Helpmate names new executive director

October 4, 2013

April Burgess-Johnson has been named Executive Director of Helpmate, the domestic violence agency serving Buncombe County.  April joined Helpmate’s staff as Program Director in December 2012 and has worked to end domestic violence for 18 years. 

Prior to April’s service at Helpmate she worked as an independent consultant, focusing on non-profit program development, sustainability and training, all within the framework of violence against women.  April previously served at the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and was involved in several projects, including development and support for coordinated community response teams, primary prevention, training/technical assistance and executive management.  Over the course of her devoted career, April has also worked as a Rape and Sexual Assault Advocate, Shelter Manager, and Executive Director in domestic violence and sexual assault programs and as the Central Region Director where she provided grants monitoring for the NC Council for Women/Domestic Violence Commission. 

“It’s been a strategic search process that went nationwide and adhered to best practices for non profits, resulting in the best possible candidate for Helpmate,” said Cindy Hamilton, president of the Helpmate Board of Directors. “We believe that April’s long history of unfaltering leadership in the movement to end domestic violence, as well as, her considerable experience in nonprofit management made her the ideal candidate to dynamically lead Helpmate into the future.”

“I am excited to start this new chapter in my relationship with Helpmate,” said April Burgess-Johnson.  “I have worked with the program as a collaborator for many years and have always respected and admired Helpmate’s commitment to its mission and the dedication of its staff, board and volunteers.  I look forward to the opportunity to further build on this strong foundation to provide critical, life-saving services to families impacted by domestic violence.”

Helpmate is a domestic violence agency working with our community to eliminate abuse and fear.  Funded by a combination of United Way contributions, government grants and community donations Helpmate serves approximately 2,000 people in Buncombe County each year.  Free services include a 24-hour hotline, emergency shelter, crisis counseling, court advocacy and community education.  Volunteer support is critical to helping the organization fulfill its mission.  To request services, call Helpmate’s 24-hour hotline at 828-254-0516.  To offer donations or to inquire about volunteer opportunities, call the business office at 828-254-2968.