Community Works director leaving, will return to California

The director of Community Works announced Thursday that she is leaving the helm of the nonprofit agency that provides services for domestic abuse victims and at-risk youth.

Ginger Lee, the organization's president and chief executive officer for the past two years, told staff members Thursday that she was leaving the organization at the end of August for personal reasons.

"I had planned to move my family from Southern California to Medford, but that hasn't been possible," Lee said. "I need to move back to reunite my family."

Community Works serves 16,000 people annually with programs for homeless, runaway and adjudicated youths; mental health services; and victims of domestic and sexual violence.

Approximately 100 employees and more than 100 volunteers work in its three facilities: its office on Main Street in Medford, the Lithia Springs Program in Ashland, and the Dunn House shelter, Lee said.

Lee said she is both glad and sad to be leaving her position, as she is eager to rejoin her family, but sad to leave her Oregon colleagues. She said she was leaving the organization in the hands of "a highly capable board and staff."

Board Chairman Stuart Meyer praised Lee for providing strong leadership during a difficult time for the organization. As federal, state and donor funding dried up during the nation's fiscal crisis, Lee made difficult decisions that helped rebalance the organization's budget.

"She was only here for two years, but she made an enormous effort to get us through a funding crisis," Meyer said. "Community Works is now very stable and in a position to grow in areas where there is the greatest community need. We are grateful for her service."

Lee will guide the organization during the transition through the end of August. Interim leadership will be announced soon, Meyer said.

"We have begun looking at various options for providing interim leadership during the transition, and hope to have that in place within a week or two," Meyer said. "We will conduct a nationwide search for a new CEO or executive director, and will again include staff and local leaders as part of the selection process."

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or e-mail

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