From the Desk of the CEO

The PADV Board of Directors meets every other month. As part of preparing for the board meeting, I submit a report of all my activities over the past two months. Each time, I find myself amazed at all that goes on at our agency, all the different folks I’ve interacted with, projects we’ve worked on, challenges we’ve faced and overcome. I also continue to be at a loss to understand how time goes by so quickly, and that another two months have already passed since the last board meeting!

I experienced these same emotions when Jeffrey Brown, PADV’s vice president of marketing, asked me to write a blog about what we’ve been doing so far in this year and what’s on the horizon. Seriously, 2019 is already half-way over? Certainly not possible! Yet, as I look through the pages of my calendar (yes, I’m still old school enough that I carry a paper one) I can’t deny this reality. Below I’ve highlighted our accomplishments from the first and second quarter of 2019.

Let me first start with the beginning of this year. January was busy as we prepared for our 5th Annual Women in Action breakfast on February 15. In addition, our Public Policy Task Force spent time researching Georgia HB 541, which would require anyone convicted of a domestic violence offense or under a temporary protective order to surrender their firearms to law enforcement. While this is currently federal law, there are not funds for enforcing it in Georgia. The PADV Board voted to support this law and this year for the first time the bill made it out of committee. Unfortunately, it didn’t make it to the Georgia House floor for a vote, but this is an effort we are placing on our calendar for next year.

On February 12, PADV and the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation came together to host a luncheon celebrating the 10th anniversary of our partnership in staffing the Safe Families Office (SFO) at the Fulton County courthouse. SFO provides a one-stop-shop for survivors of domestic violence seeking a temporary protective order and other legal recourse from the violence they’ve endured. Three days after the event on February 15, more than 100 Gwinnett professionals and community members gathered for a breakfast at the River Club to learn more about the inner workings of PADV. Later in February, the Executive Leadership team held a day-long retreat to make plans for the year ahead.

March got off to a great start with the Teen Summit on March 2. More than 300 youth and adults came together at Decatur High School to learn about healthy relationships, self-love, bystander intervention when witnessing an abusive situation and how to talk with family and friends about teen dating violence. March ended with a beautiful wine dinner hosted by the Intercontinental Hotel thanking supporters for their tremendous gifts to last year’s Hearts with Hope gala and to build the excitement for the May 18, 2019 event.

Would April be a month to slow down and smell the roses? Nope, not at PADV.  In partnership with the Gwinnett Medical Center Concussion Institute (GMC-CI), PADV launched a pilot project to screen all residents at both of our shelters for the possibility of having received a concussion from their abuse. Those identified as having risk factors were referred to GMC-CI for further evaluation and treatment. On April 8, PADV was honored at the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council‘s National Crime Victims Week as one of the leading victim service providers in the state. PADV also held an initial meeting with Viewpoint Behavioral Health Care to discuss a forum to address the intersections between domestic violence and mental health. I rounded out the month bonding with current and former board members as we hilariously participated in improvisation exercises at Dad’s Garage.  

The highlight of May at PADV is always our Hearts with Hope gala. This year was no exception, with more than 500 guests hearing stirring testimony from a survivor and her two daughters about how their lives were changed and saved by the comprehensive services provided by PADV. Generous donors and attendees facilitated PADV raising almost $750,000, funds that will be well used to continue and expand our critically needed services.

June found PADV busy preparing to convert to a new client data management system, implemented at all DV programs across the state. Wes Cribb, our data and outcomes manager, did extensive work both internally and with agencies across the state to prepare for this transition, including developing a user’s tool for the new system that is shared with all the Georgia shelters. But the dedication to PADV didn’t stop there! Two PADV staff members provided input to the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Injury Prevention Program strategic planning work and seven new board members were welcomed to the PADV board and attended a two-hour orientation to prepare them for the job ahead. Truly never a dull moment at PADV!! Tune into next month’s newsletter for what’s to come in the second half of 2019!!

We also had a lot of media coverage so far this year. See below for all of our mentions!