Tracie Clanaugh announced as Executive Director for First Witness

After an extensive search, First Witness Board of Directors has selected Tracie Clanaugh as their new Executive Director. Clanaugh proceeds Beth Olson, First Witness Executive Director since 2011.  Olson will continue with the organization as a consultant, continuing to advance the organization as a National Trainer in Child Advocacy and Forensic Interview Training.  Olson will also provide technical assistance to the agency as they make the transition and prepare for an organizational assessment and strategic plan.

Clanaugh comes to the organization with extensive experience in non-profit leadership, collaboration and youth development.  Most recently she served as the Executive Director of the YMCA Community Services Branch.  Prior to this role she served as YMCA Youth Development Director, YMCA Camp Miller Director and Director of Youth Development at BHK Child Development Board in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Clanaugh shares a passion for our communities’ commitment to serving children and families.  Specifically, she believes in agencies working side by side to provide services that respond to the unique needs of each family.  She looks forward to working with the community to continue to build on the current strengths of the organization.

With support from the community First Witness continues to provide safety for children and families, giving them voice in the system, equipping students with prevention messaging and collaborating with our community to strengthen our response to child abuse. In 2017 First Witness conducted 175 legally defensible child centered forensic interviews with children. We have been welcomed into Duluth and surrounding schools and organizations with our Safe & Strong Child prevention education program and provided prevention education to over 2,000 children in our community. We trained over 1,500 professionals, parents and community members. In addition, we provided hundreds of hours of service as we stood alongside children and families who are dealing with the unimaginable reality of child sexual abuse.

A message from new Executive Director, Tracie Clanaugh

“I see the staff and board at First Witness as integral to our communities’ response to child abuse.  They are talented, dedicated and full of compassion for families and I look forward to providing the support and resources that they need to advance our mission. I also look forward to working with the multi-disciplinary team; a critical team of dedicated professionals working to end child abuse.”

A message from the President of the Board of Directors, Cathy Nevanen

“First Witness is very fortunate to have Tracie joining the organization. She brings great experience and vision, which will continue to build on the direction and strength that Beth created here. I’m also grateful that Beth will stay connected to First Witness by helping to support our advocacy programming.”

A message from outgoing Executive Director, Beth Olson

“Tracie brings with her years of non-profit management experience, community connections and a deep passion for the safety and health of all children. With Tracie at the helm, I have full faith that First Witness will continue to grow and meet the needs of even more children and families, while supporting our multi-disciplinary team with resources and training. It has been an honor to serve as the Director of First Witness and I remain humbled by the dedication of the staff, volunteers and team members. I look forward to what is ahead for the organization with new leadership.”

Learn more about Tracie here