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Brighton Center Chief Announces Retirement


Brighton Center announced Monday that its president and chief executive officer is retiring.

Tammy Weidinger has been with the Newport-based nonprofit for 39 years, including the last ten as president and CEO.

“I started my career in social work here at Brighton Center back in 1981 and have enjoyed work that is meaningful and impactful,” Weidinger said in a news release. “Brighton Center has been such a significant part of my life and brought many joys and challenges along the way. I am so proud of the continuum of services we provide to the community and the strong, caring relationships we build with customers every day. It has truly been an honor to create programs, work with community partners, and see our customers fulfill their goals in life.

"There is no question this has been a difficult year with COVID-19 and we still have some hurdles to push past, but we have done it before and we will do it again; together. I love that about our work- we can be counted on to help the community in all situations and we do it with compassion and by providing hope.” 

Her retirement is set for January 31, 2021. Executive Vice President Wonda Winkler will replace Weidinger as president and CEO.

"I still feel like the 22 year old who walked into Brighton Center with big dreams and the energy to tackle the world! I can look back now and say with certainty, my career at Brighton Center has changed me for the better,” said Weidinger. “We have had a succession plan in place for many years and I feel that now is the appropriate time to pass the torch for the next phase of Brighton Center’s future."

Winkler will assume the role on February 1.

"The Board accepts Tammy’s decision to retire with understanding and deep appreciation for her years of leadership,” said Susan McDonald, chair of Bright Center's board of directors. “Tammy has led Brighton Center as president and CEO with integrity and grace over these last ten years and the organization is stronger, because of her leadership. Tammy’s commitment to create innovative programming that best meets the needs of customers and the community is at the foundation of everything she does. Tammy’s ability to build strong partnerships and her deep commitment to our families, have allowed her to take Brighton Center to where it is today. On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I would like to thank Tammy for her commitment to Brighton Center, where she has spent her career creating opportunities for individuals and families to reach self-sufficiency." 

McDonald noted that the vote to place Winkler as president and CEO was unanimous.

"Wonda and Tammy have worked in tandem well over two decades, ensuring a smooth transition," McDonald said. "Wonda is a person of integrity, deeply respected by Brighton Center staff, her peers, and a trusted member of this community. She is wholeheartedly committed to Brighton Center’s mission, core values, customers, stakeholders and the community at large, which makes her the ideal candidate to lead Brighton Center into this next chapter. On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I would like to congratulate and welcome Wonda to this new role as president ands CEO.”

"It's an honor to follow Tammy Weidinger as president and CEO, an amazing leader that I strongly respect and admire," Winkler said. "Brighton Center is an organization with a rich history of bringing impact and real solutions to our community. The Center is a tangible part of the fabric of our region and it is the staff, customers, friends, donors, and volunteers who have helped build this legacy.

"I am extremely passionate about this organization and our community, and look forward to leading team Brighton Center into the future with great hope and optimism."

-Staff report

Top photo: Tammy Weidinger

Bottom photo: Wonda Winkler

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