READING, Pa. - Safe Berks didn't have to go far to find its new leader.
The nonprofit organization announced Wednesday that it has promoted its chief operating officer, Beth Garrigan, to serve as the chief executive officer, effective June 1.
Garrigan has served as the COO since July 2018.
"Since Beth Garrigan began working at Safe Berks, she has met every challenge with a unique combination of leadership, intelligence, teamwork, humor, and a heroic work ethic," said Nina Bohn, the president of Safe Berks' board of directors. "Beth is truly passionate about serving survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault."
Garrigan replaces Mary Kay Bernosky, who resigned from the top job in December to take a position with the York County Community Foundation.
Angel Helm will continue to serve as the interim CEO until Garrigan takes over the role.
"The board is extremely grateful to Angel Helm for her excellent leadership during this transition," Bohn said. "Despite the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 crisis, Safe Berks has continued to provide our free and lifesaving services 24 hours a day. Both Angel and Beth rose to the challenge to lead Safe Berks during this historic era."
Garrigan said her most immediate goal is to ensure that Safe Berks continues to fulfill the community's needs for its critical services during the pandemic.
"My long-term goals include: seeing that our community knows exactly who we are and what we do so there is never a question about who to call when you need support and safety;" Garrigan said, "seeing our prevention programming become part of every school's curriculum; having every Berks County police department participate in the Lethality Assessment Program; and seeing that every patient, at every local medical facility is screened for domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking, at every visit."
Prior to joining Safe Berks, Garrigan worked for 11 years at the Children's Home of Reading, last serving as its residential program manager. She also worked for more than a decade with the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.
Safe Berks' board has begun a search for a new chief operating officer.