Family Relief Nursery announces new executive director

PEGGY WHALEN Photo provided

Family Relief Nursery recently announced Peggy Whalen as the new executive director. This comes after the board revitalized their executive director search in January when Diane Hazen announced that she would be retiring this year.
The planned executive director transition started in 2018, but was put on hold because Hazen offered to remain in place until a time when recruiting efforts would be the most effective.
”There is a seasonality to hiring, and I am dedicated to Family Relief Nursery and maintaining its community relations and fiscal health,” Hazen said. ”The Board and I wanted to wait until the new year to start our renewed executive search. And we are so happy that we waited. We feel Peggy is the perfect person to spearhead Family Relief Nursery’s success for the next 25 years.”
Hazen is committed to overseeing a smooth transition as she aids in the hiring, on-boarding and training process.
”Serving the nursery has been enormously fulfilling and it will be difficult for me to leave my position, but now is the perfect time to transition to a permanent, full-time executive director,” she said. ”Family Relief Nursery is in a place of strength with a supportive Board, awesome leadership team and staff, financial stability and solid community partnerships.”
After the new executive director is fully embedded in the nursery and community, Hazen plans on moving back to the board of directors, where she can continue to serve Family Relief Nursery and its mission to keep children safe.
”When I joined the Founding Board in 1993, we had a vision of supporting parents, strengthening families and giving children the opportunity to be successful; achieving their full potential in life,” Hazen said. ”Over the last 25 years, we have grown and we foresee even more growth over the next few years. Peggy Whalen is the person to help facilitate that growth. She is an energetic and passionate leader committed to serving children and families. I am excited to be introducing her to the community and our partners.”
Whalen will be starting at Family Relief Nursery March 1st, and she will be leaping into action. Her first activity will be to attend a statewide meeting of the Oregon Association of Relief Nurseries. Her first months will be comprised of learning more about Family Relief Nursery’s therapeutic processes, meeting community partners and using her many years of direct service experience to build rapport with nursery families.
About Whalen
Whalen grew up in the small, rural town of Red Bluff, Calif. She is a proud graduate of Red Bluff Union High School and considers herself a small-town person. She is excited to be working in rural communities again. Whalen comes from an intervention, advocacy and support background and brings over 28 years of experience working with survivors of trauma and abuse.
In California, she worked at both Rape Crisis Intervention in Chico, Calif. and then WEAVE, Inc., in Sacramento, which provided services to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. She also worked at the University of California, Davis Campus Violence Prevention Program which provided sexual assault, stalking, and domestic violence education and intervention on campus. After moving to Oregon, she guided Womenspace for nine years, from 2006 until 2015.
She started in 2006 as Assistant Director and moved into the Executive Director role in 2009. Since 2016, Peggy has helped guide Eugene Science Center’s revitalization efforts and their recent planetarium campaign as development director. In 2018, she helped the museum raise almost $200,000 for the planetarium capital campaign, as well as, funding to expand educational programs, scholarships, and build new exhibits.
Whalen is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies. She has received both Nonprofit Management Program and Advanced Nonprofit Management Program Certificates through Lane Community College. Her education and long history of non-profit leadership makes her the perfect candidate to lead Family Relief Nursery.
”I am so excited to be joining the staff of Family Relief Nursery,” Whalen said. ”I have long been impressed with the important work the nursery does to help stop the cycle of child abuse and neglect through prevention and early intervention. Having worked most of my career helping women heal from the intergenerational impact of abuse, I am thrilled to be working with children and families at such a crucial stage in their development.
”Family Relief Nursery’s prevention work has amazing outcomes and can help stop the cycle of abuse, which I saw so many times in my career. I am humbled to be joining this amazing team and to work with all the rural communities they serve.”



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