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YWCA hires new executive director

Nici George, former clinical director at the YWCA, was named the program's new executive director this week. A familiar face was made by the new executive director of the YWCA of Fort Dodge this week.

Nici George, the former clinical director at the YWCA, was given the promotion on Wednesday evening by the organization’s board of directors. While George is not new to the YWCA, she also isn’t new to the job — she’s been filling in as executive director since November 2021, when the previous director Mandi Crouse-Kelly left for other opportunities. George had been the clinical director since October 2018, but her experience with the YWCA goes back to 2012 when she first started working in substance use support. The YWCA is a licensed residential and outpatient treatment center for women struggling with substance use disorders and their children. “I worked here when it was a halfway house program and a homeless shelter,” George said. “I had worked in the human service field, but it just wasn’t something that I had ever really set my mind to that I was going to work in this field.” She worked at the YWCA for a year before moving out of state and working as a substance abuse counselor for teenagers. When the clinical director position opened up in Fort Dodge, she decided to move back. “What the clinical director does is they work hands-on with all of the staff,” George said. “They are in charge of programming, supervising the counselors, but also they have a caseload themselves.” As executive director, George’s focus is going to be more on outreach, she said. “A lot of people in our community don’t even know what we do, so there’s just going to be a lot of outreach and promotion for our program,” George said. “And then there’s also going to be a lot of working to build our program. We’re a very small agency.” With only 20 staff members, the YWCA is limited in the programming it can offer, something George hopes to remedy through stabilizing the organization’s finances and hiring more staff. “Right now we only really provide outpatient services for females, but we really want to expand that to males because I do know there’s a lot of people who are needing our services, or who are required to do treatment,” she said. Most of the YWCA’s funds come from Medicaid, George said, which limits the organization’s income to how many people it serves. She said she plans to work with the board of directors to find more financial stability beyond Medicaid funds. Along with George’s promotion, the YWCA board also hired a new clinical director. Katlin Sandlin was named George’s replacement as clinical director. Sandlin will start once she finishes her current employment obligations. “She’ll be great and she’s worked here before,” George said. “So she’s a dedicated employee and we’re very happy to have her back.”

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