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YWCA NH welcomes new leadership

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MANCHESTER, NH  – YWCA New Hampshire’s board of directors has appointed two new leaders for the organization.

Dr. Adriane Leché has been named interim CEO of the YW. She steps in to lead the organization after the departure of long-time CEO Jessica Cantin, who recently accepted an opportunity to head Food For Free, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization working to reduce food insecurity in the Boston area.

Dr. Leché is familiar with the mission of the YW having served as chair of the YWCA board. She recently stepped down as Vice President of Academic Affairs at Manchester Community College (MCC) where she oversaw all academic programs, various campus departments and offices.

In her work as an administrator in higher education she was instrumental in enhancing general education assessments/outcomes, preparing strategic planning initiatives, leading institutional accreditation, and overseeing budgets and grants.  A focus of her work included opportunities for new academic programs, and championing diversity, equity, inclusion and justice initiatives and activities.

“I’m honored that the YWCA board had the confidence in me to serve as Interim CEO,” Dr. Leché noted. “The work that we do is near and dear to my heart.”

“I recently had the opportunity to participate in Leadership Greater Manchester and it gave me a wider understanding of the needs of our community and the important role the YWCA can and does play in meeting those needs,” she added.

Keisha Sheedy, M.Ed. has been appointed director of programs and strategy with the YW. As a member of the senior leadership team, Keisha will lead the development, implementation, evaluation, and enhancement of programs, partnerships, and infrastructure systems that move the organization’s mission forward.

Previously, Sheedy worked in higher education for 18 years in diverse roles. As a former YWCA board member, she knows the YW and its mission well, having served as YW board secretary and governance committee chair.

Keisha is an avid supporter of the arts and has been involved with equity and healing-centered grant-funded arts and humanities projects. She is a current board member of Kimball Jenkins School of Art, formerly serving as programming committee chair. As chair, Keisha built the foundation for the school’s thriving Artist-in-Residence program. She has also supported Capitol Center for the Arts as a member of its Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Advisory Group.

Outside of her role with YWCA, Keisha is an entrepreneur, working with cultural arts organizations on mission, strategy, special projects and operational goals. She also has the honor of being the 1,000th alumni of Leadership New Hampshire, class of 2021.

“I hold the YW and its mission in high regard,” she said, “and I’m excited to be working with such a strong community-focused organization.”

The YW is the longest-serving women’s organization in the state. Its mission is to empower women and to eliminate racism.




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