As an important member of our community, I wanted to reach out personally to let you know about a change in leadership at the Women’s Resource Center.
Last month, after 14 successful years as Executive Director of the WRC, Lori DiPersio finalized plans to retire that had been in the works for several months. Lori’s retirement will be effective Friday, July 5. Jessica Walsh, the WRC’s longtime Director of Prevention, has been named Acting Executive Director while the board continues the process of seeking new leadership.
During Lori’s tenure the WRC’s work in the community expanded in meaningful and important ways. Today, we provide domestic violence prevention services, not only for women, but also for men, teens, same sex partners, and children who witness abuse. We have served over 16,000 people during Lori’s 14 years while our dedicated staff team has grown from 10 employees to over 35. Just last year the WRC provided 4,280 free and confidential services to 1,176 survivors in Newport and Bristol Counties alone. The WRC has also been the backbone agency convening stakeholders in the Newport Health Equity Zone initiative, ensuring that all residents in Newport can live in an environment free from health disparities.
It is an impressive record, and we are grateful for Lori’s dedication to the WRC’s mission over so many years. She has worked tirelessly to end domestic violence, support and protect survivors and her hard work has established our agency as a leader in this effort.
Jessica Walsh, who will assume to the role of Acting Executive Director, has served the WRC for 15 years. Working in collaboration with the community, Jessica has supported the planning, implementation and evaluation of strategies designed to decrease domestic violence by addressing the social determinants of health.
We are fortunate that Lori’s leadership has prepared the WRC and its staff well for the future.
We will continue to engage the community and serve people in need, improve our programs and operations where needed and strengthen relationships with our community partners to increase our local and regional impact.
I know you all join me in thanking Lori for her many years of dedicated service, and I appreciate your continued support of the agency as we look to the future.
Nicole Benjamin, Esq.
President, Board of Directors