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Susan Ban Announces Retirement After 28 Years as Executive Director

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Eugene, Ore. — Susan Ban, who has led ShelterCare as the organization’s executive director for more than 28 years has announced that she will retire on December 31, 2019, to spend more time with her family.

“It has been a privilege to work with an amazing staff, engaged board members and donors, and inspiring consumers,” Ban said. “I want to thank all the people that I have had the opportunity to work with over the years who have supported ShelterCare’s mission to create a community where everyone is valued, supported and safe.”

Ban moved to Eugene with her family in 1984. During that time, she held various positions with the American Baptist Church, including as an interim minister. She began volunteering with ShelterCare to assist the president of its board of directors to develop new general policies and procedures. Elected to the board in 1988, Ban became ShelterCare’s executive director in 1991.

Over her time as ShelterCare’s executive director, Ban has developed a reputation among her peers and within the broader community for her unwavering focus on how best to serve those in need by always viewing opportunities and challenges with objectivity, without regard for which agency will receive the credit.

“Susan has a unique gift she has shared with the community to give a voice to the homeless, mentally ill, and physically disabled who need our support and understanding,” said Eric Van Houten, president of the ShelterCare Board of Directors and CEO of Cascade Health. “Susan has done an outstanding job leading ShelterCare.”

Founded in 1970 as Eugene Emergency Housing (EEH) to support homeless families, ShelterCare’s mission has expanded and contracted to meet the varying needs of the community. Today, ShelterCare offers a range of housing and support services for individuals and families who are homeless, or on the verge of homelessness, with a committed focus to individuals living with mental illness. Additionally, it offers a community center called Uhlhorn Day Center, for people living with brain injury, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other cognitive disorders.

“I have been fortunate to work with people who are compassionate, dedicated, and deeply caring,” Ban said. “Together we have accomplished many things, and by working together a lot more will be accomplished to help those in need.”

In 2016, Ban received the Sister Monica Heeran Legacy of Caring Award from Volunteers in Medicine, for her dedication and compassion in working to make the community a healthier place for the underprivileged and underserved. She has also given of her time and expertise to various organizations that share her commitment to an accessible and healthy community, including PeaceHealth Oregon- Regional Board of Directors, United Way of Lane County, Better Eugene Springfield Transit, Cornerstone Community Housing, Lane Transit District Board of Directors, Eugene Area Chamber Board of Directors, and others.

“We are deeply thankful for Susan’s leadership,” Van Houten said. “She is leaving ShelterCare with a solid foundation built on a lasting legacy of caring and compassion for all those who follow in her footsteps.”

A national search is underway to find ShelterCare’s next executive director. The new executive director is expected to be hired later this fall.

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