Advocates of Routt County, child advocacy center director stepping down
The leader of a local advocacy group has resigned to accept a position with a bipartisan think tank in Washington, D.C.
Lisel Petis, the current executive director of Better Tomorrow, the umbrella organization for Advocates of Routt County and Brighter World Child Advocacy Center, will step down Oct. 15. She will be working remotely with R Street Institute as senior fellow for its criminal justice and civil liberties division. Petis worked as a prosecutor before joining Better Tomorrow where she served in the executive director position for three and a half years.
“Over the past years, Advocates/Better Tomorrow has prioritized organizational financial wellness and sustainability, recruiting and retaining top-notch staff and expanding services to best address violence in our community,” Petis said. “The agency has never been stronger but now is the time to let a new leader bring the organization to the next level.”
During Petis’ tenure, Advocates doubled in staff size, opened a new office and welcomed the Brighter World Child Advocacy Center as its sister organization under the Better Tomorrow umbrella.
“She brought so much to this organization that it’s going to be hard to find someone who fills all those buckets that she did,” Director of Operations Mark Fitzgerald said. “Whoever comes will fit some of those boxes and will necessarily not fill some others.”
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Fitzgerald, who will oversee the organization between Petis’ departure and the hiring of a new director, said her legal background and business skills will be difficult to replace.
“It will be about growing the organization a little more to find someone else who can make up those differences,” Fitzgerald said. “This can be good for the organization, and we can come out even stronger.”
Better Tomorrow’s board of directors is now tasked with hiring a new director, and Petis said the director should first have a passion for helping survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault but also have business skills and the ability to lead a nonprofit organization.
“We’ve gone through a lot of ropes over the last couple years and what we need is someone to lead the vision and make operations be efficient,” Petis said. “Our staff has the skills, and they don’t need someone to come in and hand hold them to do the actual job, but they need someone to help lead the agency in a more business way.”
Alyssa “La La” Cartmill, chairperson of the nonprofit’s board, said Petis built up the organization and pushed it toward serving the community through a lens of social justice and equity.
“We’re looking for someone who’s going to fit in well with the team and bring in their own flare to the organization,” Cartmill said. “Nonprofits succeed with community support from donors and supporters.”
Better Tomorrow will begin accepting resumes for the position Friday and is giving priority to resumes submitted by Sept. 10.
“This is an incredible opportunity for someone to work with a high-performing, dynamic team while making a positive impact on the community,” Cartmill added.
To reach Alison Berg, call 970-871-4229 or email aberg@SteamboatPilot.com.
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