Rupa S. Murthy with YWCA Richmond

Rupa S. Murthy with YWCA Richmond

Title: chief development officer for the YWCA Richmond

Born: October 1977 in Richmond

Education: bachelor of arts, James Madison University, 1999; master’s in communications, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2013

Career: Office of the Governor, 2001-06; owner, Rupa & Co. Consulting, 2006-08; VCU Department of Psychiatry, 2007-15; YWCA Richmond, 2015-present

What part of the metro area do you live?: Richmond’s Near West End in Sauer’s Garden

Best business decision: “Building a strong, authentic network early in my career. There are really great people across the commonwealth, and you never know when you will run into them, want to partner with them or need their expertise to complete a project. I learned very early in my career that taking the time to learn about people, their passion, their experiences and their goals helps me meet my own goals in the long run.”

Worst business decision: “Staying in a job that didn’t have growth opportunities that fit my goals. Stayed too long and really tried to squeeze every possible opportunity out of it only to feel unsatisfied on my way into work each day.”

Mistake you learned the most from: “I’ve been lucky enough to learn from a few mistakes. One that stands out is when I learned from a great mentor that nothing is urgent. It’s OK to take your time and analyze a situation before I begin to problem-solve. I’m driven by solution-based work, so this was a real gift. In a world of quick emails, even quicker text messages and communication campaigns that play out on digital media — not reacting too quickly was something that took time for me to learn.

What is the biggest challenge/opportunity in the next two to five years: Fluctuating tax laws on charitable giving and federal funding are a current challenge. The gridlock between politicians and advocacy organizations — at the local, state and federal level — makes my work in philanthropy harder.”

First job after college: “A startup company out in Boulder [Colo.] was essentially Netflix, but the technology wasn’t there yet. We were trying to buy content and develop the technology to stream on the Palm Pilot. This memory makes me feel a little old.”

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently: “Travel more. I think it is really important to understand how the global landscape affects our education and workforce goals. You can’t do that by reading or sitting at your desk in RVA, and also I really, really love to travel.”

Movie or book that inspired you the most, and why?: “I loved Cecile Richards’ book, ‘Make Trouble,’ and am inspired right now by Reese Witherspoon’s series ‘Shine On with Reese.’ ”

Favorite/least favorite subject in school: “I went to an Episcopal school and when I got there, everyone was required to take classes in both the New and Old Testament. I was really grateful for my teacher who saw that this Hindu girl was not interested in the New Testament class after I sloshed through the first one. He worked up a curriculum for me called World Theory. I got to explore culture and civilization rather than the Bible. I appreciate the effort.”

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