History and Vision

Middle Border Forward is an organization built on the idea of inclusive collaboration and equitable regional growth. By working together, with partners and stakeholders in business enterprise, civic entities, and community organizations, we foster growth to take elevate the Middle Border region to the next level of development and prosperity. We seek to create a community that is reflective of those living in it, and as one that provides valuable resources for the advancement of its diverse members.

Established in 2012, Middle Border Forward was created with the vision of developing a plan that would propel the region forward. The program was led by a group of 50 individuals under the age of 50, known as the MBF Fellows. The Fellows’ objective was to develop a plan to promote growth and engage a new community of leaders for a development of the Middle Border region. To do this, the Fellows participated in a process where they learned about the history of the surrounding communities, engaged in community action projects, and created a plan for the future of each.

The Middle Border region is known for scenic beauty, dynamic businesses, access to rapidly growing urban areas, and most importantly, hard-working people. The Middle Border Region is also one where significant barriers in social, financial, and educational advancement exist. These barriers impede progress and prevent our entire region from thriving. We believe we can eliminate these barriers through inclusive leadership, ensuring all communities have an active say in their region’s future direction.

MBF envisions a region where a diverse set of leaders are able to meaningfully take advantage of leadership opportunities that exist and create effective change in the community. Furthermore, MBF believes that leadership involves making hard choices; for the region to reach its full potential, a new set of leaders must step up as active change agents.

This is a community-wide responsibility, and we feel that with dedication and participation from all, we will advance our region FORWARD. It’s been quite a journey so far, but we are just getting started!

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Brandon Atkins, American National Bank, Board President

Dr. Jessica Jones, Pittsylvania County Schools, Vice President

Dr. Alexis Ehrhardt, Center for Community Engagement & Career Competitiveness, Treasurer

Faith Stamps, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Danville Area, Secretary

Lynette Anderson, Durham County Parks & Recreation

Catesby Denison, Caswell County Planning Department

Bryan Price, UVA Cancer Center

Leslie Smith, Danville Regional Medical Center

Shelly Stone, Piedmont Community College


Jennifer Gregory, Executive Director

Kendall Ratliffe, Program Coordinator

Christy Harper, Office Manager