Traverse City Record-Eagle

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March 28, 2014

Children's Advocacy Center director to resign

TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center soon will have a new director.

Brooke Nettz, executive director since the center opened in 2010, is resigning. Her last day is tentatively set for May 1, but she said that could change.

The advocacy center works with victims of child abuse and their families and serves about 175 families each year, Nettz said. The nonprofit is one of 24 accredited children’s advocacy centers in Michigan.

Nettz said she wants to stay in the child advocacy field and is pursuing opportunities in central Michigan, but has not yet committed to a new job. She wants to move closer to her family in Mount Pleasant.

“I informed the board that I was going to begin searching because I wanted to make sure that there was enough time for transition,” she said. “Usually, people find a new job before they resign, but I feel really strongly about making sure that the center is able to transition smoothly, that children are still cared for and that my departure will not in any way disrupt the agency.”

Nettz was the center’s only employee when the agency opened its doors four years ago. Since then it has added a clinical coordinator, an intake coordinator, a family advocate, a development coordinator, a prevention coordinator and two telemedicine nurses. The agency also is searching for a forensic interviewer.

“We’ve really exploded. We’ve received great support,” Nettz said.

The center’s budget also grew in four years to about $350,000 annually. The organization receives funding through grants, foundations and personal donations.

“I truly feel that the Children’s Advocacy Center is financially strong, the program is solid and it’s a good time for transition,” Nettz said.

She said the center’s board formed a succession planning committee and hopes to have a new executive director hired by the end of May.

“We’re not in any rush,” Nettz said. “Luckily, the staff that I’ve hired are fantastic and able to carry on the daily operations while they search.”

Board chairwoman Marilyn Vlach said Thursday that board members are excited for Nettz, but she would not comment further.

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