It has been a year of transition at New Hope, Inc. – the Attleboro-based nonprofit specializing in support for survivors of domestic and sexual violence – but February marks a new chapter in the storied agency’s history. Board President Patricia Barr announced a unanimous decision by New Hope’s Board of Directors to hire Marcia Szymanski as the organization’s Executive Director. Szymanski has served as the director in an interim capacity since August 2014. Barr’s announcement recounted the leader’s early days in the role as an example that informed the Board’s hiring decision: “When Marcia arrived, she was almost immediately met with departures from virtually every area of the Agency, handling each [departure] with a combination of clear- headed thinking, strategic analysis and a positive attitude... She became deeply familiar with the responsibilities of each position and worked closely with staff members; creating a clear understanding of what was working and what could be improved upon.”
Szymanski begins her tenure with a dynamic new leadership team by her side. New hires include Vice President of Marketing and Development Lori Sousa, a Georgetown University graduate and returned Peace Corps volunteer (Ukraine); Vice President of Operations Wendy Allmendinger, a lawyer and longtime human services advocate; and Vice President of Clinical Services Trisha Bakaitis Glover, a licensed mental health counselor and longtime New Hope employee. Rounding out the leadership team is Chief Financial Officer Benjamin Furman, who has tirelessly charted New Hope’s financial course for the past 22 years.
With the new team comes a new philosophy. As Szymanski explains: “The New Hope of today exists in a knowledge-based economy, which means we must change the way we go about our work. It is no longer about simply providing services, it’s about creating a culture of learning to tackle social problems that may seem intractable. Going forward New Hope seeks to reposition itself as a facilitator, engaging our clients and staff, our partnering agencies and the community at large.” Szymanski continues: “It’s an exciting time and we look forward to increasing our engagement with the communities we serve to demonstrate that ending violence in our homes and neighborhoods is within our reach.
Each member of the community plays a vital role and we look forward to working together over the days, months and years ahead.”
New Hope, Inc., founded in 1979, is a 501c3 nonprofit organization providing 54 cities / towns in Massachusetts with “full-spectrum care” to survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Our mission is to break the cycle of violence by “ending domestic and sexual violence in our communities.” New Hope’s spectrum of care includes: Prevention Education; Crisis Intervention; Shelter; Counseling; Transitional Living; Family Reunification and Batterer Intervention. Our programs seek to illuminate a path to violence-free self-sufficiency for each of our clients, regardless of race, age, gender or sexual orientation.
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