SALEM — A new executive director has been named at Healing Abuse Working for Change, the Salem-based domestic violence nonprofit known as HAWC.
Anthony DiPietro, a 33-year-old Providence, R.I., native, will be the agency’s first male leader.
DiPietro has worked with nonprofits since graduating from Brown University in 2004, most recently as chief operating officer at West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation in Providence.
Candace Waldron, HAWC’s executive director for more than 12 years, stepped down this spring. Paula Herrington has been interim director and will remain on the job for several weeks, to help with the transition, once DiPietro starts work Oct. 21, said Stephen Feron, president of HAWC’s board of directors.
HAWC hired a third-party agency to handle the search for a new director, which gathered input from HAWC employees and area residents in town hall-style meetings, Feron said.
DiPietro from was chosen from 50 applicants, he said. His salary will be $91,000 annually.
“(DiPietro has) the ability to listen and ask the right questions to get at the heart of the matter, the ability to pull a lot of things together,” said Feron, a Hamilton resident. “He has a passion for ending the cycle of violence and getting down to the root causes of that.”
“His demeanor, the way he carries himself, his poise, his intellect, his empathy ... that will be really key for HAWC,” he said.
HAWC serves 23 communities on the North Shore and offers an emergency shelter, 24-hour hotline, advocacy, support groups and other programs to prevent domestic abuse and help its victims. The agency has offices in Salem, Lynn, Gloucester and a domestic violence unit in Beverly.
Both the search committee and HAWC staff endorsed DiPietro, he said.
Prior to his work at the West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation, DiPietro was chief operating officer at the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence in Providence. He oversaw the institute’s work on urban youth and gang violence.