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Morrison to retire as head of Safe Voices

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Jane Morrison

The Safe Voices Board of Directors has announced the retirement of Executive Director Jane Morrison after five years serving and advocating for domestic violence victims throughout central Maine.

Morrison, who plans to step down this June, has played an integral role in raising awareness of domestic violence and promoting Safe Voices’ services across communities in Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin counties. Under her leadership, Safe Voices has developed a reputation for sound fiscal management and commitment to community partnerships while delivering best-practice services to men, women and children affected by domestic violence.

Working with stakeholders from the social services, law enforcement and the criminal justice system, Morrison oversaw the creation of domestic violence task forces in all three counties of the agency’s catchment area, including High Risk Response teams that evaluate highly lethal cases. During her tenure, the annual Walk/Run to End Domestic Violence has also grown, raising a record $39,000 in 2014.

A New York native and graduate of Drake University and the University of Southern Maine, Morrison has been an avid supporter of the Lewiston-Auburn community since she and her husband, Charles “Chip” Morrison, arrived in 1978. In that time, she has worked as a consultant to numerous local nonprofits and currently serves on the boards of the Auburn Public Library and the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society.

While she has spent the last 35 years at the helm of various nonprofits, including Ingraham in Portland and Schooner Estates Retirement Community, she says Safe Voices will always be closest to her heart.

“Helping people – our neighbors and friends – overcome domestic violence and find peace and happiness is incredibly humbling and a rare privilege,” she says. “I am thrilled to know that, as I move on to the next chapter of my life, Safe Voices has the strength and energy to do great things.

“I’d like to take some credit for that, but it’s really a testament to the dedication of our staff and volunteers, our community partners and the thousands of people who have supported our work through the years.”

Safe Voices employs 28 staff and 32 volunteers in its direct service and prevention programs, including a confidential emergency shelter. The agency also manages a 24-hour helpline to connect community members to local resources and support networks.

Cindy Cronkhite, president of Safe Voices’ 13-member board, says it will be hard to see Morrison go, but she leaves behind an agency well positioned for continued growth in the years ahead.

“Jane is a force of nature and one of the pillars of this community,” says Cronkhite. “Her skills and sound judgment have been a boon to Safe Voices. We very much want to build on that legacy and continue the momentum she created when she joined our cause.”

A search committee for the new executive director is already underway. There is currently no plan for an interim director.

“It’s a tall order,” says board vice president and search committee member Anne Torregrossa. “We’re looking for someone who can match Jane’s savvy, be a passionate voice for victims and survivors, and continue to raise Safe Voices’ profile as one of the top domestic violence resource centers in the state.”

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