Sammi L. Rader of Roanoke has been named executive director of Solutions That Empower People (STEP), Inc. Rader began her duties April 27 following the retirement of STEP’s previous executive director, Marc Crouse.
STEP is a community action agency that provides services at significant milestones throughout all stages of life. Programs are designed to partner with individuals and families to help them overcome adversity and enhance their quality of life.
Prior to joining STEP, Rader served as regional director of Family Preservation Services; Director of Quality Assurance for the State of Delaware, Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health; Program Manager for Mecklenburg County Community Support Services-Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Center; and Program Manager for Sabrina’s Place at Total Action for Progress. She also has experience as a court advocate for victims of domestic violence and a therapeutic day treatment counselor.
She holds a Master of Social Work from Radford University, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Radford University, and an Associate of Science in Psychology from Virginia Western Community College.
As executive director, Rader is responsible for the financial management of the agency, including securing funding sources, budgeting, and reporting requirements; strategic planning to meet the agency’s mission; developing and managing STEP’s various programs and staff; recruiting and managing a board of directors; developing and maintain external relationships with various key stakeholders (political and governmental entities, other nonprofits, private funding sources, etc.); and building collaborative partnerships.
“I am excited and grateful for this opportunity to serve STEP by continuing the mission and philosophy of the organization as well as my passion for community action,” Rader said.
STEP services are offered in Franklin and Patrick counties, and Bedford, Martinsville and Danville. Services include Early Head Start and Head Start; youth services (LIFES Academy and Project Discovery); senior services (Meals on Wheels, transportation); supportive services (re-entry, homelessness prevention); housing and weatherization; and financial services (tax preparation assistance). STEP’s mission is to empower people to overcome barriers to economic, educational and developmental success within the communities it serves.
STEP is funded by a variety of local, state, and federal grants as well as private donations and has an operating budget of more than $4 million. The agency employs approximately 85 full- and part-time staff. Offices are located in Stuart and Martinsville in addition to the main office in Rocky Mount.