MANCHESTER >> The Manchester Community Library has announced the appointment of a new executive director.
J. Violet Gannon
Violet Gannon will be taking over the reins at the library, effective October 22. She will be replacing Betsy Bleakie, who has served as the library’s executive director since 2011. Bleakie will be remaining at the library and moving into a new role in the library’s development and fundraising operations.
Gannon has spent much of her career in higher education and healthcare. She most recently served as the Patient Experience Manager at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital where she was responsible for patient relations across the institution, ensuring high quality patient care.
“I am delighted to be joining the Manchester Community Library,” Gannon said. “It is a cultural, literary, and social powerhouse with a talented Board and staff. I was drawn to the position by their efforts to serve the diverse needs of the community and by the passion of donors committed to ensuring their success.”
Prior to her work at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, she directed the Career Development Center at Trinity College in Connecticut. Before that, she had served as Assistant Dean of the College and Director of The University of Chicago Careers in Health Professions program. There, she developed a pre-professional program that provided students and young alumni with the resources to develop an individualized portfolio of experiences and competencies required for advanced study in health and medicine.
She also founded and directed a summer fellowship program in which she taught an intensive, interdisciplinary summer seminar, lecturing on the behavioral, social, political, and economic aspects of healthcare. In recognition of her commitment to supporting students engaged in civic minded scholarship, Gannon was awarded the University Community Service Center’s Staff Service Award. At both Trinity College and The University of Chicago, she recruited and led a diverse team of experienced professionals committed to community building and civic engagement.
Gannon was selected for the executive director position at the library following a nationwide search, assisted by the Burlington-based consulting firm of Gallagher, Flynn & Company. Both the search committee set up by the library’s board of trustees, as well as the full board, were impressed with Gannon’s record of excellence in leading creative initiatives and providing strategic vision and direction, said Kate Orme, the chairwoman of the library’s board of trustees.
“Violet’s mission-driven, non-profit experience in higher education and healthcare, combined with her intellect, her passion for the lIbrary’s mission and her energy and enthusiasm make her an outstanding choice for executive director,” she said. “We are confident of her ability to lead our outstanding staff, to be a strong partner with the Board of Trustees, and to forge and nurture important relationships within all the different segments of the community we serve.”
Gannon will be relocating to Manchester and will be reachable by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 802-362-2607 when she starts her new position on October 22.