PHOTO COURTESY THE NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER OF WEST VOLUSIA Savannah-Jane Griffin

The Neighborhood Center of West Volusia, the leading non-profit organization in West Volusia serving the homeless, announced today that Savannah-Jane Griffin has been appointed new Chief Executive Officer of the Neighborhood Center. An experienced community leader, Savannah-Jane Griffin will succeed Susan Clark and assume responsibilities on February 14, 2022. Outgoing CEO, Susan Clark, resigned from her position on December 9th, 2022.

Griffin has worked at Stetson University for 15 years as the Executive Director of Community Engagement and Inclusive Excellence where she led and managed the campuses efforts in community engagement, diversity and inclusion, and religious and spiritual life. She has been nationally recognized for her work in community engagement and was named a Bonner Foundation National Fellow. She helped secure a two-million-dollar endowment from the Bonner Foundation for the Bonner Scholars Program, established the AmeriCorps VISTA Program, played an integral role in the launch of the Peace Corps Prep Program, and has stewarded multiple grants with a focus on community-based projects.

Getting to know Mrs. Griffin throughout the interview process has been energizing to say the least. Her career in community engagement, not just at Stetson but within the DeLand community as well as nationwide non-profit organizations, make her a perfect fit to succeed Mrs. Clark’s impressive tenure,” said Will Hollis, President of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Search Committee for CEO. “The Neighborhood Center has been feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, and preventing homelessness for over fifty years in this community. I am confident in Mrs. Griffin’s ability to position the organization to continue growing with and serving our community for the next fifty years.”

Griffin holds a BA in Business Administration and MBA from Stetson University. She has served as a consultant with many non-profit organizations facilitating strategic planning and strengths-based leadership seminars. She is also an active leader in the community and serves as the Treasurer of the MainStreet DeLand Association Board, Board member of the Advent Health DeLand Foundation, and Board member of the Greater Union Life Center.

The Neighborhood Center also announced that after serving as Interim CEO for the past two months, Waylan Niece will be serving the agency as the Chief Operating Officer. Waylan has been at the agency for 11 years and served as Director of Operations for 6 years. Waylan currently serves as the President of the Mainstreet DeLand Association, the West Volusia Branch NAACP, DeLand Rotary Club and various other boards in the community including the Affordable Housing Advisory Board for the County of Volusia.

“Waylan’s service to the agency over the past 11 years, as well as his exemplary leadership over the last two months as interim CEO, are testament to his commitment to the agency’s mission” said Solomon Greene, Vice President of the Board of Directors. “Throughout the CEO search process, it was readily apparent to all of us that there is no one who understands the agency’s operations better than Waylan. His deep knowledge of all aspects of operations made him a natural choice for Chief Operating Officer, and we are excited to see how Waylan and Savannah’s collaboration will shape the agency to best meet the needs of the community we serve.”

The Neighborhood Center of West Volusia’s mission is to provide food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless and prevent homelessness. Meet the new Neighborhood Center leadership at their Fourth Annual Empty Bowls of West Volusia event taking place on Thursday, February 24th starting at 5 p.m. at DeLand High School Cafeteria, you can purchase tickets and get more information on the event at NHCWV.org.

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