n. a person with original ideas about what the future could be like.
What makes a visionary? Is it unique insight? The ability to imagine what others cannot? Some profound gift for reframing problems as solutions waiting to happen? Or is it simply this: the determination to act.
For the Virginians we profile in this, our tribute to the visionary spirit, making a difference began with something simple. Not a grand vision, but an “aha!” moment, the conviction that there was a need and the belief that they could do something about it.
Steve and Jean Case ventured from established success in the make-it-happen realm of 21st-century high tech, where the impossible is only what you haven’t yet accomplished, to central Virginia’s tradition-soaked realm of fine wine. Brooke Curran, founder of the Alexandria-based nonprofit foundation RunningBrooke, began with nothing more than the unlikely fusion of a passion for running and a desire to help make her community better for children and families. Virginia Beach chef Gary LeBlanc believed that in the wake of catastrophic disasters, people deserve the comfort and nurture of hot meals prepared and served with passion and care. And Ferrum College roommates Erik Robinson and retired MLB pitcher Billy Wagner of the Second Chance Learning Center in Bluefield decided to change the futures of struggling students in danger of dropping out, failing out and getting lost.
None of these visionaries began with a clear path or a certain plan. They just began. And if there is one thought that they all share, it is that every person who reads their stories could do the same. There is no thing that is too small to matter, and no thing that is too large to attempt.
Find All the Visionaries here:
Steve and Jean Case, Early Mountain Vineyards
Brooke Curran, RunningBrooke Fund
Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs
Erik Robinson and Billy Wagner, Second Chance Learning Center