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Virginia Rural Center Names Kristie Helmick Proctor Executive Director

Richmond, Va. – Kristie Helmick Proctor has been appointed Executive Director of the Center for Rural Virginia, effective Dec. 4. The rural Virginia native, farm owner and accomplished organizational leader most recently served at the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s largest small business association, where she managed a staff that implements and oversees grassroots activities in 17 different states.

Proctor’s experience at NFIB afforded her an opportunity to gain a keen understanding of the issues facing those who live in rural Virginia. In addition, Proctor and her husband both grew up in rural Virginia and recently purchased a farm in Hanover County.

"Kristie brings an enthusiasm and a range of experiences that will help us build on our successes of the past several years as we strive to more effectively promote an improved economy and an enhanced quality of life throughout rural Virginia,” said Senator Emmett W. Hanger, Jr., Chairman of the Center for Rural Virginia.

Prior to her role at the NFIB, Proctor served as Public Affairs Specialist at Transurban, a leading international toll road developer and investor. Proctor was instrumental in leading the implementation of a comprehensive public affairs program surrounding the proposed multi-billion dollar I-95/395 High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes project in Northern Virginia.

Earlier, Proctor was Public Affairs Specialist, at AAA Mid-Atlantic, the nation’s fifth largest auto club, working as a spokesperson and representing the club at various civic, professional and transportation organizations.

Proctor earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Longwood University and Master of Arts degree in Government from Regent University. She holds a Law and Public Policy Graduate Certificate and a Homeland Defense and Terrorism Graduate Certificate from Oxford University. She is also a graduate of the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership.

“I am incredibly excited to serve as Executive Director of the Virginia Rural Center, as I am passionate about identifying new opportunities and addressing challenges facing rural Virginians,” said Proctor. “I look forward to building on the Center’s efforts in a number of key areas, such as highlighting small business opportunities, broadband deployment, workforce development, clean energy and stemming the tide of young people leaving our wonderful rural areas – just to name a few.”

The Center is a partnership of the Center for Rural Virginia, a Virginia legislative entity advocating for rural policy, and the Council for Rural Virginia, an entity organized by federal statute that is a conduit for building rural capacity by facilitating the collaboration and creation of coalitions of the key economic regions and sectors of the Commonwealth.

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The Virginia Rural Center is a collaborative partnership of the Center for Rural Virginia and the Council for Rural Virginia, which work together on a joint mission to work with policymakers and stakeholders to create innovative solutions and expand entrepreneurial opportunities to ensure economic prosperity for all regions in the Commonwealth. The creation of the Center was a recommendation of the Rural Prosperity Commission, created by the General Assembly in 2000. Learn more about the Center and Council at

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