KCADV Welcomes New CEO

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KCADV is pleased to announce Ms. Angela Yannelli as its new Chief Executive Officer. Angela follows Ms. Sharon Currens (Sherry), the organization’s first Executive Director, who recently retired after serving as the leader of KCADV (formerly known as the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association) since its formation in 1987. Under Sherry’s leadership, the organization grew to 15 member programs serving all 120 counties in Kentucky. She has been a leader in the fight to make Kentucky’s justice and human service systems more responsive to the needs of domestic violence and dating violence survivors and their children, including the establishment of Kentucky as a laboratory for implementation of the full faith and credit provisions of the Violence Against Women Act. 

Over the last 17 years, Sherry guided a team of forward-thinking staff to build trauma-informed programming including a nationally recognized economic empowerment program that includes financial education, Individual Development Accounts, micro loans, and an array of supportive housing and rental assistance projects. She provided pivotal leadership in addressing the needs of survivors from underserved and culturally-specific populations, including the creation of Project SAFE, which helps ensure that domestic violence services are available and accessible to survivors living with disabilities; the creation of an immigration advocacy project; and an investment in training for member program staff that highlights implicit bias and safe and affirming care for survivors who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. One of the most notable accomplishments for KCADV while Sherry was Executive Director was to secure funding and tax credits to build 84 units of housing for low-income survivors of domestic violence. The units are located in Paducah, Murray, Lexington, Morehead, and Louisville. KCADV Homes in Hazard is currently under construction and will be ready for occupancy later this year. 

Sherry is a recipient of many awards and honors, including the Woman of Distinction Award from the Center for Women and Families; the Martha Layne Collins Leadership Award from Women Leading Kentucky; the Unsung Heroes Award given at the University of Kentucky School of Social Work; the Kentucky Foundation for Women Sallie Bingham Award; and the Peace in Kentucky Homes Award.

Her expertise and knowledge of institutional history will be greatly missed.

Angela, who worked at KCADV from 1997 to 2012, is returning after serving for seven years as a Senior Family Violence Program Specialist at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C. She has been working to end intimate partner violence for over 22 years advocating to build strong partnerships with local domestic violence programs, state domestic violence coalitions, state grant administrating agencies, tribes, tribal organizations, national resource centers, and federal agencies. 

Tanya Thomas, President of KCADV and Executive Director of SpringHaven, one of KCADV’s member programs, is grateful for Sherry’s work and looks forward to Angela's leadership. “Brilliance, joy, integrity, character, respect, morals, trust, patience, common sense, and dignity; both Sherry and Angela share these attributes, and we will all be better for them.”

Thank you, Sherry, for your years of service. Angela, welcome back to KCADV!