YWCA of Asheville names Diana Sierra as interim CEO

Press release from the YWCA of Asheville and WNC:

YWCA of Asheville and WNC is excited to announce the appointment of Diana Sierra as interim CEO. “After 2 months of community listening, extensive conversations, and several interviews with the YWCA leadership team and Board of Directors, our joint decision to select Diana [Sierra] as our Interim CEO was an obvious one,” says Jesica Hooper, Chair of the Board of Directors. 
For Sierra, the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women aligns directly with her life’s work and passion as a social worker, as a Latina, and as the first generation in her family to be born in the US. “I find strength when I think of my grandmother and the sacrifices she made for her family,” says Sierra, “having seen my own family and childhood community struggle to overcome hardships, I know how valuable opportunities are, especially for women and women of color. The YWCA and the powerhouse team there inspire me to continue the work that creates opportunities for our community.” 
Sierra has most recently served as the head of Buncombe County’s Family Justice Center (FJC) and has almost six years of experience working within Buncombe County government including Child Protective Services. While leading the FJC, a multi-disciplinary service center, Sierra oversaw community partnerships, including the longtime partnership with the YWCA. Through this role and her continued support as a donor, Sierra has never truly left the YWCA. Before her work with the County, Sierra was  YWCA’s Director of Women’s Empowerment and as recently as 2018 was the facilitator for the YWCA’s Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-by World women’s empowerment program. Hooper states that “Diana’s [more than 15 years of] experience in Social Work, leadership and community building give us the confidence that she will successfully transition our organization as both an insider and with a fresh perspective, a unique combination that we are grateful to have found. We look forward to her rejoining the team.” 

Sierra has a Bachelor’s in Social Work from James Madison University, a Master’s in Social Work from Hunter College, and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. 

The YWCA Board of Directors is currently finalizing a plan for a comprehensive CEO search in early 2021 which will include staff and community participation.

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