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DONOR SPOTLIGHT: Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters

Your name: Ridgely Ingersoll
Your position: Director, Public Relations and Marketing
Company name: CHKD Health System
Business address: 601 Children’s Lane, Norfolk VA, 23507
Industry: Pediatric Health Care

Describe what the company you work for does and what your position entails:

CHKD Health System provides comprehensive pediatric care to the children of Hampton Roads, northeastern North Carolina, and Virginia’s Eastern Shore. I lead the team that produces communications for that system, helping everyone from the media, to parents, to potential donors understand the importance of pediatric-specific care for children and all of the different programs and services CHKD has developed to address our children’s healthcare needs.

What is your personal connection to the Elizabeth River Trail?

My literal connection to the trail is a pair of black Hoka running shoes that stay in my office just in case I can sneak out for a walk. I’d love to connect on my bike, but it lives in Virginia Beach and doesn’t fit in my car. I know other cyclists really appreciate the trail.

Why did you/your company decide to provide sponsorship to the trail?

The trail offers so many good things that CHKD believes in. It’s an equal-access benefit that can be enjoyed by anyone in our community. It circles around the campus we share with Sentara and EVMS, which is especially nice for our employees. It encourages outdoor exercise, which fosters physical and mental health. It connects people and neighborhoods. And it has something special for everyone, from sweeping views of the river, to public art, to Harbor Park.

Given your business expertise and the nature of what you do, what benefits do you feel the trail has for the business community?

I think recruitment and retention of talent are hot-button issues for businesses today. After the difficulties of the last several years, potential employees are looking for life balance, and companies that are good corporate citizens and offer healthy ways to bond and relieve stress. The trail is both an amenity that can help sell Norfolk, and a literal breath of fresh air. Got a problem to solve? Take it for a walk and see what happens.

What’s your favorite trail moment?

The view of CHKD’s new mental health hospital, Children’s Pavilion, of course! There’s also a stretch just past there on the way to Chelsea where bright yellow flowers bloom on these riotous, wild-looking shrubs. That’s my kind of garden.

Favorite Trailgrazing spot? (i.e. best local food spot steps from the trail)

Smartmouth for beer and Orapax for pizza and Greek salad. Feed me in Chelsea.

Best view of the Elizabeth River from the trail?

The river may be prettier from the Lafayette Bridge, but I like the view from Town Point Park to the Wisconsin to the Freemason area. So many different things to see, on the trail and on the river.

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