Christopher and Jennifer Kocan at the 2009 NEOCH Annual Fund Raiser. Jennifer named interim Executive Director of NEOCH in June 2011.
Board of Trustees Appoints New Interim Executive Director
On June 22, 2011, The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH) Board of Trustees appointed former Board Treasurer, Jennifer Kocan, as Interim Executive Director. Kocan resigned her Board position and is stepping into this new role until a new Executive Director is hired. Kocan has been asked to serve for the next six months and oversee the hiring process for a new director.
The Coalition for the Homeless, one of only seven similar organizations in the country, has a 20 year history of incubating new programs and being the leading voice for people experiencing homelessness in the region. In order to take advantage of this unique position in the community, the NEOCH Board wants to take a leadership role in ending homelessness in Greater Cleveland with a new ambassador to bring disparate interests together under one goal. Board President Marcia Bufford said, “We want to be a positive agent of change while respecting the accomplishments of the Coalition over the last two decades.”
Brian Davis, who was serving as the Executive Director, has accepted the position of Director of Community Organizing for the organization. "Brian has extensive community organizing experience, valuable contacts at the state and national level, and a truly unique and trusting relationship with the homeless community, and for those reasons we are asking him to stay with the organization and focus his time solely on advocacy related matters," says Bufford.
Kocan will focus on ensuring a smooth transition to the new Executive Director and will work to reassure NEOCH's constituents, members and partners that there won't be any disruptions to the important work that NEOCH undertakes every day. "I'm looking forward to helping the NEOCH staff and Board of Trustees during this time of transition," says Kocan. "I strongly support NEOCH's mission of empowering homeless men, women and their families and giving them a voice in the community, and I am passionate about the advocacy and public education work that is being done to further this mission. I am committed to helping the Board examine how best to move NEOCH forward in the current economic climate, and my top priority is to help re-build and strengthen existing relationships within the community and to collaborate with new partners."
Kocan has been a member of NEOCH since 2005 and was a member of the Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2011. She earned her Masters in Business Administration from Cleveland State University and has worked in the finance industry for 15 years. Bufford said, “On behalf of the entire board, we are so grateful that Kocan was willing to step forward to work on rebuilding the organization.”
Bufford said, “We want to make sure that we can tap the valuable historical knowledge of Brian Davis, but also we need to move forward with a renewed sense of purpose. We want to secure a place at the table to work on the federal effort to end veteran’s homelessness and assist with the amplification of the voice of homeless people about the sharp rise in family homelessness.”
On Behalf of the NEOCH Board
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