The Willow board to search for a new permanent executive director; interim in charge for now

photo by: File photo

Jessica Beeson is pictured in this 2019 file photo. Beeson is currently serving as the interim executive director at The Willow Domestic Violence Center, and the agency's board of directors is currently considering how it will move forward with a search for a permanent director.

The Willow Domestic Violence Center is searching for a new leader, the Journal-World learned this week.

Megan Harrison, formerly known as Megan Stuke, the agency’s latest executive director, has left the position. Harrison confirmed the change to the Journal-World via email Thursday. The day prior, Beth O’Neill, the vice president of the Willow’s board of directors, also confirmed the change in leadership. It’s not clear when or why Harrison left the position, as neither she nor O’Neill provided any details in their messages to the Journal-World beyond that Harrison had “left.”

photo by: Contributed

Megan Stuke

For the time being, Jessica Beeson is serving as interim executive director, O’Neill said.

“She previously held the role of director of operations at the Willow, so we do not anticipate any disruption in our vital services during this transition period,” O’Neill said in an email.

Beeson has been with the agency since 2018, after nearly 10 years as director of alumni and external relations for the University of Kansas’ College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She also previously served as president of the Lawrence school board. For now, it’s unclear how long she’ll be leading the nonprofit.

O’Neill told the Journal-World that the board of directors would meet next week to determine how it will move forward with filling the executive director position permanently.

Harrison accepted the role of executive director in 2018 after having been with the Willow for three years as its director of volunteer services and its inaugural director of development.


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