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  • Colleen Heath

Executive Director Karen McNally to Retire

Karen McNally, Executive Director of the Presbyterian Community Center since 2005, will retire on April 30. Prior to becoming ED, Karen worked as a grant writing consultant to raise funds for Pathways for Youth and PCC operations.

During her tenure, she expanded grant writing and fundraising efforts, implemented database management upgrades for the Emergency Services program, and developed funding streams to support families with children, the elderly, and those with dental needs. She also oversaw the expansion of the Pathways Phase II high school program, construction of a Pathways activities and fitness center, and the creation of Pathfinders, an after-school day treatment program for children with emotional and behavioral disorders. She raised funds for the Bridges Out of Poverty and Getting Ahead programs at PCC, both of which provide training and support to help families overcome generational and situational poverty.

During the pandemic, Karen and PCC staff established safety guidelines to keep the mission open, addressing clients’ financial needs by telephone and providing drive up access to the food pantry. Also during the COVID crisis, when at-home virtual instruction was offered to all students in Roanoke as an alternative to the classroom, Karen and staff established a masked and socially-distanced classroom for Pathways for Youth students, offering them a safe and academically stimulating environment which helped them access and complete the virtual learning assignments, providing lunch, and otherwise caring for their daily needs each school day during the 2020-21 school year.

In 2017, Karen initiated the purchase of 1202 Jamison Avenue, adjacent to PCC, setting the stage for building a new Presbyterian Community Center, a project for which she has been tirelessly fundraising since 2019. Construction will begin this spring, with expected completion in early 2025.

The PCC Staff offers our profound gratitude to Karen for her 19 years of kind-spirited, keenly intelligent, energetic, and successful leadership during which the PCC has made impressive advancements in its mission of addressing the needs of the people of Southeast Roanoke. We offer Karen our heartfelt best wishes for a joyful retirement!

-Ann Rogers, Grant Writer

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