WISH board member Dennis McCarty announced during last week’s Ketchikan City Council meeting that the board has hired Agnes Moran to lead the local emergency shelter.
Moran is a former Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly member. She more recently has been working on ways to help Ketchikan’s homeless population.
In a telephone interview Monday morning, Moran said the job with WISH is another way to help at-risk community members, and maintain an important service.
“It’s one of those deals where you don’t realize how valuable an asset something is until it’s at risk,” she said. “I really didn’t think this community could afford to lose the WISH facility, and those folks have worked so incredibly hard to get it back on track. I thought that was an organization that would be beneficial to be part of.”
WISH was placed on probation in fall of 2015 after the state Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault found it to be out of compliance on several regulations. The shelter receives funding through CDVSA.
That probation ended a couple of months ago after WISH board members and staff completed improvements and training required by the state agency. During that time frame, WISH hired Katie TePas as the interim executive director, and started searching for a new permanent director.
Moran officially starts the job on Jan. 23rd, and will work with TePas for the next couple of weeks to help smooth the transition.
“My short term goal is just to get up to speed on the organization and just see where we are and continue to move us forward – continue down the path they put themselves on once they got off of probation; and they’ve really turned the organization around,” Moran said.
She plans to meet with a representative from CDVSA soon to establish a relationship with the state agency. Moran said there likely were various root causes leading to the probation, but now it’s time to move forward rather than assign blame.
“I’m not a person that looks back,” she said. “What’s important is that we learn from what took place and that we work to make it a better organization every day.”
Moran has a background in electrical engineering. She also ran a grant-making foundation with a $30-million endowment, and has served on various local non-profit boards.