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Marguerite’s Place names new director

By Grace Pecci - Staff Writer | Jul 13, 2019

NASHUA – Those who stop in in at Marguerite’s Place at 87 Palm St. in Nashua should expect to see a fresh face in the crowd of dedicated employees, as Hannah Stohler joined the staff as the new executive director this week.

While things have been hectic, Stohler said she is enjoying the experience.

“There’s so much that has been done, so much history at Marguerite’s Place and it’s a lot to undertake,” Stohler said, “but I just spent a lot of the week getting to know people in the community, along with our wonderful staff and families here.”

Stohler enters her role as during Marguerite’s 25th year of operation.

“I think it’s an exciting time to come on and really be able to look at the last 25 years and honor what has been done, while thinking about the next 25 years and beyond,” Stohler said.

Stohler graduated from Tulane University in 2013 and earned a Masters of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School in 2016.

Her most recent employer was a Boston-based workforce development program for domestic violence survivors called Believe in Success. Stohler served as both the founder and director of the program.

A major concept that Stohler worked to instill into that program was that trauma can hinder one’s efforts to obtain a job or higher education. She said that while there was no lack of workforce development programs in the Boston area, trauma needs to be addressed. The program works by providing help such as financial literacy, skill building and support groups.

Prior to her work with Believe in Success, Stohler was the program manager for Voices Against Violence, a confidential domestic shelter program located in Framingham, Massachusetts. This program offers short-term shelter.

Stohler is excited to work with Marguerite’s Place for its longer transitional periods with residents.

She said the housing Marguerite’s Place offers can really become a home for women that can provide safety. During the last decade, Stohler has also been involved with Adopta Una Familia, which is an organization that partners with Ecuador community leaders in three key development areas: housing, education and health. She was able to spend a summer teaching in Ecuador and learned Spanish during her time there.

“That’s an organization that is very close to my heart in a lot of ways,” Stohler said. “I had the opportunity to see what immersing in community work in a tight-knit community can look like.”

In addition, Stohler is a certified domestic violence and sexual assault counselor and has received a credential from the MetroWest Health Leadership Program.

Her experiences have helped guide her to where she is now. As executive director of Marguerite’s Place, Stohler said she is most excited about getting to know the organization and those it serves.

“Every single staff member has said that the best part about this job is interacting with the families who live here and the families who use Marguerite’s Place Childcare Center. It really is a community and I am excited to be a part of that community,” Stohler said.

She said she is also excited about expanding the organization’s visibility and services.

“I look forward to helping Marguerite’s Place expand their offerings and also just supporting staff in what can be difficult work,” Stohler said.

For Stohler, community service has been a part of her her whole life. She grew up in a faith community and has always wanted to work with women and families.

“I have had the privilege to be surrounded by powerful women and I know the impact that they have to change the whole world,” Stohler said.

Stohler, who started her role officially this week, is replacing Interim Director Mary Jordan, who served the role during the last year and a half.

Grace Pecci may be reached at 594-1243, or at gpecci@nashuatelegraph.com.

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