One of Central Florida’s most outspoken advocates for domestic violence victims has been removed from her position with Harbor House of Central Florida, the organization’s board has announced.
Carol Wick had been chief executive officer of the nonprofit organization since 2006, overseeing Harbor House’s $1.7 million budget.
Harbor House of Central Florida provides a 24-hour abuse hotline, domestic violence shelter, and other outreach services for victims and their children. In September, Wick and other representatives of Harbor House broke ground on a new 199-bed emergency housing facility expected to open as early as this fall.
“Earlier today, the Harbor House Board of Directors approved a leadership change and Carol Wick is no longer the CEO,” chairman of the Board Audra Hollifield wrote in a prepared statement. “Her legacy will live long at Harbor House due to her commitment to the mission, fundraising efforts and the recent ground breaking for the Morgan & Morgan Home: a safe haven for families.”
A representative of Harbor House’s board declined to explain to News 6 why Wick was terminated.
"The Board is focused on the mission of Harbor House and raising awareness to end domestic violence and saving lives. We appreciate all Carol did for the organization and wish her well in her future endeavors," Hollifield wrote. “ An interim CEO will be announced in the coming days and the Board of Directors will immediately commence a nationwide search for the new CEO.”
Under Wick’s leadership, Harbor House of Central Florida increased its domestic violence shelter capacity by 111 percent and made more than $5 million in capital improvements, according to a recent filing.
Wick released a statement to News 6, reading:
"After 10 years as Chief Executive Officer of Harbor House, I have nothing but the highest regard for the staff, the clients, and the crucial mission of that astounding, life-saving organization.
For me, this work has been so much more than just a job; it has been a calling. I am passionate about the work we’ve done, and have been tremendously honored to guide an organization whose sole purpose is to help the innocent survivors of domestic violence.
Over the past decade, careful attention to detail has resulted in unprecedented growth in volunteer and funding support, and an innovative approach to the challenges inherent in domestic violence have enable us to have a profound impact on our immediate community and beyond.
While it was not my decision to leave, I am particularly proud of where the organization stands.
I want to express my unyielding gratitude to the countless individuals and organizations in the community who have given my professional life its purpose and its joy.
Know that I am excited about the projects that I am working on and continuing to work for survivors.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding."