Sharron Townsend, the senior director of development in the Eastern Kentucky University College of Business and Technology, has been awarded the prestigious Beth K. Fields award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education Kentucky (CASE-Kentucky).
The Beth K. Fields Award was created in memory of Fields, an admired advancement professional and previous director of unit associations for the University of Louisville Alumni Association. The award is designed to recognize someone who continually goes above and beyond the call of duty in both the profession and on behalf of CASE-Kentucky, as well as having served the advancement profession for a minimum of 10 years. Townsend won the award due to her long-standing affiliation with CASE-Kentucky and continued mentorship of many of her colleagues.
“Sharron’s success is the result of her ability to develop meaningful relationships with her donors and connect them in meaningful ways to the life of the college and larger university. She is a powerful mentor because she is always willing to help a colleague create a plan, find a way to solve a problem, and celebrate the successes of others,” shared Laurel Raimondo Martin, previous CASE-Kentucky President.
Townsend served on the CASE-Kentucky board beginning in 1992, served as the board treasurer in 1998-1999 and has rarely missed a conference throughout the years. She started her career in advancement in 1990, after accepting a position as the director of annual giving programs at the University of Kentucky. In 1996, she moved to the College of Engineering where she served as the director of college advancement until 2014.
After retiring from the University of Kentucky, she has continued to work in the advancement profession as a consultant and, most recently, as the senior director of development at Eastern Kentucky University where she manages a portfolio of major gift prospects and donors and continues to mentor and support many of her colleagues.
“We are so fortunate to have a consummate professional like Sharron in our ranks. She has an incredible personality which is great for building relationships and she is also committed to strengthening EKU by securing private support for our programs and our people. I am so glad she selected EKU for her next professional adventure,” said Betina Gardner, vice president of development and alumni engagement.
Dr. Tom Erekson, dean of the College of Business and Technology, said “It was clear to me when Sharron was hired that she knew development and she knew fundraising. She knows her craft and she knows Kentucky, and she is very deserving of this award. Sharron Townsend continually goes above and beyond the call of duty in her role at EKU and in her profession.”