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New leadership at the Survivor Empowerment Center

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Retiring Suvivor Empowerment Center Executive Director Cathy McClanahan (right), and newly named Executive Director Jennifer Gulley

As the organization celebrates a milestone, a new director takes the helm

The Survivor Empowerment Center is welcoming a new leader, as the previous Executive Director will retire later this month.

Cathy McClanahan will retire after 30 years with the organization formerly known as The Women's Center. She points to an expansion of services, increased funding, and more as points of pride during her time with the center.

"I have met and worked with some of the most amazing women, and men during my tenure. I have experienced the outpouring of support from our community. Without their help, we would not have been here for 50 years. During my tenure we have helped 10’s of thousands of women and children who have come through our doors scared, hurt and seeking safety."

Jennifer Gulley will take over as Executive Director, after previously serving as Rape Crisis Services Medical and Legal Advocate at the Center's Marion location.

"Our mission to end domestic and sexual violence while providing necessary services for survivors of such crime, has been vital in maintaining the safety and betterment of Southern Illinois for nearly 50 years. I look forward to creating a powerful positive impact within our region and furthering community relationships."

The Survivor Empowerment Center is celebrating 50 years this year, and leaders say they're committed to ending domestic and sexual violence and providing a safe space for survivors of those crimes.

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