Wilson nonprofit has new name, new leader

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After decades of various local and statewide initiatives involving substance use, tobacco and alcohol prevention, Families in Action has a new name — Community Impact North Carolina.

The local nonprofit, which is a substance use prevention organization, has served Wilson since 1982 and all of North Carolina since 2002. Its board of directors approved the new name during a December meeting after a strategic rebranding process, officials said.

The board believes the new name, Community Impact North Carolina, better reflects the organization’s move to focus more on community and systems rather than focusing just on the individual, officials said. The holistic approach, they say, has been shown to be more effective in alcohol, tobacco and drug use prevention.

The board also appointed a new executive director, Anna Godwin, to lead the renamed organization. Godwin replaces its former longtime executive director, Phil Mooring, also co-founder of Families in Action, who retired from the post after serving nearly 20 years.

“We are so pleased that Anna has accepted this position,” said Elvia Lucas, the organization’s chair. “During the six years Anna has served as coordinator of N.C. Parent Resource Center at Families in Action, she has quickly been recognized at the state and local level as a knowledgeable and respected leader in the field of substance abuse prevention.”

Godwin said she was honored and humbled for the opportunity to serve.

“The work to prevent substance abuse, especially by children and youth, is certainly a challenging and ongoing effort, and we intend to continue to face the challenge head-on,” Godwin said. “We are extremely pleased to be stepping up our efforts and believe the changes we are making add clarity and identity as to who we are, our updated mission and the statewide services we provide and are expanding upon. Phil Mooring left us in a good place. We are a successful and stable nonprofit organization poised for expansion, and for that we are grateful.”

They partnered with outside consultants to rebrand the organization for long-term growth, stimulate outreach and strengthen its position within the state as a substance abuse prevention organization.

In addition to continuing its longstanding work to support parents and families, the group created a new division of coalition support that aims to strengthen the capacity of community coalitions throughout North Carolina to create and maintain safe, healthy and drug-free communities, officials said.

And to support those expanded services, Community Impact North Carolina added three new positions. Erin Day, previous director of the Wilson County Substance Prevention Coalition, has joined the team and will be the director of coalition support. Officials said Day will now be able to support coalitions throughout North Carolina based on her work in Wilson County.

Kelly Teague has been appointed western region coordinator, and Doug Green was named eastern region coordinator. Tyler Walston will serve as parent/youth coordinator, and Maria Najera-Vick, who has been with the organization for 17 years, will continue as office manager.

The organization has also relocated to the Walston Center at 405 Nash St. W, Suite 210.