GASA Names New Executive Director

GASA’s board of directors is pleased to announce that it has appointed Jessica Brandon as the agency’s new Executive Director.

Brandon has served in the position of Executive Director in nonprofit organizations for more than 10 years. She joins GASA from the Violence Prevention Center of Southwestern Illinois (VPC) in Belleville, IL where she served as Executive Director since February 2009. Previously Brandon served as Executive Director of the Prudence Crandall Center in New Britain, Connecticut from 2001 to 2009. “We are very pleased to have Jessica assume the leadership role at the agency. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position, and a passion for serving the community,” said GASA Board President Tom O’Connell.

With VPC, Brandon reestablished partnerships with the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office, St. Clair County Probation Office, St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department to revitalize Project Renee, a multidisciplinary joint-agency program designed to provide coordinated support to victims of domestic violence. VPC Board President Ron Padgett expressed his gratitude for Brandon’s work, saying “She has successfully led the Violence Prevention Center for the last 2-1/2 years, during a period of economic uncertainty and unprecedented State and Federal budget cuts. Despite these challenges, and through her strong leadership, the agency implemented no cuts in services or program during this period and has continued throughout to provide the same compassionate, high-quality support to the community.” With Prudence Crandall Center, Brandon established a model transitional and permanent supportive housing program.

Brandon earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Women’s Studies, and Masters of Science in Community Counseling from Minnesota State University. She has been a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) since 2003. Additionally, she is certified as a Domestic Violence Professional (ICDVP) in Illinois, and a Sexual Assault Crisis Counselor and Battered Women’s Counselor in Connecticut. She has served on a number of nonprofit Boards, including Catholic Family Services of Hartford Connecticut and the National Organization for Women. She is currently enrolled as an MBA candidate at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Please join us in welcoming Jessica to Guardian Angel and beginning a new chapter in the agency’s history!