Formerly the president of Tidewater Community College, Deborah DiCroce left her 14-year post to become president and CEO of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation in March 2012.
But the Power List veteran said she wasn't originally looking to leave TCC.
The opportunity to expand the community foundation's role in tackling larger community issues lured her in.
"I was already familiar with the good work this foundation does," she said. "Last year, we put out $15 million in grants and scholarships to some 150 different nonprofit agencies and 350 high school students."
DiCroce was No. 21 in last year's list, but with her new position she moves to a spot among the other 50 most influential people.
After she earned a master's in English from Old Dominion University and her doctorate from the College of William and Mary, DiCroce left the area for nine years to be president of Piedmont Virginia Community College in Charlottesville.
"When I came back to be president of TCC, I thought it was a marvelous opportunity and it was allowing me to return home," she said. "I am proving Thomas Wolfe wrong, you can go home again."
DiCroce serves on numerous boards including the Christopher Newport University Board of Visitors, the Urban League of Hampton Roads, Portsmouth Partnership, Greater Norfolk Corp., Sentara Health System and Smart Beginnings South Hampton Roads. She is a member of Virginia Beach Vision and the Chesapeake Rotary Club, which named her the 2012 First Citizen of Chesapeake.
She is the former chair of the Hampton Roads Partnership Board of Directors, Urban League of Hampton Roads and the regional board of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce.
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