Anna Maskerine, who has worked for Nelson Community Services for 30 years, has been named the organization’s next executive director.
Nelson Community Services (NCS) announced Thursday that Maskerine had been appointed to the job as of Sept. 6. Maskerine joined Nelson Community Services in 1992 and from 1995 onward was in charge of the Aimee Beaulieu Transition House, which provides shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence.
Maskerine said taking over as the organization’s leader felt like a natural step in her career.
“The opportunity presented itself and I just feel like it’s the right timing. It’s certainly a good fit. I’m an insider, and I think it means having me in the role meets the needs of the agency.”
Maskerine replaces Kathleen Newson, who had been executive director since September 2020.
Her portfolio will expand substantially as executive director. NCS runs a myriad of programs including Cicada Place youth housing, the Nelson Street Outreach team and various counselling and support services.
That will mean stepping away from managing the Aimee Beaulieu Transition House full-time, which Maskerine admitted to having mixed feelings about. Milena Bieri, who has worked as a co-ordinator at the transition house for the last nine months, will take over as manager.
“It feels a bit like my baby, the transition house. So I think if I was leaving and retiring, it would be hugely difficult. But because I’m still within the organization, and because I’ll be working closely with Milena in her new role, I feel like it’s not an ending quite yet. It’s a slower transition away from that program, so it feels like the perfect way to end there actually.”
Maskerine said her immediate focus will be helping NCS move back into post-pandemic operations while also undergoing a new accreditation assessment.
She also hopes to expand Indigenization of NCS programs similar to the Four Feathers program that introduced traditional healing as well as elder support.
The 50th anniversary of NCS, she said, will also be celebrated this year.