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York County Community Action Corporation names new executive director

Carter Friend, who since 2017 has served as deputy director at York County Community Action Corporation (YCCAC), has been named the new executive director, effective September 1, 2022. The YCCAC Board of Directors, under President Claudette Dupee, made the announcement to YCCAC staff on June 22. The months-long, nationwide search to replace outgoing executive director Barbara Crider was concluded in mid-June.

“There is no duty that the Board takes more seriously than selecting YCCAC’s leader, and after many months and a thorough review of candidates, we were unanimous in our decision to offer the position to Carter,” said Ms. Dupee in a written statement to YCCAC staff.

Carter has a deep commitment to ensuring that every Mainer has the opportunity to succeed, particularly those with low-incomes or who are underprivileged. During his tenure as deputy director, Carter has led in the development of a five-year strategic plan, with focus on implementing a client/patient-centered approach to delivering services, and expanding YCCAC’s work promoting community and economic development. He has helped lead YCCAC’s broad range of programs, including WIC Nutrition Services, Children’s Services, Energy Services, Transportation, the Economic Opportunity Department, and Nasson Health Care, the agency’s federally- qualified community health center. He helped guide expansion of YCCAC’s internal and external communications operation, including development of a new website and creation of new print materials. And he helped oversee the agency’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that the people of York County received the supports and services they needed at a very difficult time.

Carter has also represented York County Community Action Corporation as one of four founding organizations of Biddeford Ready!, a community-wide effort to help the youngest members of the Biddeford community – from birth to age 5 – get the resources they need to enter kindergarten prepared to thrive in school and beyond.

“I’m really happy with the Board’s decision to offer Carter the job,” said Barb Crider. “I’ve known Carter for a very long time, and I know that his leadership skills, along with his personal commitment to seeing our communities prosper and thrive, will greatly benefit both YCCAC and York County.”

Prior to joining YCCAC, Mr. Friend was a senior program associate for two years at the John T. Gorman Foundation. He held leadership roles at the United Way of Greater Portland from 2001 to 2014, and was executive director at Legal Services for the Elderly, in Augusta, from 1996 to 2001.  Mr. Friend holds a JD from Boston College Law School and a BA from Bowdoin College.

“I am extremely excited to continue building on the tremendous impact YCCAC has had for over 50 years in York County and its communities,” Carter said. “Under Barb’s leadership, York County Community Action has helped literally tens of thousands of people – many of whom are our friends, neighbors and co-workers.  And she has grown YCCAC in size, in partners, in reach—and in community investment, in terms of individuals and families and households served. This agency—the largest provider of social services in the county—is a beacon to many in our communities, largely due to the dedication of our agency staff, and to Barb’s sound stewardship over many years.”

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