RU Foundation Staff

John F. Cox, Jr. - Executive Director


Phone: 540-831-6714

John joined the Foundation in October of 2010 as the Executive Director. John is a graduate of LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New York and he is a Certified Public Accountant in New York State. Prior to joining the Foundation, John served as the Chief Financial Officer for several non-profit organizations in New York and Massachusetts.

John has more than twenty years of experience in managing the fiscal affairs of non-profit organizations, and he has extensive experience working with donors, especially during his tenure as a VP/CFO at a United Way in upstate New York. John and his wife (Ann Marie) have been visiting the New River Valley for more than fifteen years and are now pleased to call it home. They reside in Riner.

Since joining the Foundation, John has become an active member of the Radford Noon Rotary Club. John also serves as the Radford University representative on the New River Valley Economic Development Alliance Board of Directors.

View the bio for the RU Real Estate Foundation staff.

Dawn M. Nelson-Jenkins - Executive Administrative Assistant


Phone: 540-831-1014

Dawn joined the Foundation in May of 2010, as Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director.  Prior to working for the Foundation, Dawn has worked within the legal field as a Real Estate Paralegal with over 15 years of experience. 

Dawn resides in the City of Radford with her three children and enjoys the balance of both working and raising her family.

Derek R. Neal, CPA- Controller


Phone: 540-831-6573

Derek joined the Foundation in September 2014 after eight years working in the public accounting sector. He received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Concord University.  Derek is also a Certified Public Accountant licensed in West Virginia.

During his professional career, Derek worked for a regional public accounting firm servicing clients in a wide array of industries, including financial institutions, manufacturing and non-profit foundations.

Since joing the Foundation Derek has been enjoying a good work-life balance and experiencing the attractions of the New River Valley with his two daughters.

Crystal L. Fortner - Accounting Services Specialist


Phone: 540-831-5525

Crystal was born and raised in Galax, Virginia. She moved to Indian Valley in 1997. Crystal has been working for the Foundation since November 2004. She completed her AAS in Accounting from New River Community College in 2002. Crystal thoroughly enjoys her work for a non-profit organization as reputable as the RU Foundation. Additionally, Crystal is a Commissioned Public Notary for the Commonwealth.

Doug Walsh


Phone: 540-831-2010

Prior to coming on board with the Foundation, Doug was the General Manager of a full-service commercial real estate firm based in Martinsville, Va., that controlled more than 2 million square feet of mixed-use real estate in three states. Before that, he spent 10 years working on the NYSE and the American Stock Exchanges in NYC trading equities and options for institutional customers. Doug has a B.A. degree in economics from Lynchburg College and did graduate-level studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the father of two children and enjoys snow skiing and sailing.