Shelter From the Storm announced it is looking for a new executive director.

Mindy Mowery, who served in the role for seven years, said she got burned out and decided to step down from her position at the La Grande organization, which provides support, emergency shelter, and other services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence.

“I submitted my resignation on Dec. 3,” Mowery told The Observer on Friday. “(The position) started taking a toll on my health. (I’ve been) in crisis work since 2012, and over the last three years — and especially the last year — I gave everything I could to the organization. I knew it was time to pursue other opportunities.”

Mowery said she struggled with the decision but knew it was best.

“I thought hard about whether the organization would be OK, and whether I would be OK,” she said. “I went through a mourning period. I love the organization. It is a really good foundation. There are five new programs, new grants — I knew the organization would (be able to) move forward in a positive way (without me).”

A press release from Shelter From the Storm states the Board of Directors appreciated Mowery’s hard work and dedication: “We thank Ms. Mowery for her seven years of service and wish her the best in her future endeavors.”

The Shelter, and Mowery, went through quite a bit of turmoil a few years ago with the demolition of its building and the transition into a new location. Despite the complications and challenges of that situation, Mowery said it strengthened her and the organization.

“It really allowed us to look at what worked and what didn’t,” she said. “It really made us work together as a team. The board, the staff — I think it brought everything together.”

Mowery said it has been a privilege to work for such an organization.

“The community the clients, the board and the staff — it was a privilege to serve the community,” she said. “During the good times and during the bad times, and in between, the work that we did has ultimately made an impact. I have made some great friends and (gained) lasting knowledge. I’m not done being an advocate.”

See complete story in Monday's Observer