Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees Names Shelly Callahan Executive Director
August 15th 2012 · 1 Comment
UTICA, NY – The Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees (MVRCR) Board President Robert W. Dicks, Jr. announced that Shelly Callahan has been unanimously selected by the MVRCR Board as their new Executive Director. MVRCR Executive Director Search Committee Chair Stephen L. Lockwood said, “It was wonderful to discover that after a worldwide search that the most qualified person for the position was right here in the Mohawk Valley and serving as Interim Executive Director.”
Shelly Callahan has been with MVRCR for over 6 years and has served as Employment Manager, Multi-Cultural Services Director, and Senior Director of Programs and Services prior to her appointment as Interim Executive Director on April 1, 2012, when previous Executive Director Peter Vogelaar accepted a position in Turkey. Ms. Callahan has a BA from SUNY Buffalo, and worked previously in Washington, DC as a legal editor for the United States Supreme Court.
New MVRCR Executive Director Shelly Callahan commented, “It is a great honor to have been selected and to have the opportunity to continue to serve and help lead one of the most highly regarded refugee centers in America and the world. I thank the search committee, board, staff, volunteers, donors, partners, and community leaders for their work, support, and vote of confidence in my leadership. I am anxious to continue to forward our vital work to promote the well-being of culturally diverse individuals and families in the region by welcoming new neighbors, refugees and immigrants, with effective programs designed to create opportunity and facilitate understanding.”
For over 200 years, Utica New York, a city of 60,000 has attracted immigrants and refugees. The immigrants include Italian, Irish, German, Polish, and Arab populations. In the past 30 years, Utica has been host to more than 14,000 refugees. This phenomenon has been the subject of numerous national and international news articles, and has provided Oneida County with one of the highest concentration of refugees in the United States and the City of Utica with a refugee population of nearly 15%.
Since the Center was established in 1979, it has resettled refugees from more than 31 countries including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Burma, Cambodia, Iran, Iraq, Hungary, Laos, Poland, the former Soviet Union and, Vietnam. The center is a nationally recognized authority on refugees and one of the largest affiliates of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.
The Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees is located at 309 Genesee Street, Utica, NY.
The center works to reinforce the theme “many cultures, one community” which has long been the slogan of the MVRCR.