Mary Pontarolo, Executive Director of SafePlace Announces Retirement

Submitted by SafePlace

After a distinguished thirty-five year career in the field of domestic and sexual violence, Mary Pontarolo, Executive Director of SafePlace for the last fifteen years, has announced her retirement, effective June 1, 2017.

safeplace olympia
SafePlace’s Executive Director Mary Pontarolo has announced her retirement after 15 years at the group.

Mary’s decades long commitment to serving survivors of sexual and domestic violence has impacted thousands of lives. She was one of the founding mothers of the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, where she also served as Executive Director for ten years before coming to SafePlace. Mary has been instrumental in the development of state-wide policy, curriculum and legislative initiatives protecting the rights and safety of survivors of sexual and domestic violence and their families, and led SafePlace through two successful capital campaigns to fund a new shelter and community service center. In partnership with the Seattle Mariners, Mary was key in the creation of the ‘Refuse to Abuse’ campaign, and served as Executive Director of New Beginnings in Seattle. She also served as a community educator, and conducted domestic violence perpetrator treatment groups prior to her director positions.

Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst said, “Having known Mary for 22 years and worked with her on numerous projects, I can say without reservation or hesitation that Mary Pontarolo has played a monumental, instrumental leadership role in addressing and combating domestic violence. The State of Washington and Thurston County have been blessed to have had her dedicated, caring service.”

Under the leadership of our Board of Directors, SafePlace is launching a nationwide search for a new Executive Director. Thanks to Mary’s leadership, a strong management team with a combined total of 80 years of working at SafePlace is in place to ensure continuity and maintain the integrity of SafePlace as a community-based social justice service provider. A farewell open

house will be held at the SafePlace Community Service Center, located at 521 Legion Way SE, Olympia on Thursday May 4, 2017 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. All are welcome.

“My work at SafePlace has taught me something new each day about sexual and domestic violence. I am honored to have had the opportunity of working with our dedicated Board, staff and volunteers on behalf of the courageous survivors that we serve,” said Mary.

Please help celebrate Mary’s thirty-five years of tireless work in support of survivors, by making a gift to the SafePlace Legacy Fund. Your gift in honor of Mary Pontarolo, will help ensure sexual and domestic violence survivor services continue in our community for many years to come. Online donations can be made here or call (360) 786-8754 ext 201.

About SafePlace: SafePlace has been serving survivors of domestic and sexual violence since 1981. Programs include 24-hour help line, emergency shelter, support groups, sexual assault medical exam advocacy, legal advocacy and in-person advocacy, all of which can be provided in the survivor’s native language. Contact us at (360) 786-8754 or on the web at www.SafePlaceOlympia.org. To speak to an advocate anytime day or night, call (360) 754-6300.

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