For the past nineteen years, Arthur Hatchett, as Executive Director of the fifty-one-year-old Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP), was always on the move.
He could be seen in the community, in the hallways of the County Board of Supervisors’ building and at Richmond City Hall fighting for social causes, and increased funding levels so that GRIP—with its history of providing shelter for families, meals for the hungry, job-training for those who are homeless—could serve those causes and constituents who most needed the agency’s support.
Last week Mr. Hatchett finally slowed down . . . long enough to retire and pass the leadership baton to Kathleen Sullivan, a social services professional and grassroots activist with decades of experience in Richmond and the surrounding Bay Area.
“We really appreciate the long commitment, dedication and years of service that Arthur Hatchett has provided to GRIP and the community,” states Patricia A. Daniels, Board President of GRIP. She adds: “We wish him well as he gets ready for retirement and we are very pleased to welcome our new Executive Director, Kathleen Sullivan, as she takes the helm of leadership.”
For the past nineteen years, Ms.Sullivan was on a parallel social services track, also working at a breakneck pace to help some of the same residents—and others—that Mr. Hatchett and GRIP were serving.
In 2016 she founded By Example, Inc., in Richmond, which provides advocacy for homeless and low-income residents in Contra Costa County and develops support programs for mothers with children from infancy to five years old.
In 2013, Ms. Sullivan was a Manager for the John Stewart Company where she supplied resources and referrals to low-income residents of the Pullman Point Apartments in Richmond. During her tenure there, she created many innovative programs, elevating the visibility of this apartment complex and its tenants, attracting a wide range of elected officials and new funders to the site interested in program collaborations across federal, state, county and city governments.
In the past, Ms. Sullivan developed special projects for a global economic development organization focused on West Africa, worked as a supervising case manager to families in crisis at the Neighborhood House of North Richmond and was founder/executive director of an Oakland based non-profit organization that was one of just a few in the nation to train Young Entrepreneurs to start businesses.
Ms. Sullivan earned a legendary status of her own by accomplishing all of the above while nurturing and raising since 1999 a total of forty-two foster youth in her Richmond home, along with her two biological sons.
Board President Daniels spoke for the greater Richmond community when she summed up the Board’s expectations for Kathleen Sullivan: “GRIP looks forward to new opportunities under her leadership so that the organization can continue to transform lives while building communities.”
Given Ms. Sullivan’s exceptional history, there is no reason to believe otherwise.