(As published in the Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers, Wednesday, July 4th, 2018. )
Great Northern Services is celebrating the many accomplishments of Bonnie Kubowitz as she retires from her nine-year stint as executive director of the local nonprofit.
Marie-Josée Wells, who has been with Great Northern for four years, is the new executive director.
“I have worked with Marie-Josée closely and I know her very well,” Kubowitz states in a press release. “I have deep and abiding respect for her skills, her competence, compassion, and character. She’s one of the finest people I’ve ever known, and her leadership style is exactly what we need—from within the circle, not above it or outside it.”
GNS points to the “guidance and direction” Kubowitz provided to help grow its reach and refocused its efforts. As stated in the release, “expanding and strengthening the programs offered and partnering with a wide range of agencies, organizations, and volunteers. She has also helped the organization weather many unexpected challenges, like the destruction of their offices in the Boles Creek fire. After the disaster, Kubowitz acquired new office space and had the organization up and running within days. GNS assisted with the distribution of food, supplies, and necessities to victims and lead the city through a resilience planning process to prepare for future incidents.”
According to Heather Weldon, president of Great Northern’s board of directors, “This organization has had many challenges but each and every time Bonnie has taken it to the next level of success through her leadership. It has been a pleasure to work with her. She has made such great changes in this organization through her commitment to helping our communities, her leadership and the growth of this organization.”
Among the many projects Kubowitz has shepherded throughout her time at the organization, she is most proud of those that have expanded the help for families and children.
“GNS’s Community Services department has grown exponentially during her time as executive director,” according to the release, “and has increased its focus on programs to support children in the community—GNS started a Summer Lunch program, established Mini food pantries in schools, and began holiday snack bag distribution. Other departments have also put the youth of the area in the spotlight.
Kubowitz said, “We are dedicating a team to find new and innovative ways to work with College Of Siskiyou and high schools. We are looking for ways to help children who choose to stay local earn a living wage.”
The GNS Board of Directors chose Wells as the executive director because of the due to the leadership and commitment she has shown to the organization, according to the release. She most recently served as development director.
“I know that Marie is going to do an amazing job and that she will be a true asset to GNS,” states Weldon. “The Board and I look forward to the great things to come.”
Wells, who previously spent eight years as the Mt. Shasta Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, replaced Kubowitz effective July 1.
Great Northern Services is a community based nonprofit working to improving life for the most vulnerable populations of Siskiyou County by finding the resources and creating the solutions to a variety of needs. Learn more about GNS and their programs at www.gnservices.org. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance or if you would like to support these programs, call GNS Marketing Assistant Nichole McCown at (530)938-4115 extension 115.