plan, which also identified the need for an assistant director. The hiring for that position has not started, but is expected to be filled within the coming months.
For more on Wilson 20/20, visit wilson2020vision.org/.
“I am thrilled to be a part of an organization whose main goal is to make Wilson a better place,” Bane said. “I think it’s a really exciting time for the Wilson community and I am eager to see the growth and progress that our community will make within the coming years.”