FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DEC. 2, 2014
RICHMOND, Va. – Safe Harbor has named Cathy Easter as executive director, bringing her fresh perspective and years of nonprofit experience to the agency’s sexual and domestic violence prevention work throughout the Richmond community.
Easter was selected by the Board of Director’s Executive Search Committee to replace Kathleen Demro, who served as the Safe Harbor’s executive director for five years.
Board President Mary Catharine Ginn Kolbert said she is excited to have Easter as the next leader of Safe Harbor. “Her passion to serve those in need will benefit survivors of sexual and domestic violence,” Kolbert said. “Cathy’s management and fund development experience will take Safe Harbor to the next level.”
Karen L. Cole, vice president of the Board and participant in the selection process, said Easter was chosen for having almost 25 years of experience across all aspects of nonprofit operations, from staff management to fund development.
“With all of that experience, what really stood out to the Safe Harbor Executive Committee was Cathy’s compassion for those in need and her experience in consistently going above and beyond in each of her positions to improve the quality of life for those suffering with chronic health conditions such as ALS and adult and juvenile diabetes,” Cole said in a letter announcing Easter’s selection to the Board. “This aligns with Safe Harbor’s values and the incredible staff that we have driving our mission.”
Easter built her career in the nonprofit sector and has held multiple director positions within large national organizations. Just prior to joining Safe Harbor, she was the manager of business development for Combined Health Charities in Virginia.
Easter was personally impacted by domestic violence 22 years ago, when her 19-year-old family friend Lisa was murdered by her husband as she tried to leave him.
“Losing Lisa was a life-changing moment for all of us who loved her,” Easter said. She shared that Lisa’s story contributed to her desire to join Safe Harbor.
“The mission of Safe Harbor is so compelling,” Easter said. “I am honored to work for an organization which truly makes a difference in the lives of persons affected by domestic and sexual violence.”
The bulk of Easter’s nonprofit development experience comes from her 15-year career with the ALS Association. She served as the first Executive Director of the Western Pennsylvania chapter beginning in 1998, and during her tenure she created the Walk to Defeat ALS, which became the Association’s first national signature event in 2000. After moving to Virginia in 2004, Easter served six years with the Association’s DC/Maryland/Virginia chapter, first as Virginia Regional Director and then Director of Philanthropy. Easter oversaw daily operations in Virginia, ranging from all aspects of fundraising and volunteer engagement to public policy development.
Prior to her work with the ALS Association, Easter’s previous positions include serving as Virginia’s Regional Director for the American Diabetes Association, and as the Special Events Coordinator for the Western Pennsylvania chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. She holds a B.A. in communication studies from Virginia Tech.