Story last updated at 1:42 p.m. Thursday, November 14, 2002

SPWS welcomes new director
by Carey James
Staff Writer

photo: news

Paula Pinder  
After several years of juggling 17 programs with Chugachmiut Inc., Paula Pinder is looking forward to working with a single agency.

That's not saying that she's going to be anything but busy in the coming weeks as she settles into her new role as director of South Peninsula Women's Services, but Pinder said she is looking forward to the challenge.

First on her plate with Women's Services is opening the organization's recently expanded shelter. The 10-bed shelter is complete, but has yet to open because of a few loose ends that need to be tied up, such as figuring out how to operate the building's security system, and working with newly hired staff.

"We are just making sure we don't prematurely open," said Pinder. "We have to make sure our clients are safe."

Pinder, who has spent 14 years working in the nonprofit sector as well as 12 years working in the court system, said another goal of hers in the coming months is fostering more community outreach and awareness about the facility and the programs it offers.

"With domestic violence and family issues, people want to look the other way and say it isn't here," she said. "I will be working to enhance the relationship between the organization and the community so we can duly protect the victims."

Pinder said another concern of hers is fund-raising and creating sustainable programs at South Peninsula Women's Services.

While she is still ping-ponging between Anchorage and Homer this week, she said she plans to be in Homer permanently with her husband and two children, ages 7 and 22, in the coming weeks. Pinder said she is familiar with the area, as she has been vacationing in Homer since childhood, and more recently worked with the Native villages of Kachemak Bay through Chugachmiut.

"There's nothing like the small-town environment for raising a family," she said. "When the opportunity presented itself, I had to apply." Pinder replaces Laurentia Chamblee, who in August announced her intent to resign after six and a half years with the organization.

Carey James can be reached at cjames@homer