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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Jonnycake Center in Peace Dale gets a new director

Rachel Flum
EPI Executive Director Rachel Flum

The Economic Progress Institute (EPI) announced that Kate Brewster is stepping down as executive director.  Rachel Flum, the Institute’s long-time senior policy analyst, has been promoted as the new executive director.

The Economic Progress Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to improve economic security and opportunity for all Rhode Islanders, through research, advocacy and community partnerships. Brewster has  been the executive director for 11 years, taking over from her mentor, Nancy Gewirtz, a co-founder of the Institute.

Brewster’s new job will be executive director of the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale, a community-based organization that provides such basic needs as food and clothing for local residents while also engaging in individual and policy advocacy.

“It is with tremendous mixed emotions that I leave the Institute, an organization that has had a lasting and profound impact on the ability  of Rhode Islanders to make ends meet,” Brewster said in a statement. “I am excited to start a new chapter of helping to make sure that people in my local community don’t go to school or to bed hungry.”

Flum, recently chosen as  one of “40 under Forty” by Providence Business News, has been a senior policy analyst with the Institute for ten years and has also served as the project manager for the RI Health Coverage Project, a joint initiative of the Institute and RI Kids Count.

“We’re pleased that such a strong leader, with a wealth of knowledge about the issues facing Rhode Islanders, was available on the EPI staff,” said Alan Flam, secretary of the Institute’s board and head of the search committee.  “Over the past ten years, Rachel has shown the commitment, talent and vision to lead this organization into the future.”

“We are so grateful for the leadership that Kate has provided for this organization and the people whose lives we work to make better,” said Flam. “The residents of South County are fortunate she will now be working directly on their behalf.” [From a press release]

Steve Ahlquist is an award-winning journalist, writer, artist and founding member of the Humanists of Rhode Island, a non-profit group dedicated to reason, compassion, optimism, courage and action. The views expressed are his own and not necessarily those of any organization of which he is a member. and on Twitter: @SteveAhlquist