HANCOCK COUNTY — Danielle Daugherty spent years building relationships and laying the groundwork for an organization dedicated to connecting residents with higher education.
She’s loved every minute of it, she said, but she’s ready to try new things and vacated the post last week.
Now, Leaders in Navigating Knowledge, or LINK, is looking for a new director; and members of the nonprofit’s board say they hope to find someone with Daugherty’s passion and enthusiasm to take on the job. In the meantime, the board is turning to teamwork to get the organization through the transition.
In 2013, Daugherty was hired as the first executive director of LINK, which provides support to individuals planning for education beyond high school by connecting them with educational resources like admissions information, financial aid and scholarships.
The organization’s leaders say they hope to hire someone by mid-February. In the interim, several representatives from the organization’s 22-member board of directors will step up to fill gaps, mentoring and providing guidance to clients.
“The transition should be very smooth,” board member Kathy Locke said. “Between all of us, we should have no problem keeping everything moving.”
Though Locke and other board members said Daugherty’s go-getter attitude and cheerful disposition will be missed, they’re confident her replacement will be able to pick up where she left off.
“Danielle did a great job establishing a solid framework for LINK,” said Christy Hilton, a board member of the organization and assistant superintendent for Greenfield-Central School Corp. “She’s done a fabulous job building connections in the community and has been a great face for the organization.”
Daugherty is leaving to take on a new position with the Hancock Regional Hospital Foundation, in which she will examine so-called “blue zones,” areas where residents’ life expectancy is significantly longer than in surrounding communities.
While she’s sad to leave the organization, Daugherty said, she takes comfort knowing it is headed in the right direction.
“I’ve loved this job and the people I serve,” she said. “The community has really embraced the idea of having somebody to mentor and guide people beyond high school, and I know things will carry on.”
Hilton said the board is seeking a replacement who has experience in education, like Daugherty — a former teacher. The job posting is listed on the organization’s website, educatehancockcounty.com.
“We’re very hopeful that we find someone who will be able to pick up from Danielle’s work and continue that great work,” Hilton said.
The LINK office, located in Greenfield at the Hancock County Community Foundation building, 312 E. Main St., is closed for the holidays but will reopen Jan. 4.
The organization’s upcoming federal student aid and scholarship event at Greenfield-Central High School, scheduled for Feb. 1, will continue as planned, Daugherty said.