The Harbor, the region’s domestic and sexual violence advocacy group, has hired a new executive director.
Molly Pringle comes from Portland, where she was director of operations for the last several years at Call to Safety, a women’s crisis line. Trained as a midwife, Pringle went back to school and earned a master’s of public health with a focus on health management and policy from Portland State University.
She has been a steering committee member for Oregon Women’s Health Network and helped track behavioral data for a healthcare network’s wellness coalition in Alaska.
Pringle found out about the position with The Harbor through the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
“When I looked into The Harbor specifically, I was really impressed by their values,” she said. “They’re really a survivors’ first organization.”
The Harbor, formerly the Women’s Resource Center, offers a 24-hour crisis line, interventions, shelters, support groups and other services for victims of sexual and domestic violence. The organization recently relocated administrative offices from the Norblad Building to the former Snow & Snow law offices at Eighth and Commercial streets. The group is still looking to move the Deja Vu Thrift Store, which helps support The Harbor’s operations.
Pringle is the fourth director since Pat Burness retired in 2012 after 20 years with The Harbor. Her successor, Julie Soderberg, left in 2015 without explanation, shortly after attempting to suspend the The Harbor’s services amid a squabble with the board. Melissa Van Horn started in early 2016 but only lasted several months before leaving, also without explanation.
Sue Farmer, a former board member for The Harbor, served as an interim executive director while the board searched for a permanent replacement. She is no longer with the organization, according to Mindy Stokes, the new chairwoman of The Harbor’s board of directors.
While community interest and belief in The Harbor’s mission is still strong, the group needs more stability, Pringle said. She hopes to hear from the community and build staff knowledge and retention to help ensure the reliability of services.
Pringle was chosen unanimously by a five-member search committee that included three board members, a staffer and a community partner.
“She’s a great advocate for staff,” Stokes said of Pringle, lauding her combination of education and experience.
The Harbor is planning a public introduction of Pringle for February or March.