SafeHaven CEO announces plan to retire

Fort Worth, TX (July 1, 2014) –   SafeHaven of Tarrant County CEO Mary Lee Hafley announced that she will retire early next year. While her last day won’t be until February, 2015, she wanted to give the board plenty of time to find her successor.

Board Chair Curt Osiek applauded Hafley’s long and distinguished career in the field of domestic violence prevention, saying, “Mary Lee has worked for more than 20 years to provide immediate safety to victims of domestic violence and prevent its re-occurrence. SafeHaven will miss her energy, wisdom and her powerful leadership at the local, state and national levels.”

Mary Lee Hafley joined The Women’s Shelter in 1991 as Executive Director.  In 1998, she led the agency through a capital campaign to build a new 22,000 sq. ft. shelter on 7 acres in Arlington.  In 2005, she guided The Women’s Shelter and Women’s Haven of Tarrant County through a merger process that culminated in the formation of SafeHaven of Tarrant County in 2006.  Since that time, she has served as the organization’s President/CEO. Additionally, Mary Lee currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Texas Council on Family Violence.

Under her leadership, The Women’s Shelter grew from 20 staff in 1991 into SafeHaven and 125 staff with hundreds of volunteers and thousands of donors.  Her vision led a small agency to raise over $4,000,000 in 18 months to build a new facility and to grow again through a merger, one of the first in the DFW area.

“I am incredibly grateful for the support of board members, staff, donors and community partners throughout my tenure,” said Hafley.  “This amazing journey transformed my life creating a deep passion for ending violence against women and girls that will never dissipate.”

SafeHaven recently completed participation in Communities Foundation of Texas’ D3 Institute to develop a strong evaluation system to improve outcomes and was one of only 20 selected nationwide by the Office on Violence Against Women for funding of a collaborative project they developed.  Most recently, Hafley worked with Texas Health Resources to build a virtual training for ER nurses and EMTs and helped establish a Fatality Review Team with the Tarrant County Commissioners.

In addition to operating the only shelters in Tarrant County that provide targeted services for domestic violence victims, SafeHaven was the first agency to hire its own legal team and remains one of the few domestic violence organizations with attorneys on staff.  Under Hafley’s leadership, the organization also started the first transitional living program in the mid 90’s.  This program provides clients with a longer term housing solution and life skills training  after leaving emergency shelter.  Safehaven also operates Camp Heart, a camp for children affected by  domestic violence, and is a leader in Statewide prevention efforts.

“SafeHaven’s board has hired Victory Search Group to begin the search for a new CEO,” said Osiek. “We are committed to finding a candidate who is a strong partner with other organizations serving the community, but who also has the expertise, vision and courage that we have so appreciated in Mary Lee’s leadership.”

About SafeHaven

SafeHaven’s mission is to end domestic violence through safety, support, prevention and social change. We provide the only two shelters in Tarrant County specifically for victims of domestic violence.

In 2013, SafeHaven;  Answered 44,000 hotline calls,  sheltered 784 abused women and 998 children, assisted 3,350 victims and their children in our Resource Centers, provided 133,782 meals and 89,188 snacks , housed 102 families through transitional and permanent supportive housing, educated more than 30,000 students and 7,000 community members, and facilitated 23,000 hours of service from almost 1,800 volunteers.

If you or someone you know is being abused, call SafeHaven’s 24-Hour Hotline: 1-877-701-SAFE(7233) or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). If you are in immediate danger, call 911.