Veronica Gutierrez: Catalyst for Positive Change

By Dayton Keffer

This story was orignially published in the February 2024 edition of Front Porch Fredericksburg. 

Meet Veronica Gutierrez, the Director of Operations and Community Engagement for Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation. From her early days as a first-generation college student to the strategic initiatives she leads today, Veronica has devoted her career to creating positive change in the diverse communities she holds dear. Her personal experiences have become a testament to her dedication to support diverse communities. With a deep understanding of Gwyneth’s Gift’s mission, her involvement has driven the organization to new heights.

Veronica’s professional journey has been deeply rooted in her passion for community service. A first-generation college student, she earned a major in Political Science with a minor in Pre-Law from Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles, followed by obtaining her MBA from Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles. Veronica intentionally chose Loyola Marymount, a Jesuit University, reflecting her commitment to giving back. Reflecting on her education, she states, “I gained valuable experiences that [has] fueled my determination to contribute positively to diverse communities.”   

As a military spouse, Veronica has moved across the country to support her family. Wherever she goes, her passion for working with a diverse range of people remains unwavering. This passion has led her to take on pivotal roles of service in the communities she becomes a part of. 

Veronica  is a dedicated member of the Fredericksburg Rotary Club, FXBG Leadership, and the Chamber of Empowered Women (CNEW). She enjoys being a part of these organizations as they allow her to connect with like-minded individuals whose goals align with her own. 

Veronica’s desire to contribute meaningfully to the communities she calls home has been a constant in her life. This year, she has a personal and professional goal of exploring more opportunities to become involved with underserved bilingual communities in Fredericksburg and the surrounding areas. 

“Being a fluent Spanish speaker, I see this as a valuable resource to support communities that may lack resources,” Veronica  said. “I am also looking forward to my continued growth with Gwyneth’s Gift and expanding our services to areas we have yet to reach, to include these underserved communities.” 

At Gwyneth’s Gift, Veronica believes she is finally doing what she has always meant to do in life. 

“At Gwyneth’s Gift, we are making an impact in our communities,” she said. “We train people to save lives. I’ve always wanted to be a transformational leader, and this role has provided me with that platform in my day to day.”

Since joining Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation, Veronica’s involvement has indeed proven transformative for the non-profit. She has actively immersed Gwyneth’s Gift in the local community, cultivating relationships with residents, businesses, and other organizations. Her engagement strategies have resulted in a notable surge of volunteer and donor support and heightened visibility for Gwyneth’s Gift and their mission. 

Veronica has been intentional about establishing strategic collaborations with neighboring nonprofits and businesses. She collaborated with the LOK Fashion Institute of Stafford to create a fashion show aligned with the theme of The Foundation’s annual Mom Prom event. This partnership allowed both organizations to highlight their mission statements and underscore the significance of the impactful work carried out by their respective non-profits. Other notable partnerships that Veronica has nurtured include numerous EMS groups, volunteer fire departments, and organizations like Project Adam.

Veronica also worked to incorporate bilingual training as a part of Gwyneth’s Gift’s mission. 

“Thanks to my language skills,” Veronica said. “This initiative allows us to provide training in Spanish, ensuring accessibility to a broader audience.”    

As a commitment to appreciating the importance of donors and volunteers, Veronica has expanded Gwyneth’s Gift’s year-end appreciation event. It has led to a heightened sense of community and loyalty, increased donor support, repeat contributions, and enhanced commitment from dedicated volunteers.

As Veronica pursues her efforts with Gwyneth’s Gift, she aspires to continue advancing the vision of creating a Culture of Action where people are empowered to save lives

“Working at Gwyneth’s Gift has been profoundly rewarding and it brings me immense fulfillment,” said Veronica. “Throughout my life, I’ve cherished every endeavor, but this role holds a unique significance.” 

For more information about Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation and their services, please visit their website at

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Joel Griffin

Chairman & Co-Founder

Joel Griffin is co-founder and chairman of Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation. Gwyneth’s Gift was founded in 2015 by Joel and Jennifer Griffin in honor of their oldest daughter, Gwyneth. He is also an entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist with 25 years of private industry consulting experience and 20 years in government contracting. He is the Founder and CEO of Riphean, a regional growth management firm.

Joel is committed to philanthropy within the region through local nonprofits and organizations that strengthen local communities. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance, Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, Stafford Hospital Foundation, and Germanna Educational Foundation. Joel was recognized for his impact and leadership within the region, receiving the Prince B. Woodward Leadership Award in 2022.

In addition to the regional award, Joel received the Valor Award from Loudon County for his life-saving efforts in an emergency. He also received the Patriotic Civilian Service Award given by the U.S. Army for actions taken immediately and following 9/11 at The Pentagon in 2001.