Autumn Weil, Executive Director of Blue Ridge Literacy Council for the past five years, has been named Executive Director at International House in Charlotte, a much larger organization with a similar mission.
Her last day at the Literacy Council in Hendersonville is May 29.
“We are excited for Autumn as she moves forward in her career,” said Board President Keith Johnson, “but we’re feeling the loss for our organization. Autumn has developed strong leadership skills and helped us grow significantly during her time here. She was very committed to our mission. We will miss her.”
Weil also serves as the president of the Western North Carolina chapter of the Association of Professional Fundraisers and is the funded agencies’ representative on the United Way Board.
For most of its 30 years the Blue Ridge Literacy Council served adults in Henderson County with programs including English as a second language, basic literacy for native speakers with educational deficits and citizenship classes.
During Weil’s tenure the Literacy Council expanded its mission and built collaborations with other organizations. The Board adopted a new mission statement that supports a broader view of literacy than language acquisition: “We transform lives by cultivating literacy skills that promote economic and social success.”
“A stronger community because literacy is highly valued” expresses a new vision.
A family literacy program designed to help Latino preschoolers be kindergarten ready was established and is positioned for growth through a partnership with Henderson County Public Schools. Senior literacy programs featuring Medicare workshops and digital literacy classes were launched in partnership with Council on Aging and Henderson County Public Library. An afterschool program to help at risk youth referred by the court is a partnership with the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council.
Last year the Blue Ridge Literacy Council’s service area was extended to Transylvania County, which lacked a literacy program.
Jan Lanier, currently Program Manager, was appointed Interim Executive Director for 90 days beginning June 1.
“Jan has worked closely with Autumn for four years and was instrumental in organizing the family literacy program, which she supervises,” said Johnson. “She has a strong professional background in literacy programming. We are grateful to her for accepting additional responsibilities.”
A search committee is accepting applications for the Executive Director position until June 5. The job description and details are available here.