The Community Caring Collaborative (CCC) begins a new chapter with the departure of two founding members. Marjorie F. Withers, LCPC, the CCC’s Director since its inception, and Early Childhood Consultation & Outreach (ECCO) program coordinator, Chris Rudd, have both retired after a decade of work with the CCC and many more years serving Washington County families.
Withers, recipient of numerous awards and honors, including awards from the Maine Children’s Alliance; the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Maine, and the Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership, was honored with a legislative sentiment on the occasion of her retirement. The sentiment was presented by Rep. Joyce Maker at an outdoor celebration of Withers’ career and achievements at Chandler River Lodge on June 25th.
Rudd, who adapted the Georgetown model for Mental Health Consultation for rural Washington County as the highly successful ECCO program, was honored with an intimate gathering at Withers’ lakefront home on May 31st.
While Withers and Rudd set the bar high, the CCC continues its mission to nurture and sustain collaboration that expands resources and increases hope, health, and well-being for people in Washington County, under leadership that is both new and familiar: Charley Martin-Berry is taking the helm as Executive Director and Julie Redding, LCPC, is the CCC’s Clinical Director and Coordinator of the ECCO Program.
Charley Martin-Berry, a JT Gorman Fellow, transitioned from co-director to executive director of the collaborative on July 1st, in the final phase of a carefully conceived succession plan that started in 2012 when she joined the CCC as assistant director. “I cannot imagine a more thoughtful transition process than the one Marjorie crafted for the CCC,” said Martin-Berry. “I am so grateful for the values she has shared and excited for this opportunity to work with partners across the county to achieve a shared vision for a healthy, hopeful Washington County. “
No stranger to the collaborative, Martin-Berry had joined the CCC’s grass roots Work Group in 2008 and advisory council in 2011 as part of her work coordinating the Passages high school diploma program for teen parents. As CCC assistant director, Martin-Berry immediately took on coordination of the collaborative’s developing two-generation Family Futures Downeast (FFD) program, engaging partners in post-secondary education, early education and workforce/economic development with the shared goal of increasing family success. “Family Futures Downeast is a comprehensive and widely collaborative response to parents who asked for opportunities to access higher education and ultimately family-supporting jobs,” explained Martin-Berry The program offers college courses and workforce training opportunities for parents while simultaneously engaging their children in high-quality early learning. Selected as a White House Rural Council Rural IMPACT Demonstration site in 2015, FFD is currently taking applications for its first cohort of students on the campuses of the University of Maine Machias and Washington County Community College.
Julie Redding, LCPC, has assumed full responsibility for coordinating the ECCO program and as Clinical Director of the CCC and will provide supervision, training and technical assistance for CCC programs and supports. “I am very honored to be continuing the CCC’s legacy of responsive programming that meets the needs of our neighbors,” said Redding, who was hired in 2015 as an ECCO consultant after working closely with the collaborative in her capacity as LAUNCH Young Child Wellness Expert for the Passamaquoddy Tribe and Child & Adolescent Counselor at the Passamaquoddy Health Center. “Washington county is home for me, and it feels right to be with an organization that also cares so deeply for our people,” said Redding, who has expanded the ECCO program’s reach into the northern half of the County. Her stated goal is to ensure that “ECCO continues to offer responsive expert consultation, support, and trainings while also increasing access to our supports for families and child-serving organizations who have yet to learn about our services.”