During these years, “NBA became more inclusive in its leadership and more professional in its staffing.” In 1979, Virginia L. Hargraves of Littleton, CO, became the first woman chairperson of the board since Fannie Shedd Ayars. In 1982, Hildur Skaggs of Wheeling, WV, would be elected chair after serving on several committees.
In 1985, Dr. Norma Ellington-Twitty began serving as VP of Program Planning and Evaluation, a new position “created with responsibility for staff functions related to new program development, social services, facilities planning, and care services in all NBA owned and operated units.” She was the first African American to hold an executive/VP level-role in NBA’s history. As a licensed psychologist with extensive clinical experience, she also served on the NBA Board of Trustees before joining the staff. Her father was Norman Simms Ellington, a noted Disciple evangelist who helped plan the creation of Woodhaven.
“And yet, the story started: ‘In the beginning…the story of NBA is, very simply, the story of women and faith.’ ” (Inasmuch, p129, p133.)