Charitable trust introduces new president

Charitable trust introduces new president
October 06
07:00 2016


Dr. Laura Gerald, president of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, met with the community on Tuesday, Oct. 4, to discuss the Trust’s initiatives and invite them to join efforts in supporting early childhood education.

Local leaders, social service providers, and residents attended an open house gathering. This was Gerald’s last stop in a statewide tour, meeting communities in Durham, Lumberton, Morganton, Rocky Mount, and Washington.

Gerald described her background in rural health and child development, and her commitment to efforts like Great Expectations, the Trust’s strategy to improve early childhood outcomes in Forsyth County. She encouraged the community to work together to help children succeed in school.

“I have always advocated for policies that give every child an equal start, regardless of social and economic circumstances,” Gerald said. “I see children as particularly vulnerable. And ‘vulnerable’ is not a term I use lightly, because I think everyone has strength and resilience. But children don’t vote and are not able to address and overcome the challenges that they are facing. Early childhood is a time when children need our support the most.”

In addition to introducing Gerald to the community, the reception high-lighted progress made by Great Expectations, the Trust’s investment of $30 million to $40 million over 10 to 15 years to improve early childhood education in Forsyth County. The initiative emphasizes the Trust’s commitment to funding sustainable change by working with the community to tap into the expertise and leadership of the people it aims to serve.

“Studies show that every dollar spent on early childhood initiatives provides over eight dollars in benefits back to the community,” Gerald said. “When children are supported well through infancy and early childhood, they enter the education system ready to learn. If we can start children off on the right foot in terms of prevention and healthy lifestyles, we will have fewer chronic diseases in childhood and later in life that we will have to support as a community.”

Dr. Gerald is a pediatrician born and raised in rural North Carolina. Before joining the Trust in July, she served as market medical director for Evolent Health in Raleigh. Earlier, she served as the North Carolina state health director and executive director of the North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund.

About the Trust Established in 1947, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust is one of the largest private trusts in North Carolina. Its mission is to improve the quality of life and quality of health for the financially needy of North Carolina. The Poor and Needy Division responds to basic life needs and invests in solutions that improve the quality of life and health for financially needy residents of Forsyth County. The Health Care Division promotes wellness statewide by investing in prevention and treatment.

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. serves as sole trustee. For more information, go to

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