Wanda Powless announced her retirement this week as executive director of Marta’s House, following a 25-year career in public service.
Powless started with what was then known as the Klamath Crisis Center in 1996. She will continue through October as a contracted consultant to assist in the leadership transition at Marta's House. Christy David will serve as the appointed interim director while a new director is sought.
"Wanda not only has years of unmeasured service to the people of Klamath County but has provided strategic leadership throughout the state," said David.
Powless will now dedicate her energies full time to the Turtle Cove housing program for victims of abuse. Her move to Turtle Cove continues Powless's work with victims of intimate partner violence, sexual abuse, trafficked victims, and women in the criminal justice system, ensuring that they have support and a safe place to live as they continue to move forward.
In addition to her work at Marta's House, alongside former Klamath County DA Ed Caleb, Powless was instrumental in helping to develop the Domestic Violence Reduction Unit. She also oversaw Marta's House team to create the Klamath County Trafficking Task Force. This consists of a collaboration of local community partners interested in bringing awareness to human trafficking.
She was also part of the Marta's House team with Christy David that brought the "Start by Believing" campaign to Klamath County in 2014. This campaign focuses on believing the victim from the time they walk in the door to when we complete services with them. Powless was also involved, with Mark McDaniel and Danny Bechtel, in the"Engaging Men and Boys Project," which has provided opportunities for men to be involved in ending violence in our community for more than five years.
She also collaborated with Kiki Parker and Community Corrections to focus on at-risk women in the criminal justice system, which led to developing the women's re-entry program. Powless is the current board president of the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence and has remained involved with that organization for 23 years.