After conducting a national search for the new Executive Director of the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center, the HCWC Board of Directors agreed that the best candidate for the job was their current Director of Community Partnerships, Melissa Rodriguez.
“Melissa has worked for HCWC for 19 years and currently serves as our Director of Community Partnerships. She previously served as our Program Director and Forensic Interviewer at Roxanne’s House, our children’s advocacy center. We feel confident Melissa will do a great job leading this critical agency,” said Katie McVaney, HCWC Board President.
Under the tutelage of Diane Crosson with the D Crosson Group LLC who specializes in Executive Transitions, the HCWC Board launched an aggressive search for the best leader to succeed Marla Johnson who is retiring after 28 years of service.
The Board sought input from both HCWC staff members and community members to develop a profile for the next leader. After extensive promotion, the Board interviewed candidates from Texas and beyond. One candidate currently works in China.
“The decision of the Executive Transition Committee was unanimous,” McVaney said. “Melissa has very impressive skills and experience and will be backed up by the competent HCWC staff. The Board is prepared to support her as we continue to move forward to address the community’s needs. We are confident she is the best person for the job.”
“I’m so excited to take on this new role,” said Rodriguez. “I believe wholeheartedly in the HCWC mission to create an environment where violence and abuse are not tolerated in our community and to support victims of abuse. We have worked through so much together especially during the pandemic and maintained consistent, quality services. I’m really proud of that, but there is much more we want to do. I can’t wait to work with our fabulous staff, Board of Directors, and volunteers to keep moving our mission forward.”
Marla Johnson’s last day on the job is March 31. “I am very excited for HCWC and Melissa and I look forward to supporting her in this new role. I think the HCWC Board has done a great job of managing this transition. Melissa is an excellent choice as a leader to move HCWC out of the pandemic restrictions while continuing to stretch to meet the growing community need,” said Johnson.
HCWC served 2,023 victims of abuse last year and modified all services in response to Covid-19 with no interruption in 24-hour services. HCWC operates the McCoy Family Shelter, Roxanne’s House Children’s Advocacy Center, counseling and legal advocacy services for victims of abuse, and abuse prevention programs. HCWC is currently building transitional housing for victims to be completed in December of this year.