October 22, 2019 News & Features » Cover Story

Favorite

Kristie Helmick Proctor, 37 

Executive Director of the Center for Rural Virginia

click to enlarge kirstie_proctor.jpg

Scott Elmquist

For Kristie Helmick Proctor, mornings are peaceful. She starts each day with a cup of coffee on her screened-in porch, gazing over the tranquil acres of Hanover land she and her husband own.

As executive director and the sole employee of the Center for Rural Virginia, Proctor is in constant discussion with other organizations, agencies, businesses and residents about how to make Virginia’s rural areas desirable places to live and work. She’s working to put together a Rural Leaders Institute, all while pregant.

Despite an us-and-them mentality that often puts urban and rural advocates at odds, she points out that the two demographics face a lot of the same challenges, such as broadband access. For many in the city it’s too expensive, and for many in the country it’s not available.

Proctor and her family don’t have the internet at home, and she just shrugs when her friends discuss popular Netflix shows. “I’m going to be that weird mom taking my kids to McDonald’s to do homework because we don’t have internet,” she says, noting that in diverse counties like Hanover, schools often forget that the rural students don’t have internet access at home.

Progress is being made, she says, like this year’s $19 million put into the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative, an effort to extend broadband service to unserved areas.

“At the end of the day, rural people, we just take care of it,” she says. “We go through the inconvenience of having to work around things that are handed to us that maybe aren’t always fair.”

Back to the 2019 Top 40 Under 40
Favorite

Tags:

Latest in Cover Story

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Connect with Style Weekly

Most Popular Stories

  • Steady as She Goes

    Steady as She Goes

    Richmond’s beloved Steady Sounds record store calls it a decade.
    • May 22, 2020
  • A Public Calamity

    A Public Calamity

    A local documentary filmmaker looks at lessons worth remembering from Richmond’s experience with the flu pandemic of 1918.
    • May 26, 2020
  • Pressing Issues

    Pressing Issues

    The life and times of VCU’s student newspaper, The Commonwealth Times.
    • May 12, 2020
  • The Invisible Foe

    The Invisible Foe

    The newly expanded Virginia War Memorial offers a place of contemplation during the pandemic.
    • May 19, 2020
  • More »

Copyright © 2020 Style Weekly
Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
All rights reserved
Powered by Foundation