Partnership for Community Resources Executive Director Cheryl Bricker is retiring | RecordCourier.com

Partnership for Community Resources Executive Director Cheryl Bricker is retiring

by Amy Alonzo
The Record-Courier

Partnership for Community Resources Executive Director Cheryl Bricker is retiring.

Cheryl Bricker, a pillar of Douglas County nonprofit organizations and executive director of the Partnership of Community Resources, is retiring.

Bricker, 68, has served as director of the nonprofit Partnership since 1999. The Partnership opened in 1992 and gained nonprofit status in 1993.

Her last official day is Sept. 30.

"People don't walk in our door to receive services. We're a coalition that provides infrastructure and funding to other nonprofits to actually do projects," she said. "Our goal is to disseminate information to the whole population … and then we sub-grant money to organizations to targeted populations. We try to reach multiple segments of the population in broad-brush strokes and targeted ways.

"It's so important that we all work together. That's what I love about the Partnership — it's such a collaboration. That's what's kept me here. If it was just writing grants and collecting data, it just wouldn't."

Bricker and her husband, Cliff, moved to the area in 1987, and in 1992 she started working in the Douglas High School counseling office. In 1999 the grant funding for her position ended, but not long after she received a call from the Partnership of Community Resources — the organization was in need of a new executive director.

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Bricker was hired as a temporary director, and, "I've been here ever since," she said.

Several initiatives started during her tenure stand out in her mind as important to the community's wellbeing, including Students Taking on Prevention (STOP) and Ring in Kindness. STOP focuses on educating students about drugs and empowering them to educate their peers and Ring in Kindness is a community project focused on making and hanging bell-themed art pieces throughout the county meant to encourage and support those who are struggling.

A two-time cancer survivor, "I have an empathy for folks who struggle," she said. "That's why I have such a heart for Ring in Kindness. We need to take care of each other."

The Partnership's board of directors is not yet naming Bricker's replacement, but one has been hired, she said. Her replacement is set to begin with the organization in mid-to-late July.

"The board worked very hard to find a replacement who will provide longevity," she said. "It's a great opportunity for the Partnership and the new person."

The Partnership has three full-time employees, three part-time employees and an operating budget of just under $500,000.

"I was always really impressed with how well she facilitated a meeting of the minds with really diverse groups and individuals," Kathleen Miller, executive director of Austin's House, said of Bricker. "Her job involved pulling groups together to improve the community And Cheryl just had a knack for that."

As to her retirement, Bricker said she looks forward to spending time with her first grandchild, due in December, as well as gardening at her Minden home.

"I'm going to dig in the dirt," she said. "I'm jut going to let things happen as they happen."

She's also looking forward to "not checking my email every morning," she said with a laugh. "I don't need to have 300 emails."