Red Cross worker to direct N.M. shelter

Gary Mitchell

A former American Red Cross worker whose travels have taken her to war-torn regions around the world, has been named the new executive director for eastern New Mexico’s Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence.
Catharine Johnson, currently the executive director of the Clovis Downtown Revitalization Committee, was offered the $40,000 position on Thursday by the shelter’s board of directors.
“I felt very honored,” Johnson said. “It’s a very important position in the community because it addresses the needs of those going through the most severe situations of their lives.”
Johnson said she will resign her position with the downtown organization.
Jan Bradburn, incoming board president for The Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence, said the board was pleased to find someone of Johnson’s expertise.
“We’re excited (about) our new executive director,” she said. “We’re thrilled that she has agreed to come to the shelter. She has 15 years of experience in the American Red Cross in dealing with disaster and crisis situations. She has incredible experience in helping others. We couldn’t find a better fit for the shelter than Catharine.”
The shelter serves Curry, Roosevelt and Quay counties.
Johnson had served as a Red Cross station manager in various locations around the globe.
“The majority of my work was basically helping the emergency needs of military members and their families,” she said. “It has sent me to some areas of armed conflict, such as Somalia, Bosnia, Saudi Arabia during the first Persian Gulf War, and the demilitarized zone in Korea for four years. I also assisted victims of the Oklahoma City bombing three months after the tragedy. In the midst of seeing the world at its worst, I saw the essence of what people can be at their best.”
Traci Harris, a former board member who resigned to serve as interim executive director, said she was looking forward to relinquishing the job when Johnson comes aboard.
“I’m just here to make sure everything’s getting done until she assumes her duties,” Harris said.
Johnson said she plans to assume her new position by the end of this month or the first of November.