This Spring, as we reflected on our 45 years of serving youth and families in our community, we realized there are key people in our history that have had a transformational impact on our organization’s growth and success. These people have dedicated countless hours over the course of years (or decades) to helping us define and further our mission and programs, plan for the future, weather countless challenges, raise needed funding, and build and strengthen relationships with our community and its members. Simply put, Haven House Services would not have been the same without their leadership. So we decided to create a special award to honor them – Our Hall of Champions.
At our Cheers to 45 Years event in May, we inducted our first two members into the Hall of Champions – Nina Long and Mike Rieder. See below for more information on each of our wonderful inductees!
Mike Rieder served as the Executive Director at Haven House Services for an incredible 32 years, from 1977 to 2009. Under Mike’s leadership Haven House Services grew from a small service nonprofit into a well-respected, effective, and responsive community-based organization that has changed the lives of tens of thousands of Wake County youth. Mike is known for his ability to develop innovative solutions in response to community needs. In his time at Haven House, he led the creation of seven new programs to fill gaps in Wake County’s continuum of services for youth and their families so that our youth would have a better shot at being successful. Mike is a strong and vocal advocate in our community, our state and across the country. His tireless and innovative work has been recognized many times over at the state and national levels. He has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Network for Youth, the Outstanding Service Award from North Carolina Juvenile Services Association, Outstanding Safe Place Administrator from the National Safe Place Network and the North Carolina Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of the highest honors that can be bestowed by the Governor on an individual in North Carolina.
When asked what he was most proud about in his time at Haven House, Mike said, “Personally, I am proud of having been on the team of dedicated and gifted professionals, supported by amazing volunteers, who serve clients in very challenging circumstances, and help them turn their lives around. Haven House Services remains a model for the state in the development and delivery of effective community-based services. They reach out and engage clients where they are, often serving the most challenging and needy youth in our community.”
Nina Long is one of our most generous and steadfast champions for the youth and families supported by Haven House Services. Nina has been a member of our Board of Directors since 2010 and has served in a number of leadership positions across multiple committees including Human Resources, Board Development and Resource Development. Most recently, Nina has provided exceptional leadership as our Board Chair from 2016 to 2018. In this role, she led Haven House through an organizational transformation process to build the capacity, leadership, resources and connections that the agency will need to expand its impact and lay the foundation for long-term growth and sustainability. This included providing leadership for a long-term strategic planning process, the development of Haven House’s first resource development department and team, and the restructuring of the agency to better leverage leadership and resources.
Nina is a tireless advocate for Haven House Services. From leading coat drives to connecting the agency to community leaders to talking to funders, she has been a backbone of support and strength for Haven House for almost a decade. In 2016, she was named our Haven House Hero in recognition of her tremendous contributions to the agency as a volunteer. When asked what, in her time at Haven House stands out the most, she said, “I don’t have moments…every story I hear and every youth I see that’s life might be a bit better because of my time here is amazing. In reflecting I just keep coming back to the fact that Haven House has made me a better person. I have different lenses that I use when I look at the world now and I am thankful for that.”