The West Virginia University Extension Service has a new director of development. Abigail Esguerra began work Dec. 30, 2016.
The Parkersburg native has a wealth of experience in major gift solicitation; capital campaign management; donor stewardship; board, volunteer and staff management; special events; and grant writing. Prior to her most recent work in northern Virginia, Esguerra managed the capital campaign for the new United Hospital Center in Bridgeport. The planned eighteen month, $7,500,000 goal campaign raised more than $11,000,000 in just twelve months.
Esguerra admits that fundraising isn’t a typical career.
“It’s not like you grow up as a little girl who wants to ask people for money,” she laughed. “But I like helping organizations acquire the resources they need to do good work, and working with donors who want to invest in causes or their communities to find opportunities that are in line with their interests and values.”
Esguerra holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and communication studies from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and a master’s degree in communication studies from WVU. She says her new position with WVU Extension was just what she was looking for.
“It’s a perfect marriage of representing the university I love, and providing support for programs that impact the people of the state I love,” said Esguerra. “As I learn more and more about the good work WVU Extension does across the state, I’m anxious to provide the resources our faculty and staff need to enrich lives.”
“Abby has such a passion for West Virginia and WVU,” said Dean Steve Bonanno. “We are fortunate to find someone with her development experience. She’s busy meeting with the program units to determine their needs, and has already identified several campaigns to pursue. I am excited for the possibilities she brings to Extension Development.”