Phyllis Bennett, Executive Director of the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency, has lost this position she held for 38 years.
The UCHRA Board of Directors, acting through its Policy Council Executive Committee, voted on Friday to name Ruth Ann Woolbright as the new Executive Director. Her initial term of service runs through June 30, 2012. Woolbright became Temporary Executive Director on August 9 due to Bennett being on medical leave.
The UCHRA, in a prepared news release, states that "UCHRA is under the same acute financial pressures experienced by our county and municipal governments, those in private industry and individual citizens. Our funding from state and other sources is down over 25% due to federal and state budgetary contractions.
Our financial situation requires a strong leader with a clear mandate from the Board in order to make the difficult decisions required to maintain UCHRA's financial solvency and to maintain the maximum possible services to our 14 county service area.
To empower Ms. Woolbright to make these difficult decisions and changes, the Board felt it necessary to give her the job security and authority of a regular appointment to the position of Executive Director.
As a result of the decision to change Ms. Woolbright's status to UCHRA Executive Director, we have necessarily and regretfully ended Ms. Bennett's service in that position.
The UCHRA Board and the community at large appreciates and honors Phyllis Bennett's 38 year tenure as UCHRA Executive Director. However, funding and other considerations require that there can only be one Executive Director.
We appreciate Ms. Woolbright's willingness to serve as Executive Director during this difficult period and anticipate she will continue the good work and public service ethic the Agency had demonstrated under Ms. Bennett's leadership".