As we celebrate Restore’s 10th anniversary, we are humbled by how far we’ve come. In the decade since our first year when we helped 28 women, Restore has given thousands of women new hope. We now serve one in every ten immigrant women who are trafficked in the US and seeking help. We operate the only safehome in the country focused on immigrant survivors of sex trafficking. Graduates of our Economic Empowerment program earn $27,000/year, a 286% increase from when they started. Our team has grown from two to thirty-three. We are the only anti-trafficking organization in the country to receive two specialized-services grants from the Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime for housing and economic empowerment. And we have established ourselves as a leader in the field, training hundreds of organizations, from hospitals to law enforcement to for-profit and nonprofit organizations.
None of these things would have been possible without the leadership of our incomparable Executive Director, Jimmy Lee. Jimmy was Restore’s first Board Chair and played an instrumental role in launching the organization a decade ago. Since taking over the role of Executive Director from Faith Huckel Motter in 2012, Jimmy has built Restore into the organization it is today. As Restore’s current Board Chair, I often say that Jimmy is the most qualified executive director of a small nonprofit in the world, and I don’t think this is far from the truth. It has been a tremendous privilege to work alongside him for the past eight years.
Last year, Jimmy shared with the Board that he sensed his time with Restore was wrapping up because he had accomplished what he set out to achieve when he rejoined the organization. He is ready to embark on a new challenge, still to be defined. Jimmy assured us, however, that he wouldn’t leave until a new leader was identified and fully onboarded.
So it is with tremendous joy that I share with you the good news: our Chief Program Officer, Amanda Eckhardt, will be Restore’s next Executive Director. Amanda is the ideal choice to lead Restore into the next decade. Amanda joined Restore as Aftercare Coordinator and Research Specialist in 2014, after teaching at Lehigh University, and made an instant impact. With an uncompromising focus on continuous improvement and survivor-centered care, she has transformed Restore into the model of compassionate, outcomes-driven programming we are known for today. Amanda has established herself as one of the leading experts and pioneers on anti-sex-trafficking work in the country, and she has the unanimous support of the Board to lead Restore as it writes its next chapter.
Amanda will officially begin her new role on October 1st, 2019. Jimmy plans to stay involved as a senior advisor for the subsequent six months. Jimmy, Amanda, and the team are working on an onboarding plan to ensure a seamless transition.
While there are still many details to be worked out, we wanted to share this exciting news with you as soon as we could.
If you have any questions we would be happy to follow up with you individually. On behalf of the entire Board, we thank you for your continued support.
Chair, Board of Directors