Becky Caldwell is an executive coach, podcast host of “Virtual Executive Director,” and the actual executive director of the Virginia Highlands Festival (VHF) in Abingdon, Virginia.
A graduate of Northwestern University, Becky spent much of her career in Chicago with Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Chicago Humanities Festival, and the Chicago Improv Festival (among other organizations). She has produced international arts programs and festivals since 1992. In 2012 she came to Abingdon to become the first-ever executive director for VHF, a 70-year-old arts and culture organization.
While at VHF, she launched several pilot programs to help innovate programming. These programs have included “The Wolf Crystal” public performance art project; a series of culinary arts events highlighting the rich heritage and inherent creativity of food production in Southwest Virginia; and “Plein Air Abingdon,” a 3-day springtime spin-off festival from the summer flagship event.
Since 2016 she has been advising, consulting, and coaching nonprofit leaders, helping them with fundraising strategies, board development, and strategic planning. Becky’s areas of coaching expertise include leadership transition, building effective corporate culture. She started her weekly podcast, “Virtual Executive Director,” in September 2017, as a free resource for cash-strapped nonprofits, and supplements the podcast with an active Facebook group for nonprofit leaders to receive peer-to-peer support..
In her personal life, Becky is a gamer, foodie, and supernerd. She is married with two big goofy dogs who make frequent appearances on her podcast and Instagram feed.
Check out her Ted Talk: The Art of Connection.