Womanspace appoints first female CEO


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Womanspace’s Board of Directors has appointed Nathalie Nelson, former director of Human Resources & Operations as the new CEO and president of Womanspace.

Nelson has been with Womanspace nine years and has been transitioning into this role since November 2021, according to information provided by the Lawrence Township-based organization.

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In Nelson’s previous position, she worked closely with Patricia Hart, former executive director of 28 years, who has made the decision to retire.

“I have been grateful every day for the opportunity to work with the most talented and committed staff and to intersect with families whose incredible strength inspired me every day. With each new project, I marveled at the good fortune of a strong partnership with Womanspace board and the talent of the staff, I would ask that you consider a donation to Womanspace in recognition of my contributions over the last 28 years,” Hart said in the statement.

Nelson has adjusted to her new position with a very little learning curve.

“As the first CEO of Womanspace, I’m excited to be working with such a dedicated staff, volunteers, donors and Board of Directors. Together we will enhance Womanspace’s capabilities to help empower survivors of domestic and sexual violence. I am excited what the future holds for us,” Nelson said in the statement.

The board has formed a new leadership team to assist Nelson with her role of CEO and the daily running of Womanspace. Lauren Nazarian, director of Development will be promoted to chief development officer. Susan Victor, director of Counseling, will be promoted to chief operations officer of Client & Community Services. Cassius Lawson, director of Finance, will be promoted to vice president of Finance. Reyna Carothers, director of Emergency Services, will be promoted to vice president of Emergency Services.

The leadership team is fully integrated with each of Womanspace’s programs and will therefore will address all of the needs of each program to its fullest, according to the statement.

Michelle Bajwa, president of the Board of Directors at Womanspace, said, “The Womanspace Board of Directors expresses great appreciation for the 28 years of significant work and commitment of Patricia Hart. Womanspace has emerged as an innovator of service for our community thanks to Ms. Hart’s contribution. We wish her much happiness and success as she enters into retirement.

“As we acknowledge Ms. Hart’s tenure, we are honored and proud to announce Nathalie Nelson as Womanspace’s CEO. A visionary rooted in Womanspace’s mission to support and protect victims and families affected by domestic and sexual violence, Ms. Nelson’s leadership shines with an ideal alchemy of compassion, inclusion, resolve, strength and resourcefulness.

“I have every confidence Womanspace’s ability to help victims and families recover and heal from domestic & sexual violence will further be cultivated and strengthened under Ms. Nelson’s leadership,” she said in the statement.

For information on agency events and updates, follow Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages (Womanspaceinc), and visit www.womanspace.org.

Founded in 1977, Womanspace is a leading non-profit organization serving the greater Mercer County area and the State of New Jersey by providing a comprehensive array of emergency and follow-up services to individuals and families impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault. Bilingual services and programs include 24/7 crisis intervention, safe, short-term emergency shelter, short and long-term transitional housing, individual counseling and therapeutic support groups for adults and children, court advocacy and the 24/7 crisis hotline 609-394-9000. Womanspace also operates the 24/7 New Jersey Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline 800-572-SAFE. To learn more about Womanspace, visit www.womanspace.org.

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