New director for Catholic Community Service

A major Southeast social-service agency has a new top official.

Jean Strafford will take over as executive director of Catholic Community Service on May 1st.

The Juneau-based nonprofit provides assistance to senior citizens and families, offering transportation, meals and child-care services to Southeast residents. It also runs the capital city’s hospice program.

Strafford has been Catholic Community Service’s finance director since last summer. She also held that post from 2001 to 2005. In addition, she worked for the Sealaska Corporation, the Juneau Economic Development Council, and Juneau’s municipal government.

Board Vice President John Greely says that experience made her the strongest finalist.

“She’s been our financial wizard there for quite a few years and knows the ins and outs of the agency and has the confidence of the employees. So she seemed to be the logical choice,” he says.

Strafford takes over from Rosemary Hagevig, who is retiring after 14 years on the job.

No significant changes are expected. Greeley says funding is a major challenge.

“We’re sort of waiting for the shoe to drop in Washington D.C. with some of the agencies that are our major grantees. We’re hoping that for the next year or so the funding will be stable enough that we don’t have to restructure a lot of our programs,” he says.

Catholic Community Service has 200 employees and 250 volunteers. It was founded in 1974.

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