Leadership changes coming to Union Mission in Savannah

Leadership changes coming to Union Mission in Savannah

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Changes are coming to Union Mission in Savannah.

While the non-profit has adapted to continue serving the homeless community through the pandemic, they are looking to have a new leader in just a week.

Patricia Youngquist has been Union Mission’s Executive Director for five years but is ready to retire.

“I had this day probably in my mind for 18 months, so I can’t say the pandemic prompted it, I can’t say it stopped it either and again getting the right person to follow me has really given me confirmation it’s the right time,” Youngquist said.

Starting next week, Michael Traynor will take over the role for the organization. He has been a board member with Union Mission for the past nine years, even serving as chairman for two years so he knows the ropes.

For Youngquist, that’s what makes him right for the job. COVID-19 has changed not only the way they are able to serve the community but what needs there are. They have seen a slight uptick in those reaching out for help and expect that to grow.

While they have come a long way with Youngquist’s leadership, she says Traynor will lead them well into the next chapter.

“Five years ago, we were really ourselves in a time of a little bit of instability and uncertainty. We really had to take a close examination of our priorities and we did a SWAT analysis to figure out how we needed to move forward and during those five years we have become financially stable and really ready to go to the next level. So, that’s why I am so excited about Mike because I do think that he’s the person that can be that visionary leader to move forward in these uncertain times,” Youngquist said.

Though Youngquist’s time as leader is coming to an end, she says she’s not done with Union Mission yet. She’ll continue and help train Traynor as President and CEO and says there’s some projects she wants to work on.

Traynor’s first day as CEO will be Monday, Feb. 15.

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