There seem to be a lot of retirement parties taking place following the 2020 pandemic. The latest farewell-to-arms is Wilkinson Center‘s Executive Director Anne Reeder, who will officially retire on Sunday, December 31.
It was back in 2011 that Anne came on board as the interim executive, but within months “interim” was removed and Anne has never looked back.
During her tenure, the Center has “grown from 13 employees to 53 employees, and expanded its donor base to include major donors, such as the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Communities Foundation of Dallas, Texas Workforce Commission as a member of the Dallas Adult Education and Literacy Consortium, and many more.”
To expand both the awareness and funding of the Center, she “launched the organization’s signature fundraiser, the Can Do! Luncheon, which “celebrates individuals and organizations that exemplify entrepreneurship in philanthropy and the ‘can do’ spirit that makes great things happen in our community.”
In addition, it was under Anne that “workforce development became the strategic program focus of Wilkinson Center’s Pathways to Success.”
In 2021, Anne, her development team and donors expanded the Center’s Food Pantry thanks to the addition of the Pantry2Go mobile food delivery for families “who otherwise did not have access to food.” As a result, the Pantry and Pantry2Go now serve 10,000 unduplicated individuals annually.
According to Wilkinson Center Board Chair Atul Sethi, “Under her leadership, the (Wilkinson) Center experienced transformative growth and success both in terms of raising awareness of its mission and its ability to deliver services to clients. Anne leaves an incredible legacy and a strong foundation for future leadership to continue to build upon as we remain focused on providing help and hope to Dallas families.”
Anne cites the “investment in technology, specifically the CRM database and the Work Ready Mobile app, as her greatest legacy, which proved to be a game-changer for the organization during the recent COVID-19 pandemic.”
As Anne explained, “With the support of our board of directors and generous donors, Wilkinson Center was able to develop and grow a CRM client database and our customized Work Ready Mobile app to communicate with our clients. Little did any of us know at the time how vital our innovative technology would be when the coronavirus shut down our community. Because of these fully operational systems, we were able to act quickly to change our service model, communicate with our clients and provide drive-through food delivery within a week of the shutdown. It is one of our proudest moments.”
Besides serving for 20 years as an active member of the Junior League of Dallas, where she was a four-time board member and a ball chair, as well as a member for 30 years of Crystal Charity Ball, where she chaired the fashion show, charity selection and datebook, Anne was previously president/owner of Steakley Leasing of Steakley Chevrolet.
While the Wilkinson board is undertaking a search for Anne’s successor, Anne and her husband Paul Corley have plans to “travel, spend time with her family and enjoy their East Texas home.”
* Graphic/photo courtesy of Wilkinson Center