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Meet our ceo...

Elizabeth E. Heggie, M.B.A., Chief Executive Officer

As Chief Executive Officer, Bettsy is responsible for a 501(c)3 non-profit which helps approximately 7,000 students annually, most of whom are in difficult financial circumstances, with access to post-secondary education. GRASP provides services in 76 Virginia high schools. Today it has an annual operating budget of approximately $1.2 million. Although this is a CEO position, there is plenty of hands-on work including interfacing with the Board of Directors, foundations, donors, and legislators; budgeting; communications; planning; event organizing; and staff development. As Secretary of the Board, the CEO is responsible for federal and state filings, compliance with the state regulatory bodies, and the annual audit. She has also developed GRASP’s website, databases, and disaster recovery plan.

Bettsy started at GRASP in 2006 as an advisor at Douglas S. Freeman and Meadowbrook high schools, where she helped high school seniors, primarily from low-income families, navigate the complex area of college financial aid. In 2007 Bettsy was given the responsibility of coordinating GRASP programs in twenty-one high schools, and in 2008 she established GRASP's first state-wide office as Director of Advising. In this role she was responsible for staffing, training, payroll, communications, state and federal filings, and relationships with school systems. She became CEO of GRASP in 2010 and has served on the board of Virginia College Access Network since 2013.

Bettsy received her bachelor’s degree in history from Salem College, master of business administration degree from Wake Forest University's Babcock School, project management certification from the University of Denver Daniels College of Business, and Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Duke University Continuing Studies. Before GRASP and some time off to volunteer and raise a family, she enjoyed a career in telecommunications with a focus on leadership and organizational development, specifically in information technology. 

Bettsy and her husband Tom, a retired educator, have one daughter, a graduate of the College of William and Mary, one son-in-law, a graduate of Washington and Lee University and a lively Boykin Spaniel named Gracie.

Contact Bettsy at or (804) 527-7726