Deborah Barfield Williamson
Major Gifts & Planned Giving Officer
Additional Contact Information
P.O. Box 28 | One Ames Avenue
Chautauqua, N.Y. 14722
At Chautauqua, I advise donors on giving opportunities that align with their philanthropic interests. I educate donors on tax-advantageous ways of supporting CHQ with gifts of assets. I also help our donors formalize their intentions to sustain the Institution into the future with deferred and legacy gifts.
I’ve worked in the nonprofit sector for over 30 years–with associations, foundations, universities, and human service organizations—in various roles including management, executive leadership, and development. My career passion has been building organizations, teaching others, and facilitating philanthropy. Outside of the Institution, I focus on my family (5 siblings, nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, pets, and MOST of all, my daughter). I love spending time in nature–hiking, camping–and experiencing the visual and performing arts with my daughter and friends.
Why did you choose to work at Chautauqua? What do you like about working at Chautauqua?
Chautauqua is a beautiful place, an inspiring concept, an uplifting experience, and a gift that will make me a better person.
Current and Former Volunteer or Board Roles
I serve on the leadership board of my church, as well as the vice president of the Virginia Peninsula Estate Planning Council. I also volunteer at Swift Creek Mill Theater, an historic, nonprofit community theatre near my home in Virginia.
- Virginia State Bar
- Virginia Association of Fundraising Executives
- Virginia Peninsula Estate Planning Council
- Hampton Roads (VA) Estate Planning Council
- National Association of Charitable Gift Planners
I enjoy hiking and belong to a group called James River Hikers. I’ve done the over eight-mile climb and rock scramble up Virginia’s Old Rag Mountain–one of the hardest hikes in Virginia. I’ve always enjoyed performing arts (experiencing, not doing). I was so excited when, at age five, my daughter started doing live theater. I’ve supported her interest in this ever since. Being from southern Virginia, I am a huge fan of the heritage music of Appalachia. I also like bringing out the best in my yard through DIY landscaping, pruning, and small construction projects.