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Resolution Center director Linya Bell to retire March 1

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Linya H. Bell has seen the Resolution Center of Jefferson and Lewis Counties through many changes, but now is the time for a change in leadership, she said.

The agency’s executive director recently announced her retirement, effective March 1.

“It’s been truly a joy to be with this agency, and work of all programs is a true gift to the community,” Ms. Bell said. “It’s time to move on. It’s time for someone with more energy. The organization needs to have good energy moving forward.”

According to a news release by the agency, 200 Washington St., Ms. Bell began working for the agency in June 1993 when it was known as the Jefferson-Lewis Mediation Center. She was the Court Appointed Special Advocate program director until she became executive director in 2002. Throughout the past decade, she has overseen the agency’s mediation, CASA and Youth Court programs.

It was under her leadership in 2006 that the agency expanded its CASA program into Lewis County.

Ms. Bell said the past several years have been challenging with budget and staffing cuts, and she’d be saddened if the Resolution Center had to lose any program. The agency has been her home away from home, she said.

“The Resolution Center is one of the many quiet, good things in Jefferson and Lewis counties,” she said. “I look forward to seeing it grow, and I’m proud to have been a part of it.”

In 2012, the agency’s mediation program completed 166 cases, and resolution was provided to assist 830 people by 21 volunteer mediators and Resolution Center staff. The CASA program served 30 abused and neglected children in 14 families, with the help of 14 volunteers.

Throughout last year, 42 youths ages 12 to 16 were referred to Youth Court, where 47 teenage court volunteers from 11 local schools sentenced their peers to local community service and law-related education classes.

Because the agency relies heavily on both youth and adult volunteers, Ms. Bell said, she’s held it close to her heart since she has a passion for volunteerism. She said her retirement plans include continuing her own volunteerism in the community because she feels “strongly about the power of volunteers.”

Ms. Bell said the agency board of directors has formed a search committee for its next executive director, and an advertisement is expected to appear soon in local media.

For more information about the agency, visit its website, www.resolution-center.net.

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