Shirley Baldwin Selected for Community Builder Award

Congratulations to Shirley C. Baldwin, CPA, CFP, MBA, recipient of the community foundation's Barron F. Black Community Builder Award for her longtime dedication to philanthropy in the region.

Shirley is the founder and principal of Baldwin Advisory, LLC. She has more than 30 years of public accounting experience. She works with executives and families on tax and financial reporting, succession planning and governance structures, and gift and estate planning.

Advisors like Shirley play an essential role in advancing philanthropy in the region. Here’s how she put it: “We can help guide people through the most efficient way to give, but it’s more than that. It’s being involved and touching other people’s lives.”

Shirley graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting, and she received her MBA from the College of William & Mary. Shirley is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Virginia Society of CPAs. For several years, she worked for accounting firms KPMG as well as Wall, Einhorn & Chernitzer before launching her own firm.

Along with helping clients, she dedicates time to serve on several boards, including the YWCA South Hampton Roads, Hermitage Museum and Gardens, and Eastern Virginia Medical School Foundation. She also serves on the community foundation’s Professional Advisors Committee.

Shirley's award is named for Barron F. Black, an attorney who founded Vandeventer Black. He was the community foundation's first board chair from 1950 until his death in 1974. Black was a champion for philanthropy who helped start Eastern Virginia Medical School. Like Shirley, he routinely encouraged his clients to be charitable.

As a part of the award, Shirley had an opportunity to direct a $5,000 grant to a charity of her choice. She selected the United Way of South Hampton Roads to assist with its capital campaign.


Shirley said she got her giving spirit from her parents. Shirley, her sister, and her two brothers grew up on a farm in Suffolk with their parents. Every Sunday, she saw her parents involved in the church, Wilroy Baptist, either by teaching Sunday school or Vacation Bible School or wherever they saw a need.

Shirley recalled getting an allowance as a child and how her parents used those moments to teach her about tithing and giving back.

In doing so, Shirley said her parents demonstrated a simple but powerful lesson: “We’re blessed, so being blessed means we need to help other people.”

Shirley continues to help others now and is involved in her current church, Main Street Methodist, and in the community at large.

Over the years, she has given back in different ways – whether volunteering with local organizations during the United Way’s Day of Caring, organizing financial literacy workshops for children in Norfolk schools, or helping launch the Glass Studio at the Chrysler Museum.

Shirley said one of the reasons she volunteers is “to see philanthropy in action.”

Giving back is something everyone can do, she said.

“Whether you give $1 or $10 or $1,000 or $100,000, it takes all of us to make a good and viable community, and we just give what we can,” she said. “Every one of us is a philanthropist and I just think we have to find the thing that we are passionate about.”

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