The Safe Berks board of directors has announced that Beth Garrigan has been chosen to lead the organization as CEO, effective June 1. Garrigan has been serving Safe Berks as chief operating officer since July 2018.
“Since Beth Garrigan began working at Safe Berks, she has met every challenge with a unique combination of leadership, intelligence, teamwork, humor, and a heroic work ethic,” said Nina Bohn, president of the Safe Berks board of directors.
“Beth is truly passionate about serving survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. She also excels in supporting our dedicated staff and collaborating with our many community partners. We conducted a thorough search, and we are grateful that search resulted in finding our new CEO already serving here at Safe Berks.”
Angel Helm will continue to serve as interim CEO through May 31. Helm arrived at Safe Berks in January 2020, providing leadership after the 15-year tenure of previous CEO, Mary Kay Bernosky.
“The board is extremely grateful to Angel Helm for her excellent leadership during this transition,” said Bohn. “Despite the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 crisis, Safe Berks has continued to provide our free and lifesaving services 24 hours a day. Both Angel and Beth rose to the challenge to lead Safe Berks during this historic era.”
Garrigan said she is honored to be chosen as the next Safe Berks CEO.
“I am so proud of Safe Berks, and I am honored to be given the opportunity to lead and represent such an amazing organization of dedicated individuals who are saving lives, every day,” said Garrigan.
“My most immediate goal is to continue to provide critical services, 24 hours every day, to those in need during this unprecedented health crisis,” said Garrigan.
“My long term goals include: seeing that our community knows exactly who we are and what we do so there is never a question about who to call when you need support and safety; seeing our prevention programming become part of every school’s curriculum; having every Berks County Police Department participate in the Lethality Assessment Program; and seeing that every patient, at every local medical facility is screened for domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking, at every visit.”
“I want to be the one to continue to rally our staff, Board, volunteers and community to help survivors be heard, feel safe, and know that they are valued,” said Garrigan, a graduate of Millersville University, where she studied social work.
Prior to joining the Safe Berks team, Garrigan served the Children’s Home of Reading for 11 years, last working as the Program Manager of their Residential Program. Prior to the Children's Home, she spent more than 10 years working with the Department of Public Welfare and independent employers, assisting Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients in re-entering the workforce and gaining self-sufficiency.
The Board has begun a search to hire a new chief operating officer to replace Garrigan.
Safe Berks served more than 4,000 clients in the last fiscal year. Our Safe House provided a haven to approximately 400 adults and 400 children in the last fiscal year. Safe Berks services are free, confidential, available in English and Spanish, and will be translated into any other language needed. The Safe Berks 24-Hour Hotline number is 844-789-SAFE (7233), or text Safe Berks to 20121. For Legal Services, call 610-373-1206, ext. 107. For requests for Counseling, call 610-373-1206, ext. 606.
Safe Berks provides safe haven and support to victim of domestic violence and sexual assault. Our advocacy and education programs increase awareness of oppression and promote the prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault.