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Coulee Council on Addictions names new director

Coulee Council on Addictions names new director

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Cheryl Hancock was looking for a meaningful career move. Her search led to the Coulee Council on Addictions, where she will become the organization’s next executive director Aug. 3.

Hancock is the president of the Holmen School Board, has been an administrator at Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical and was the director of the Scenic Bluffs Chapter of the American Red Cross for nine years.

Coulee Council provides a number of necessary services in the community, Hancock said. Hancock has also experienced addiction in her own family, seeing firsthand the challenges of recovery. As executive director at Coulee Council, she hopes to lead improvements and introduce strategic changes as necessary to help fulfill its mission.

“The Coulee Council on Addictions is a quiet agency in the community,” she said. “I hope to share the good work being done and help break down the stigma and barriers of those struggling with addiction.”

Hancock is a lifelong resident of the Coulee Region, receiving a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, where she worked as a fundraiser for 11 years. While at the American Red Cross, Hancock helped establish Dancing with the La Crosse Stars and managed several fundraising drives supporting local and national disaster relief efforts.

“We are excited for Cheryl to begin leading the Coulee Council in early August,” CCA board chairman Dan Radtke said. “She will bring a skill set to the organization that will serve the recovery community well as we implement initiatives identified in a recent strategic planning exercise.”

Former executive director Keith Lease left the organization in March to take a position at Western Technical College, and Lorie Lautz is serving as interim director. Coulee Council was organized by a group of concerned community members as West Central Council on Alcoholism in 1968. Today, the organization has evolved to encompass a variety of services to fulfill a mission of providing confidential assistance, education and services to those affected by substance abuse and addiction.

“I really am excited to work with these folks,” Hancock said. “They just breed enthusiasm for the work that they do.”

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Nathan Hansen has been the Education Reporter for the Tribune since 2014. Prior to that, he covered education, agriculture and business topics for the Winona Daily News. He is always on the lookout for news tips and can be contacted at 608-791-8234.

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