2nd Chance welcomes new director

Rachael Scarborough King
Star Staff Writer
Published: June 14, 2006

2nd Chance, an Anniston organization dedicated to helping the victims of domestic violence, welcomed its new executive director Tuesday.

Susan Shipman, who previously served as the group’s financial officer, was named to the position last month. Staffers celebrated Tuesday with a reception at the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce.

Shipman said she thinks her experience with 2nd Chance and knowledge of its financial workings make her a good fit for the job.

“I own a business and running this organization from my end of it is about running it like a business because we have money that comes in and money that goes out,” she said. “We’ve got to properly manage our money.”

2nd Chance’s funding comes from a combination of local, state and federal sources, as well as private donations and fundraising drives such as the annual gift-wrapping at the Quintard Mall.

Colleagues described Shipman as a straightforward, caring, and financially savvy person.

“Susan had proven herself (as financial officer) – she’s a very astute business manager,” said Linda Thompson, treasurer of Second Chance’s board. “In a non-profit you have to have someone who really manages the money.”

“We felt like Susan was just the right person for the job to move us forward into the 21st Century,” said Kathrine Miller, vice president of the board.

Shipman’s background is not in social work but in business. Originally from Tuscaloosa, she studied accounting at the University of Alabama and now owns a business, Model City Models, in Jacksonville.

Shipman said she thinks her business background will help 2nd Chance to grow and provide more resources for domestic violence victims. Although she spends time in the organization’s 24-hour shelter, her job is mainly administrative.

“My goal is for us to better partner with the other social service agencies in the community and to bring in the businesses and civic organizations in the community,” she said. “We’re the people that are seeking resources to better our community.”

In addition to the 24-hour shelter, 2nd Chance provides a phone hotline and resources to help clients with self-sufficiency, such as education, employment and housing information. The organization serves Calhoun, Talladega, and Cleburne Counties.

Based on the number of clients at the emergency shelter the number of victims of domestic violence has been steady for the last few years, Shipman said. She added that she thinks the rate of domestic violence here is not higher than in other states, but that it is a serious issue. Peak times for violence usually come around the holidays and the end of summer.

“We will never bring an end to domestic violence, that will not happen,” Shipman said. “But we can at least make more women aware that there’s a way out and that we’re the start of that.

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