Michelle serves at the Director of Marketing and Communications at Virginia State University’s College of Agriculture and Cooperative Extension Program. In this capacity she is responsible for developing and managing communications and marketing solutions for the college’s three academic departments, Cooperative Extension program and Agricultural Research Station.
A native of Brooklyn, NY, Michelle earned a BA in English and Art History from Mount Holyoke College in S. Hadley, MA, after which she held a series of advertising and marketing positions at The Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier, Hall + Partners advertising agency and Capital One.
In her 22 years living in Virginia, Michelle has developed a passion for agriculture and is a strong advocate of healthy, responsible living. She and her husband and daughter live in an historic, period-furnished 1803 home in Dinwiddie County, which they open up for public tours throughout the year.
A foodie and cook at heart—she and her family raise as much of their own food as possible—from eggs and pork to fruit and vegetables. When not gardening or feeding chickens, Michelle loves to travel, as well as explore Virginia’s many wineries and craft breweries. And when not enjoying one of these more glamorous pastimes, she can often be found at the gym, working hard to burn off the many calories they result in.
Quote regarding her participation in VALOR: “Being part of the VALOR program will help me utilize my 25 years of marketing experience to strengthen Virginia’s agriculture industry. Supporting the industry that helps put safe and nutritious food on our plates, clothes on our backs and shelter over our heads is of utmost personal and professional importance to me and is something I hope to increase public perception and appreciation of through the VALOR program.”
Michelle Olgers, Sutherland
Director of Marketing and Communications, Virginia State University