Barbara Simmons, executive director of The Peace Center, 102 W. Maple Ave., Langhorne, has spent more than 30 years focused on peace and justice issues in Bucks County and beyond. The organization has been preparing for her eventual retirement from this position.
The Peace Center’s board of directors announced the appointment of its current chief of operations, Danny Thomas, to succeed her as executive director, effective July 1. Thomas has 15 years of corporate experience in resource management, organizational development, training and strategic planning, as well as skills in conflict resolution and mediation, which he incorporates into his 20 years of nonprofit experience.
He has already empowered the staff to refine its programs to greater capacity and impact as they work with Bucks County schools, families and communities.
Simmons will remain with The Peace Center to focus on writing curriculum and conducting trainings and workshops for educators and the public in compassionate listening, racial equality, restorative justice in education, and interrupting intolerance and bigotry. She has traveled to conflict zones around the world to learn what was needed for healing and reconciliation, and she will continue to bring that experience to Peace Center programming.
The Peace Center also announced the election of four new members to its board of directors, whose terms will begin July 1 – Nikki Farrior, Marlene Katz, Corey Tendler and Andrea Weiner.
Farrior, a licensed professional social worker, is the resource consultant for Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need, where she connects hundreds of homeless and in-need people with sustaining resources across Bucks County. She is a past recipient of the “YWCA Salute to Women Who Make a Difference” and has many years of both direct service and volunteer experience benefiting the community.
Katz enjoyed a successful business career as a product development consultant in the spa industry and then decided to change course and continued her education. She is now an ordained interfaith minister and campaigns ardently for social change. She has also been involved with many area community organizations.
Tendler managed communications for firms such as Citigroup and American Express in New York City before moving back to Bucks County, where she now works as the director of employee communications at Toll Brothers. Her roots with The Peace Center are deep – in high school, she was a peer mediator and, during college, she ran the Peace Camp.
Weiner is a trained psychologist and has worked as a therapist, executive in a healthcare company, and co-founded a firm which creates educational products for children and adults relating to social and emotional well-being, which have furthered her expertise in leadership and inter- and intra-personal skills. She has authored, lectured and taught workshops on this topic.
The Peace Center board and staff will continue its nearly 40-year legacy to expand its mission to educate and empower individuals, schools and families and enrich organizations in efforts to prevent violence, promote peaceful resolution of conflict and foster inclusive, equitable and safe communities, locally, nationally and worldwide.
In 2018, the organization directly impacted more than 4,700 people with programs across Bucks County ranging from bullying prevention and diversity/inclusion programs to dialogues on race, town hall meetings, conflict coaching, educational forums and training, restorative justice and more.
For more information, visit thepeacecenter.org