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Chamber Spotlight: Cristine Nardi, Center for Nonprofit Excellence

Cristine Nardi 3

Cristine Nardi is Executive Director of the Center for Nonprofit Excellence. She is also the First Vice-Chairwoman (Chair-Elect) of the Chamber Board of Directors.

What was your first job?

My first job out of college was as a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana, Africa. I was a middle school teacher for two years while the Botswana government established a 12-year public education system and trained enough local teachers to staff schools across the country.

What is unique about your organization and the work you do in our community?

Nonprofits have a double bottom line: they not only must provide community benefit, they also have to be financially sound. Center for Nonprofit Excellence (CNE) is the only resource center in the region dedicated to helping nonprofit businesses succeed. With more than 280 nonprofit members and programs and services in the Charlottesville region and across the state, we provide tools, training, consulting, and coaching to strengthen nonprofits so they can be efficient and effective, collaborate to leverage resources, make good use of donor dollars, and strengthen their community impact.

What’s your favorite local activity for out-of-town guests?

I recommend tubing down the Rivanna or the James — fun for all ages.

What’s most important for the future of our regional business community?

Workforce development — making sure we're providing the right training and support so that all of our residents can find a career path to self sufficiency, and so that we can attract and support new businesses and effectively grow and develop our local economy.

How did you choose the field you’re in?

I'm a lawyer by training, and I chose working in the nonprofit sector because it's community-centered. I get to use my legal skills to support the great work of nonprofits who not only provide more than 8% of all employment in the region, but also improve our quality of life and help to make sure all of our citizens can thrive.