Hansen Leadership EndowmentEva Hansen, president of the Partnership for Children of Cumberland County, announces her retirement.

Hansen’s retirement signals the end of a 20-year journey with the Partnership and a 40-year career. She is well known for empowering staff, service providers and community leaders to work together using their unique strengths and perspectives to create a strong system of quality services and supports for children and their families.

Earlier in her career, Hansen worked with school-age children and teens. Since 1996, Hansen has focused her attention on young children. As the president of the Partnership she has led the charge to strengthen the Smart Start school readiness initiative in Cumberland County and across the state. “I am grateful to have had the honor and privilege of working with inspirational board chairs, board members, staff and volunteers to positively impact civilian and military children, their families, and our community. I truly believe investing in young children pays dividends for decades to come. We just have 2000 days, the time between when children are born and they go to kindergarten, to prepare them for lifelong success. Focusing on children’s development is a foundation for community development and economic development, as capable children become the foundation of a prosperous and sustainable society.”

Quality early childhood resources like high quality child care, developmental screenings, early literacy programs and family support make all the difference in preparing our children for success. “I am especially proud of the work we’ve done to increase the quality of child care in Cumberland County,” Hansen explained. “When families choose to use child care, it needs to be the best. When you invest in a strong system of early childhood education, whether it is through increasing the quality of child care or investing in the resources that create a support system for strong families, it matters today and tomorrow. Investing in early childhood reaps big returns!”

Hansen has been honored for her vision, her passion, her leadership, and her relentless determination to do the right thing, in the right way, for the right reason. Hansen has been recognized with prestigious awards including the Greater Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce’s Athena Award, the Karen W. Ponder Leadership Award and the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. “Under her leadership the Partnership has grown to be one of the most respected non-profit organizations in the state. Eva has done fantastic work and will be greatly missed,” said Sharon Moyer, the Partnership’s Board Chair. “However, the best time to transition is when an organization is strong. We have just celebrated our most recent clean audit. The Partnership is a great steward of the resources entrusted to it on behalf of young children and their families. I have every confidence that the board and staff are well-equipped to lead during this time of transition and to carry our mission forward.”

Hansen will remain in her position through May and will work with the Partnership’s Board of Directors to establish a transition process to identify a successor. Hansen explained, “It is like Dr. W. T. Brown told me when he was our board chair. It’s not about finding a leader to fill my shoes; it’s about finding the best leader who will bring their own shoes – their own unique skills and experiences – to our important work. As I move on to my next adventure with my husband, I look forward to watching the Partnership continue to do great things for young children, their families and this community!”