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Literacy Advance turns a page; names insider Melanie Fisk new Executive Director

HOUSTON, November 1, 2011 - In July 2011, Literacy Advance said a heartfelt goodbye to retiring Executive Director Jane Holston. One month later, the nonprofit organization's Board of Directors' executive search committee welcomed insider Melanie Fisk as Holston's successor. Holston spent eight years leading the organization from a small grassroots agency to a successful nonprofit organization. Fortunately, Literacy Advance did not have to look far to find new Executive Director, Melanie Fisk.

Melanie FiskMelanie Fisk first worked for Literacy Advance in 2006 while pursuing her Master's degrees in Social Work (MSW) and Business (MBA) at University of Houston. Three years later, Holston lured her back with the newly created position of Deputy Director in keeping with the organization's succession plan. As Deputy Director Fisk had oversight of the agency's daily operations and built financial practices to ensure efficiency and maximum impact. Fisk has been instrumental in building the agency's infrastructure and stability, allowing for strategic capacity building and long-term fiscal sustainability.

Under Fisk's direction, the board and staff will carry out the three-year strategic plan developed in early 2011: manage growth and sustainability to transform lives and communities through the doorway of literacy. Based on a four-pillar approach, a focused, sustainable business model, strong agency infrastructure, collaborative outreach and high-quality programming, the strategic plan is an aggressive endeavor to strengthen the foundation of the organization.

"Under the eight-year leadership of Jane Holston, Literacy Advance has built a solid foundation for service delivery and community impact. I am eager and excited to lead the organization forward as we focus on the depth of impact that Literacy Advance can bring to individual lives and the community," stated Fisk.

In support of the organization's strategic plans, Fisk recently announced Patricia Pat McCrackenMcCracken as the new Development Director, a position made necessary as Fisk vacated her Deputy Director role. McCracken has been a volunteer tutor at Literacy Advance for nearly three years, assisting on various special projects and stewardship needs. She holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and brings a wealth of experience in marketing and management from her experiences in the for-profit high tech world.

About Literacy Advance of Houston

In Houston, approximately 20% of the adult population struggles with challenges associated with low and limited literacy, which has a dramatic affect on their quality of life. Factors such as high school drop-out rates, crime and incarceration, unemployment, homelessness and job stagnation are influenced by the literacy level of the individual. Even dealing with everyday activities like reading to their children, completing a job application, and getting a driver's license can be difficult tasks.

For more than 47 years, Literacy Advance of Houston, whose mission is to transform lives and communities through the doorway of literacy, has provided hope and support for these individuals through our free Adult Basic Education and English as a Second Language literacy programs and services in the Greater Houston area. With 100% of our classes delivered by trained-volunteer tutors, we meet learners at their literacy level and create opportunities to help them attain their personal learning goals. You too can be a part of the solution by becoming a volunteer or donor. Explore this website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get involved.


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