John Bossange, Chair of the Mercy Connections Board of Directors, today announced that Dolly Fleming, the nonprofit’s Executive Director for the last seven years, will be retiring July 1 of this year. In a statement to donors, volunteers, and other members of the Board, Bossange said, “Dolly is an outstanding Executive Director who represents the spirit of Mercy Connections. Her experience in the community and wise leadership skills, combined with her passion for the mission of the organization and compassion for those who benefit from her “radical hospitality”, are what make her such a special individual.”
Having spent 45 years in human services work, Fleming is looking forward to a slightly slower and different pace with new opportunities. “I cherish Mercy Connections and it has been a remarkable honor to serve the organization in this leadership role,” she said. “I am confident that Mercy Connections will continue to have deep and sustained impact in the greater Burlington community.”
In the past 7 years, hundreds of participants have been served at Mercy Connections with classes, workshops, events, and trainings in 3 program areas: Education & Transition Programs, Justice & Mentoring Programs, and the Women’s Small Business Program. Building on the strong legacy of the organization, accomplishments include program additions and enhancements, emphasis on evaluation and Results-Based Accountability, volunteer engagement and expansion, and inter-agency collaboration and community partnerships.
New initiatives developed during this time, with Fleming at the head of the organization, include a Personal Financial Empowerment offerings, an annual multi-week training and vendor sale for adults working toward economic self-sufficiency, and a series of workshops held weekly at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility to promote pro-social behaviors for women who are currently incarcerated.
Board Chair Bossange went on to say, “We, at Mercy Connections, will miss her joyful smile, insightful comments, her advocacy for participants, and her overall wisdom. I’m sure I speak for Board members, staff, and the greater community when I say that Dolly Fleming has been a positive and influential voice for Mercy Connections and has set the organization up for a bright and successful future.”
A search committee for the new Executive Director is being spearheaded by Bossange and application details will be advertised in the coming weeks. Bossange said the Board of Directors hopes for a July 1st start date.