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Buffington named executive director for Rape Response
0312jeanne buffington
Jeanne Buffington

Jeanne Buffington seems a natural fit for new executive director at Rape Response Inc.

The nonprofit agency on Thursday announced she would replace Terri Strayhorn, who retires at the end of March after a long career building the program that helps victims of sexual assault.

Buffington, a Gainesville native, has a long history of working with nonprofit groups such as Court Appointed Special Advocates, Eagle Ranch and Young Life. She also has experience working with victims through her work with CASA and as a registered mediator.

Providing support for victims is one aspect of the job she said she is looking forward to.

"Just being able to provide that support and kind of help (victims) wherever they are in their stage of life and working through what's going on with them, I look forward to that," Buffington said.

She also said she's excited to learn more about the work Rape Response does in helping the community.

"I've heard great things about it and the difference it's made in Hall and the surrounding counties," she said.

As executive director, Buffington will oversee all aspects of the program, including its victim services and volunteer management.

"I've worked with volunteers most places that I've been, and to me they really are the heart and soul of a lot of nonprofit organizations," Buffington said. "They give their time; they often give their money as well. They're incredible people."

Buffington's most recent job has been with the Medical Center Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Northeast Georgia Health System.

Before that, she worked as associate director of the 9th Judicial District Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution, which works to provide alternatives to litigation.

She graduated from Mercer University with a degree in organization leadership and business management. She also has certifications in court mediation, management and nonprofit board development.

"I feel like I'm walking into a good situation," Buffington said. "I know Terri's been there for a long time, and it's grown and done well."

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