The Literacy Connection hires a new leader

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Shelly Birkelo
Tuesday, January 21, 2014

JANESVILLE—Pamela Thomas starts Monday as the new executive director of the The Literacy Connection.

She was hired by the board of directors to replace Cathy Jennings, who retired at the end of the year.

“It's an honor to lead The Literacy Connection into a season of growth and revitalization,” Thomas said in a news release.

“I'm looking forward to engaging new stakeholders in the community and finding innovative ways to continue the mission and build the legacy of this remarkable organization,” she said.

Thomas of Milton will oversee the organizations day-to-day operations, work with staff and volunteers to serve clients and raise funds to increase its capacity to serve more people. She also will direct the move to new office space in the Olde Towne Mall in downtown Janesville.

Thomas brings more than 20 years of nonprofit experience to The Literacy Connection, an organization that serves adults in northern Rock County who want to learn how to read, write, speak and understand English.

She has been part-time executive director of the Milton Area Youth Center since shortly after it opened in 2011. Before that, she was executive assistant to the CEO at Girl Scouts of Wisconsin-Badgerland Council, volunteer programs coordinator at Agrace HospiceCare and office manager at Rotary Botanical Gardens.

Thomas spent 15 years as a missionary in Central America before moving to Rock County.

An ad hoc search committee made up of Literacy Connection board members, staff and volunteers chose Thomas from an unspecified number of applicants.

“But after Pamela's interview, it became very clear to the entire committee that she was the right person for the job,” said Eric Kuznacic, board president.

“The combination of her professional experience, community connections and enthusiasm for literacy and helping people made us extremely comfortable in extending her an offer to become the organization's next leader,” he said.

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