Meet your President and CEO

Travis Staton became President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Southwest Virginia in 2005.  He oversees the accountability, governance and transparency standards for the organization.

A veteran of the United Way system, he is currently leading a dynamic shift from the United Way being recognized for decades as a premier fundraiser and distributor to an organization focused on a community impact model working to improve the region’s health, education and financial stability.

Since joining the United Way in 2005, he has led the organization to a more regional approach to solving some of the region’s greatest issues. Between 2009 and early 2015, he guided the organization through seven different mergers and acquisitions from solely serving one county to today serving 13 counties and 2 cities, covering over 5,000 square miles, approximately 15% of the state.  Since this time, he has lead the organization to successfully create new initiatives to meet community needs and has taken them to scale to serve the region.  These initiatives have received high honors and support from national outlets such as the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  In November 2017, the organization became one of the inaugural recipients of the Virginia Governor’s Award for Excellence and Innovation in Education for its achievements in preparing students for the New Virginia Economy through the Ignite Program.

He currently serves as a Regional Council Member for GO Virginia, a Virginia Initiative for Growth and Opportunity initiated by the Virginia Business Higher Education Council and the Council on Virginia’s Future to foster private-sector growth and job creation through state incentives for regional collaboration by business, education, and government.  In 2018, he was appointed to the United Southeast Federal Credit Union’s Supervisory Committee which has powers to evaluate board officials and oversees the annual audit and assures that the credit union’s financial records and internal controls are in place to protect the assets of members as required by the Federal Credit Union Act.

In November 2017, he was asked to join the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation and a team of Virginia’s key leaders and national experts to generate actionable information for an effective early childhood system in Virginia through creation of an early childhood integrated data system.

In September 2017, he was invited by the Virginia Secretary of Education to serve on the Virginia Department of Education School Readiness Committee’s Finance and Compensation Workgroup.  The Committee, created by the Virginia General Assembly, periodically reviews the goals and other priorities within the early childhood care and education systems and makes recommendations to various policymakers.  Currently, the Committee is working to address the development and alignment of an effective professional development and credentialing system for the early childhood education workforce in the Commonwealth.

In the spring of 2015, he was asked to bring professional expertise to bear and serve as Co-Chair of Ballad Health’s Healthy Children & Families Workgroup.  Through this effort he convened a community work group of northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia stakeholders to provide analysis of key community health issues and to develop a set of health priority areas and prevention strategies for the region, ultimately contributing to the production of a region-wide health intervention plan for Ballad Health.

In 2013, he led the creation of the Southwest 2020 Collaborative by hosting a regional leader’s summit as a first step in helping key community stakeholders refine their work, share knowledge and explore ways to improve Southwest Virginia’s economy through collective impact.  During this same year, he was recognized by The Business Journal of Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia as one of the region’s top business professionals receiving a 40 Under Forty Award.

Between 2011 and 2013, Staton oversaw Washington County Virginia’s long-term recovery efforts from a natural disaster the community experienced in April of 2011.  During this time he provided fiscal management for the Governor of Virginia’s disaster assistance fund.  He was responsible for the oversight of millions of dollars of government and private funding to assist disaster victims.

He has served on the United Way Worldwide’s Small to Midsize U.S. Field Team and in 2016 was asked to serve on the Community Leaders Conference Planning Committee, where he assisted in bringing together executives, volunteers, and community leaders from nearly 1,800 United Way communities from around the globe.

A native of Southwest Virginia, he attended East Tennessee State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.  He currently resides in Abingdon, Virginia with sons Parley, Kellen, and Adler, daughter Ayla and wife Ryiah.

A native of Southwest Virginia, he attended East Tennessee State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.  He currently resides in Abingdon, Virginia with sons Parley, Kellen, and Adler, daughter Ayla and wife Ryiah.