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Options names new executive director

4/16/2014

By ELIZABETH GOLDEN

egolden@dailynews.net

Options: Domestic and Sexual Violence Services Inc. recently announced the appointment of Sharon Leuenberger as its new executive director, replacing Charlotte Linsner.

Linsner actively has been involved in Options for more than 30 years and spent the last 14 as executive director. Despite her resignation, she will continue to be involved in the agency.

"It was just time for some youth to come forward," Linsner said. "We always talk about passing the torch, having young people come in and figure how we're going to train them because if I die tomorrow, what will happen?"

Linsner will assist with establishing a "development director" position. She will oversee the fundraising aspect of the agency.

"This position will also help the new director, so it won't be part of her job anymore," Linsner said. "The position will help her do a little bit more with the actual guidelines for being director."

Leuenberger began training for the position April 3. She officially will take over July 1.

As a lifetime resident of Hays, she graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in family studies and human services. Before accepting the position at Options, Leuenberger was employed by University of Kansas Medical Center at the Area Health Education Center.

"With my degree, I've always been interested in working for an agency that helps people and has a good cause," Leuenberger said. "I hope to help the organization grow and continue helping clients."

Linsner said Leuenberger was qualified for the job because of her "studious" nature.

"She answered all the questions honestly, and we had some tough questions," Linsner said. "If she didn't have an answer, she sat and thought about it. When you're looking for management, you have to have someone who wont just react, but look and think, 'What's the real problem? What's the resolution? And how do I get there?' She definitely fit the bill."

Options serves approximately 500 victims of domestic and sexual violence in Hays and surrounding areas each year.

"I'm looking forward to being part of the agency and its involvement in the community," Leuenberger said.