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Brandi Bartel says she is resigning to spend time with family, noting she's leaving the organization on firm footing.
SBJ File
Brandi Bartel says she is resigning to spend time with family, noting she's leaving the organization on firm footing.

Director of The Victim Center steps down

Posted online

Brandi Bartel is stepping down as executive director of The Victim Center Inc. after serving the organization for 19 years.

A news release announcing her departure said that during Bartel’s tenure, the organization experienced tremendous growth and delivered vital services to victims of crime and abuse in the community.

Reached this morning, Bartel said she’s resigning to spend more time with family. She said her goal is to make the transition as seamless as possible and plans to stay on in a full-time position until her replacement is named.

The Victim Center Board of Directors has already started searching for a replacement for Bartel, who said she would like them to find someone to take her place by Oct. 31. She said she is willing to help with the transition process, depending on what the new director wants.

“I certainly want to make myself available to them to help with onboarding, assisting with the sharing of information and doing some warm introductions to our partners, volunteers and others who are instrumental to our vision,” she said. “Overall, I want to be as supportive as I possibly can without stepping on any toes.”

Bartel said it is a good time for a transition for both her and the organization. She said she would like to spend more time with her 5-year-old son, and the organization is on firm footing.

“I really need to spend just a little more time focusing on my family, so it’s the right time for me personally,” she said. “Also, the organization’s in a really good position right now. We have a great leadership team on staff, a great board of directors and a fairly new building.”

She noted The Victim Center bought and renovated a new headquarters, located at 815 W. Tampa St., in 2021. 

Bartel started with The Victim Center in 2004 after graduating from Truman State University with a bachelor’s degree in communication. She began in an income development and communications role that included some grant writing and fundraising.

“It was very apparent to me very early on at The Victim Center that the work we were doing every day was having such a profound and valuable impact on those who were in their darkest hour,” she said. “Even though at that time I wasn’t providing direct services, I felt very confident and proud of being able to assure clients that reached out to us that there is hope and there is help.”

Bartel said it was rewarding to see people move from a moment when they were experiencing trauma to one where they were able to move on in their life.

“To be able to see them reengage in school or work or whatever it is they were aspiring for in terms of personal goals was profound for me to witness firsthand,” she said.

The news release included a statement from The Victim Center board, which said, "We are grateful for Brandi’s leadership, dedication, and commitment to our mission. Brandi has been instrumental in expanding our services, building strong partnerships, and advocating for victims. We wish Brandi all the best in her future endeavors."

The Victim Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides free-of-charge support and services to adult and children victims of violent or sexual crimes. The organization offers mental health counseling, advocacy, prevention education programs and 24-hour crisis intervention.

This year, the organization is on track to serve 2,800 victims and provide prevention education programs to over 8,000 participants through an operating budget of $1.4 million and total assets of $2.4 million, according to nonprofit officials. The news release noted that the organization is debt-free.

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