Friends of Reston Names New Executive Director
Friends of Reston has named Kia Cole-Hines as its new Executive Director, effective January 19, 2021. In her work as Business Engagement and Sales Manager for RA, Cole-Hines is uniquely qualified for the role of Executive Director of FOR, a position that has been commendably fulfilled for 16 years by Katie Shaw, Nature Center Manager for RA. “I am extremely excited and honored to become Executive Director of Friends of Reston,” stated Cole-Hines. “As a native Restonian, this position will further allow me to have a hand in preserving and enhancing the community where I live, work, and play.” Her work, which includes connecting with businesses that wish to sponsor RA events and special projects, will now also increase awareness of the philanthropic opportunities associated with FOR’s mission of supporting charitable, educational, and scientific community projects with donated funds.
Shaw is stepping aside from her leadership position with FOR but will continue with her management of the Walker Nature Center while also accepting some new responsibilities from RA’s Senior Advisor for Environmental Resources, Claudia Thompson-Deahl, who retired on December 30. “I’m working with Kia on a smooth transition and happy that FOR will have someone who shares a passion for Reston at its helm,” says Shaw. The Walker Nature Center will continue to partner with FOR on environmental programs and projects.
“The Friends of Reston board of directors is delighted for Katie’s new and very fitting responsibilities at RA, but we were understandably disappointed to hear that she would be stepping aside,” says Carol Nahorniak, president of FOR. “At the same time, we are excited to be working with Kia, and very pleased that our new Executive Director has an equivalent perspective of Reston and the good works of FOR. With her strong ties to the community she is a great match for this organization.” In addition to her proven record of leadership and business experience, Cole-Hines is a South Lakes High School Hall of Famer and an assistant basketball coach.
Donors, partners, FOR’s founders, past and present board members are familiar with Shaw’s outstanding representation and administration of Friends of Reston over 16 years, which includes her instrumental work in the successful capital campaign to build Nature House, completed in 2009. In the past 2 years alone, Shaw has overseen approximately $200,000 in funding for projects such as camp and tennis scholarships for children, park improvements, habitat restoration, and tree planting. Throughout the pandemic, FOR has provided $15,000 in funds for PPE and other equipment needed for the safety of patrons, staff, and volunteers at RA facilities. FOR acquires funds through grants and donations from individuals and organizations with a love for Reston and strong, healthy communities.