CWA Hires New CEO

The board of directors of the Classic Wines Auction (CWA) has hired Virginia Hensen as chief executive officer of its nonprofit corporation, First Growth Children and Family Charities, Inc., (dba Classic Wines Auction), which raises millions of dollars for local charities through its annual wine auction and other charitable initiatives.

Hensen has over 30 years of experience working in corporate and philanthropic management positions in the Portland metropolitan area. In her new role, she will oversee long-range strategic planning, board development, community relations and fundraising. Classic Wines Auction Executive Director Heather Martin and Assistant Director Kristy Wilson will continue in their current roles to produce the annual auction and associated events.

“We are extremely pleased to have someone of Virginia’s caliber join what is arguably the most successful fundraising event in Oregon and Southwest Washington,” said Jim Fitzhenry, board chair of First Growth Children and Family Charities, Inc. “Her experience, knowledge and creativity will help us continue to expand our mission of serving children and families throughout this region.”

Hensen spent five years as the executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland, which provides after-school and summer programs in the Portland metropolitan area for thousands of young people ages 6 to 18. Previously, she served as director of public affairs and executive director of the Nike P.L.A.Y. Foundation, directing Nike’s annual cash and in-kind contributions to nonprofit agencies globally. She also helped create and direct the company’s minority and urban affairs programs, employee matching gift fund, “JUST DO IT” Volunteer Network and annual employee giving campaigns.

Hensen received her law degree in 1982 from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark College in Portland and served as assistant corporate counsel at Nike from 1982 to 1989. Hensen resides in Lake Oswego.

For more information about CWA, visit or call 503-972-0194.

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