Contributed by ACTS
Resignation of ACTS Executive Director
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VA …Action in Community Through Service’s Executive Director Frances Harris tendered her resignation to the ACTS Board of Directors in June, and it now becomes effective today when Interim Executive Director Barbara DeChene assumes that role. Harris is stepping down with “much affection for the mission of ACTS,” noting that “this is not a decision that I made lightly, but it is time that I pursue other opportunities. As I contemplate my 11 years with ACTS, I am extremely proud of how the organization has changed and adapted to the changing social services environment.”
In the six years she served as ACTS Executive Director, Harris oversaw the completion of the Family Services Center, acquired two townhomes for the ACTS Housing Services Program, and purchased a storage site that allowed ACTS to terminate a more expensive storage unit. She and her team also initiated a highly successful nurse assistant jobs program for unskilled low-income workers that leads to state certification, acquired the SAVAS program that complements ACTS’ existing trauma services, and built an extensive social networking backbone upon which to build future efforts. All of this was accomplished while still serving those in the Greater Prince William community most in need during the most stressing economic times in the last 20 to 30 years.
The ACTS Board of Directors has contracted with Barbara DeChene to serve as the Interim Executive Director during the time that a search is conducted for a permanent Executive Director. DeChene brings to the agency many years of administrative and leadership experience with human service programs in the Greater Prince William area. She served as the Deputy Director at the Arc of Greater Prince William, Director for the Prince William program offerings of Northern Virginia Family Service and Chief of Staff for Woodbridge Magisterial Supervisor Frank Principi.