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Brighton Center Announces New Leadership Structure Ahead of CEO Change

Brighton Center announced Wednesday a new leadership structure in anticipation of Wonda Winkler taking over as president and chief executive officer at the Newport-based agency.

She assumes her new role on February 1.

"I consider the opportunity to lead Brighton Center, and Brighton Properties our wholly owned subsidiary, as president & CEO a true gift and want to make sure we can hit the ground running," Winkler said in a news release. "There are such complex and critical issues our community is facing including poverty and the lack of decent, affordable, and accessible housing…and the financial devastation many families are facing due to COVID makes it even more important to keep moving forward and not lose the momentum of our work.”

Melissa Hall Sommer and Talia Frye have been promoted to vice president, effective Feb. 1. Sommer has worked for Brighton Center for more than twenty-five years and currently serves as senior director of family economic success. Frye has worked at Brighton for seventeen years and currently serves as workforce development director.

“I am inspired everyday by those we serve. Brighton Center exists to offer hope through the provision of critical supports and connections, resulting in a bridge to “what is possible”. To be a part of this incredible organization is an honor, and I remain committed to, and energized by, the future innovations and opportunities to be realized,” said Sommer. 

“The voices of our families drives the work at Brighton Center; we have a long history of listening and supporting their hopes and dreams," Frye said. "Before the pandemic, and now more than ever, those we serve have shared with us the need for good jobs that pay a livable wage/benefits and opportunity for career advancement that lead to self-sufficiency. I cherish the opportunity to work in partnership with our families, staff, volunteers, stakeholders, and donors to create meaningful solutions that help our families thrive.” 

“Melissa and Talia are both deeply knowledgeable of the critical supports that families need to become financially stable and independent and possess a strong commitment to our mission, vision, and values,” said Winkler.

June Miller, who has been with Brighton Center for thirty-seven years, will continue to oversee finances, human resources, and information technology as chief financial and administrative officer.

“June has dedicated close to four decades to the Center, and she has lead this organization with integrity and ethics always at the forefront,” said Winkler.  

“I can’t be more proud of the work we do to impact the lives of our families and this region. I look forward to leading Brighton Center into the future with great hope and optimism, and with this team by my side," said Winkler.

-Staff report  

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