HELENA — On Tuesday, Jenny Eck announced she will be leaving her role as Executive Director of the Friendship Center to pursue an international fellowship in Peace and Conflict Resolution.
Eck has been leading the Friendship Center since July of 2018. “It is bittersweet to be leaving my position at the Friendship Center,” Eck said. “I have loved my time here and am passionate about the mission. This is an incredible organization with deep roots in our community.”
The Friendship Center is the only organization in Lewis and Clark, Jefferson, and Broadwater Counties dedicated to serving survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and stalking through safe shelter, crisis response and advocacy. They provide confidential services to anyone who has suffered from these types of violence, free of charge.
Eck has been awarded the Rotary Peace Fellowship, a full scholarship which will allow her to pursue her master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Resolution at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Due to the pandemic, she will begin her studies remotely from Helena, with the hopes of traveling to Australia by mid-summer.
The Friendship Center’s Board Chairwoman, Katie Loveland, said, “Jenny has done a remarkable job as Executive Director and is leaving this organization in a strong and healthy position. She has worked to diversify funding sources, expand our staff team, overhaul our policies and procedures, update our branding, strengthen our relationships within the community, and raise awareness about domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.”
“While it is very hard to leave,” Eck said, “I know that the organization is in great hands. We have an active and committed board and a talented and dedicated team of staff. The people who work here have deep compassion and commitment to the cause. Despite the pandemic and the many challenges that nonprofits face, the Friendship Center has grown to meet the ever-increasing need for our services while holding ourselves to the highest standards of trauma-informed care for our clients.”
Eck’s last day will be April 2nd. The position will be posted on the Friendship Center’s website.
“We are committed to finding the right person and ensuring a smooth transition in leadership,” Loveland said. “We wish Jenny the very best in her next chapter and are confident that the next Executive Director will step into a thriving organization that is well positioned to continue to execute our mission.”