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Children's Services looks toward future

NORTH BEND - Despite the recent loss of its executive director and fighting off the effects of a dwindling state economy, which has seen funding for nonprofit organizations decrease, Children's Services of Sno-Valley (CSSV) continues to push toward the future.

In January the group's 12-member board of directors will convene to discuss a decade-long vision of the facility and decide what qualities it will look for when it begin its search for a new executive director later that month. The group's last executive director, John Stout, resigned in November.

Board president Pat Seaton said that process will start in-house, but will open up to a wider search if candidates do not meet the board's vision.

Seaton said with any leadership change comes anxiety, but that's not always a bad thing.

"Anxiety is good because it leads to action," Seaton said.

Seaton said she's among a group of CSSV officials who are concerned that word of Stout's resignation and constant talk of state-level funding cuts for nonprofits might give the community the feeling that the group is struggling. She said that misconception couldn't be further from the truth.

"What we do will not go away," Seaton said.

According to the group's 2001-2002 annual report released last week, CSSV set all-time records for the number of families served and the number of volunteers participating over the last year.

All organizations see leadership changes, explains Seaton, and CSSV is no different. At the core of any great organization is the staff, which ultimately dictates the success of a venture, Seaton said, and the staff at CSSV will carry the organization through the recent transition.

"It's that staff that believe so much in the heart and soul of what we do that are Children's Services," Seaton said.

To ensure the 37-year-old organization, which provides a number of services from parenting classes to daycare, continues to push forward through the transition phase, the board has appointed Nancy Whitaker as acting executive director.

Whitaker, a 16-year veteran of CSSV, has spent the last five years as the organization's director of programs. Whitaker became associated with CSSV in 1980 when she and her son, who has a disability, began attending programs. She's been there ever since.

For the complete story, pick up a copy of this week's Valley Record

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