To the Editor;

In this season of Thanksgiving, I am writing to express my thanks to all of the wonderful people in the Greenbrier Valley for their generosity, commitment and hard work. 

The Greenbrier Valley is blessed to have people with such talent and dedication offering valuable services that enrich people’s lives. 

I offer my heartfelt thanks to the merchants and business community, the educators in our schools and media services (such as newspapers), and the members of the nonprofit community who all work tirelessly as public servants in their own essential ways.

My husband and I moved to the area in 1999 to raise our daughter in the perfect small town.  We looked at many communities across the country and chose to live here for the natural beauty, cultural offerings, educational system, and, most importantly, the kind and welcoming people.

Over the past nine years, I have had the privilege to serve as Executive Director of the Greenbrier Valley Community Foundation.  During that time, the generosity of the community has allowed GVCF to distribute approximately $8 million to the entirety of the Greenbrier Valley in order to preserve and improve the things which we all value. 

Throughout my career, I have often stated that I have tried to model my behavior on George Washington:  he wasn’t the smartest man but he knew who the most intelligent and knowledgeable people were and he sought their advice and counsel. 

President Washington also warned against partisanship and hoped that people would look to those things that united us as Americans rather than the issues that divided us.  Finally, Washington knew when it was time to step aside in order to prove that the new organization was stronger than one individual.

I will be leaving the area shortly for new adventures, but will carry with me a tremendous sense of gratitude for the many gifts which I have received.

With sincere appreciation,
Courtney Soling Smith