Mercy Center welcomes Kim Guadagno as its new Executive Director
The Asbury Park-based nonprofit will develop and expand Sister Carol Ann Henry’s vision.
Asbury Park, NJ – Mercy Center’s next chapter is about to begin. The nonprofit organization, founded by the Sisters of Mercy, has announced that Kim Guadagno will serve as its new Executive Director effective August 18, 2021. Guadagno succeeds Sister Carol Ann Henry who retired this summer from her role as Executive Director after 39 years of service to Asbury Park.
“Our search for a new Executive Director allowed us to consider a number of excellent candidates from many walks of life and, after careful consideration, we are so pleased to welcome Kim Guadagno into this critical role,” said Mary Beth Radke, Chair of Mercy Center’s Board of Trustees. “Guadagno is passionate about our vision and will help to ensure that Mercy Center continues to grow and serve the greater Asbury Park community for many more years to come.”
“As the new Executive Director of Mercy Center, I will work diligently to build on the great work of the Sisters of Mercy, and Sister Carol specifically, in order to bring a voice to our neighbors in need,” said Guadagno. “In all my endeavors, I promise to support Mercy Center’s mission to empower, enrich and educate people facing socio-economic challenges to realize their full potential, with a special emphasis on women and children.”
To accomplish its mission, Mercy Center offers the following programs:
- Emergency Services – distributes food, clothing and utilities assistance to help sustain families facing financial difficulties;
- The Family Resource Center (FRC) – a “one-stop-shop” for resources, referrals, advocacy, counseling and behavior modification services available to families so they can maintain healthier lives and relationships;
- Sisters Academy of New Jersey (SANJ) – a middle school for girls from economically challenged families providing an education of excellence, life skills and the necessary tools so they become confident, self-sufficient and successful in competitive high schools.
“By addressing the needs of the entire family and providing a quality education to women at a very young age, Mercy Center truly attacks the very root of systemic poverty in our community,” said Guadagno. “Moving forward, as the State still suffers from the pandemic, I will strive to ensure that those hardest hit in Asbury Park and surrounding areas are not forgotten and that they get the resources they need to build back stronger than ever before.”
Guadagno continues to say, “Mercy Center is so unique in that it holistically addresses the circumstances and needs of the individual through its various wrap-around services and program offerings. Additionally, through its strategic community collaborations, it can also offer access to other partner agencies that address the issues that contribute to family issues/hardships. These are just a few of the many reasons why I am so incredibly excited to move forward as Executive Director and grow the wonderful vision that was started by Sister Carol Ann Henry 39 years ago.”
Guadagno has been a Monmouth County resident for over 30 years. In that time, she has raised her family in Monmouth County, been a town commissioner, the first woman Monmouth County Sheriff, the state’s first Lieutenant Governor and New Jersey’s 33rd Secretary of State. Most recently Guadagno served as the President and CEO of Fulfill, formerly the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, and is a current partner at Connell Foley, LLP. Her background touches every aspect of Mercy Center’s mission, from raising and supporting a family and working with non-profits, to involvement with local schools and supporting women entrepreneurs and the faith-based and business communities.
About Mercy Center
Mercy Center, founded by the Sisters of Mercy, provides programs and services that empower, enrich and educate people facing socio-economic challenges to realize their full potential, with a special emphasis on women and children. To learn more or to support Mercy Center, visit www.mercycenternj.org. Be sure to follow Mercy Center on Facebook @MercyCenterAP and Instagram @MercyCenterNJ.