News Article Details

Bill Kirby Jr.: Kirby: Betley's arrival at Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation is 'perfect timing'

Fayetteville Observer - 7/2/2019

Jul. 2--Just perfect, Emily Schaefer will tell you about Marge Betley.

So will Sabrina Brooks.

"It is perfect timing," says Schaefer, president of the Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation that in May hired the 56-year-old Betley as its Major Gifts officer. "With the upcoming capital campaign for the new Residency and Neuroscience building, she could not have come into the picture at a better time. And I feel it was really meant to be that she landed with us."

Perfect timing for Betley, too.

"A wonderful example of the serendipity that happens in a city like Fayetteville," Betley says. "My husband, Greg Weber, had accepted a position as the new chief executive officer and president of the Arts Council. Greg and I have lived and worked all over the country."

She's held impressive working from New York, Washington, D.C., Houston, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Germany.

"But we chose to move to Fayetteville because we felt it was a community where we could really make a difference and put down roots," Betley says. "I was worried about finding a job in a smaller market, and particularly a job where I could have an impact and contribute to an effort I feel passionate about."

Over coffee, Betley met with Schaefer, foundation vice president Charlene Wyatt, board member Lucy Jones and Brooks, the foundation's executive director.

"Sabrina shared with me the exciting happenings at Cape Fear Valley Health System," Betley says, "and I was hooked."

Schaefer, Wyatt, Jones and Brooks were hooked, too.

After all, Betley once was the chief development and communications officer for Family & Children's Services, which is Oklahoma's leading mental health care provider, and she led a capital campaign that raised more than $10 million for the agency's new headquarters. Add another $7 million she had a hand in for the Alzheimer's Association Oklahoma chapter.

"Marge brings 30 years of nonprofit fundraising and leadership experience to the foundation," Brooks says. "She has proven success in securing philanthropic funds to support new facilities, expanding programs and endowment growth in the previous communities she has served. I felt this experience, as well as her dynamic, curious personality, would be a good fit for the foundation and Cape Fear Valley Health as we continue to strengthen the health care of this community."

Brooks says this is a pivotal time for the foundation because of the growing need for access to quality health care throughout the Cape Fear region and continued growth in the health care community that includes a medical residency program at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

"Marge's role is to connect those who wish to invest in improving the health and wellness of this community with opportunities to have a positive impact on the health care delivered to our community," says Brooks, who will tell you the nonprofit has raised more than $20 million since it was founded in 1995 by John Buie Jr., Tony Cimaglia, Leonard Hedgepeth and Dr. Harold Godwin. "I was fortunate to learn about Marge before she arrived in Fayetteville and we had need on the foundation team for someone with her background and experience, so it was a perfect fit for both sides."

Betley's resume is impressive.

She has worked with the municipal theater in Aachen, Germany, the National Endowment for the Arts, Opera News magazine and has collaborated with performing arts organizations in cities such as New York, Philadelphia, Houston, Los Angeles, Denver, San Francisco, San Diego and Washington, D.C. She co-founded Living Room Opera in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, and has worked as a consultant to artists, arts companies and what Betley describes as "funders" across the country.

"I'm very proud of the work I've done over the years, producing new theatrical work, launching the careers of young artists and spearheading community-building efforts," Betley says. "But this is a chance to be part of saving lives. There is such important work on the horizon at Cape Fear Valley Health, especially with the launch of our residency program that will bring hundreds of new doctors into the health system and jobs into the community. One of the challenges we face is telling that story to the community, the story of the current success and integrity of Cape Fear Valley Health. People aren't always aware of the incredible progress we've made and the top-notch services available to them right here in our backyard. "

A game-changer, Schaefer describes Betley.

"She is a go-getter and is going to be an asset to the foundation and our community," Schaefer says. "At her previous job, she was successful in cultivating relationships, which then led to major gifts to the organization she worked for. She understands philanthropy and especially the role it plays in health care these days"

A perfect fit for the foundation and Betley, and perfect timing to say the least.

Columnist Bill Kirby Jr. can be reached at or 910-486-3571


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