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Penquis Board Announces New CEO

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Theresa Cucinotti | BDN
Theresa Cucinotti | BDN
Kara Hay, newly appointed CEO of Penquis

May 2, 2014 – Bangor, ME- The Board of Directors of Penquis is pleased to announce that Kara Hay has been named its next President and Chief Executive Officer. Beginning June 18, Hay will lead Penquis as it continues the mission to assist individuals and families in preventing, reducing, or eliminating poverty in their lives.

Board President Tom Lizotte said, “In a strong field of finalists, the search committee was impressed with Ms. Hay’s understanding of the Penquis culture, dedication to its mission, and with her work ethic, intelligence, confidence and energy. We feel she will bring new ideas to the table and keep Penquis moving forward through this leadership transition.”

A Maine native, Hay holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre from the University of Maine, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Hawaii at Hilo and a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Argosy University, Hawaii. She has extensive experience working with children, families and communities. Hay has served as a Deputy Director and Operations Manager for the Penquis Child Development Department since 2009. Previously, she worked as a Mental Health Casework Supervisor for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, as a Children’s Service Coordinator providing direct services and support to families experiencing domestic violence, and as a Family Therapist and a Child Development Specialist. She has also worked as an independent consultant, providing training and consulting services to parents, mental health providers, early childhood specialists, and nonprofit and school staff.

Charlie Newton, retiring President and CEO, commented on the Board’s appointment, “I am very pleased with the Board’s selection. Kara is very talented and is committed to the Penquis mission and culture. Penquis has a very skilled, dedicated and professional staff that will fully support Kara in her new position. Penquis will be in very good hands.”

The Board of Directors looks forward to working with Hay. “We are especially pleased to be able to promote someone from within the organization to the CEO position,” said Lizotte. “Our employees represent our greatest asset. We value their contributions and commitment to the agency’s mission. She will be an effective leader and champion of the Penquis mission to provide information and advocacy to facilitate institutional change directed towards the alleviation of the causes of poverty.”
About Penquis
Incorporated in 1967, Penquis assists individuals and families in preventing, reducing, or eliminating poverty in their lives and, through partnerships, engages the community in addressing economic and social needs. Penquis primarily serves individuals in Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Knox counties.