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5 New Program Directors for NCO

Monday, August 26, 2019

NCO, having recently celebrated its 50th anniversary is also excited to announce the hiring of five new program directors and in addition, the expansion of its capacity to serve its Lake County programs. As the Community Action Agency for both Lake and Mendocino Counties, NCO provides services that focus on empowering those living in low to moderate income households or who are otherwise disadvantaged with the overall goal of strengthening communities. “At NCO, we have had the pleasure of finding passionate and qualified individuals to help us connect with the community and lead us into the future. I am pleased to welcome these five strong leaders to our organization,” said NCO’s Executive Director, Patty Bruder.

The NCO Head Start Child Development Program, which has centers and services for families with young children (prenatal-5 years of age) throughout Lake and Mendocino Counties, is one of the longest running programs at NCO. Miriam McNamara, the new director for NCO Head Start, who took the helm in July of 2018, brings her expertise and experience in Human Resources, strategic planning, grant development, personnel, and data management to this program. McNamara, who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from Sonoma State University and an Associate of Science degree in Child Development/Family Relations from Mendocino College, has been a Head Start employee since July of 2009. She previously held the Administrative Services Manager position for the program and was also the Executive Assistant to former Program Director (now retired) Corrine Lindgren. A Redwood Valley native, McNamara is looking forward to “creating a staff community that leans on each other and supports each other while also providing opportunities to improve skills and continuing the education of the Head Start staff.”

Head Start is currently hiring for multiple positions in Lake and Mendocino Counties. Applicants are encouraged to view job descriptions at the main Ukiah NCO office, located at 413 North State Street or visit ncoinc.org and click “Jobs”. Families interested in services provided by Head Start are welcome to apply by visiting the main Ukiah Head Start office at 550 North State Street or by downloading an application found on the “Apply Now” page for Head Start at ncoinc.org. Head Start services are provided in English and Spanish.

In February 2019, Robyn Bera accepted the role of Director of Community Projects for Lake County. She currently oversees the New Digs Rapid Rehousing Program the Lake County based Disaster Case Management services and most recently the Office of Emergency Services (OES) Emergency Preparedness in Communities (EPIC Project) for both Lake and Mendocino Counties. Bera also supports various county initiatives addressing housing, homelessness, and improved health outcomes. Bera holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and over the past few years has focused her efforts on project management and organizational leadership. Bera joined NCO in 2017 and in 2018, she was promoted to the role of NCO’s Administrative Manager. Bera has been a resident of Lake County for 12 years, during which she worked at the Lake County Office of Education, was General Manager of Lake Co-op, and has sought out opportunities to support community health and wellness, both personally and professionally. 

The Chief Financial Officer position, previously held by Carolyn Welch (now in semi-retirement) is being embraced by Anna Rozelski. Rozelski, who most recently held a Revenue Accountant position for NCO and has many years of experience at the non-profit, has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Accounting from The University of Phoenix and an Associate of Arts degree from Arizona Western College.

Leading the fiscal department for a large non-profit requires an ability to decipher often complicated requirements for private grants, as well as state and federal funding sources. Rozelski envisions a department that provides efficient support for the various programs at NCO. “The fiscal team works closely with the administration to align available funding and needs of the community. We are like a ‘middle-man’ between the passionate employees who are in the field with our clients, and the Federal and State government who provide the funds… we have to speak both languages,” summarized Rozelski.

Holly Madrigal, the new Leadership Mendocino Program Director is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz with a degree in Business Management Economics. She is also a Rotarian and was formerly the Mayor of Willits and served on the Willits City Council for 12 years. Leadership Mendocino is a 10-month program in which class members meet once a month and learn about Mendocino County’s health care, education, economy, forestry, agriculture, tourism, and businesses. Beginning with a framework of leadership skill building at the opening retreat, the program demonstrates leadership in action all around the county through field visits, panel presentations, brainstorming sessions, class discussions, problem-solving workshops, hands-on experiences, and role playing. The 2019 class has already been established, but interested individuals can always learn more about the program by visiting www.leadershipmendocino.com.

NCO has also hired a new Director of Communications and Administration to provide internal and external communication oversight for the agency. Menaka Olson will transition from her role as a Project Coordinator for NCO, continuing the management of the agency’s move to a web-based data management system. Blending the functions of communications and administration will provide NCO with the ability to strategically organize and share the work that they do. Olson brings over 10 years of experience managing communications (including website management, social media and community outreach) and she recently completed a Master of Science degree in Strategic Communication & Public Relations with a graduate certificate in Strategic Communication Management from Purdue University.

Pictured from left to right: Robyn Bera, Miriam McNamara, Holly Madrigal, Menaka Olson and Anna Rozelski

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