July 6, 2021, Rochester, N.Y. — Long-time collaborators Willow Domestic Violence Center (Willow) and RESOLVE of Greater Rochester, Inc. (RESOLVE) announce a merger, which went into effect on July 1, to expand staff clinical expertise and mental health services within Willow. RESOLVE’s experience providing therapeutic support since 1998 will complement the continuum of services that Willow has been providing to the Greater Rochester region for more than 40 years.
Willow is the only New York State certified provider of residential and non-residential domestic violence (DV) services in Monroe County and is known as the hub and the foremost resource for those experiencing DV and intimate partner violence (IPV) in the Finger Lakes region. Willow provides free and confidential services including a 24/7 Hotline, emergency shelter, counseling, legal services, court accompaniment, mobile advocacy, prevention education and training.
“Survivors often face challenges on their journey to safety, and their needs are unique and varied, especially with increased demand while recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Meaghan de Chateauvieux, President and CEO of Willow Center (she/her). “This merger is a strategic partnership to ensure Willow’s community response continues to be agile, seamless, and comprehensive while honoring the legacy and expertise of RESOLVE.”
The affiliation will seek to reduce the impact of trauma and strengthen the resilience of survivors. “Our coming together will create a seamless survivor experience for those in the midst of crisis and those further along in their healing journey”, says Mary Whittier (she/her), interim CEO for RESOLVE. All RESOLVE team members have been offered roles within the Willow staffing infrastructure, including counseling, prevention and administrative support. Willow will assume RESOLVE’s current Eastside counseling space in Penfield adding to Willow’s central urban locations.
RESOLVE board member and current Treasurer Kristin Hughes (she/her), Chief Financial Officer USA at Bonduelle America, will now serve as a Willow board member. Mary Whittier, RESOLVE’s interim CEO and the founding executive director of Bivona Child Advocacy Center, will serve as consultant in the transition of the RESOLVE team through August 1. She will continue her service as a community champion and vocal advocate for survivors of all ages.
This partnership was made possible by the United Way Synergy Fund, which lends technical assistance and reorganizational support for non-profit mergers and strategic affiliations.
“This is an example of the power of United Way’s Synergy Fund to support nonprofits in finding alignment and exploring opportunities to strengthen services and fulfill their core mission”, said Jaime Saunders, President & CEO of United Way of Greater Rochester. “This affiliation of Willow Domestic Violence Center and RESOLVE builds on the strengths of each organization to best serve survivors of intimate partner violence by providing a full continuum of services and support that empowers survivors and provides much needed safety.”
The merger with RESOLVE is the second acquisition made possible by the Fund following the creation of Deaf IGNITE at Willow in August 2020, which integrated their specialized services for Deaf survivors under Willow’s umbrella of programs and network of partners. These strategic partnerships continue to drive Willow’s growth and expansion to promote a broad and diverse community response to domestic violence in a culturally-sensitive and equitable manner.