Congratulating Marsha Kreucher
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Mr. President, tomorrow night will be bittersweet in Jackson, Michigan; it is the night the Community Action Agency will bid a formal farewell to its leader and CEO, Marsha Kreucher. For nearly a quarter century, the Community Action Agency has been guided by a leader with vision and compassion. Her work has been squarely focused on making the lives of those in need better. She has gone about this work with humility and tenacity, ensuring that her work and the work of the agency she leads does its part to improve the lives of the countless people served by the Community Action Agency.
The roots of poverty are complex and deep. Marsha’s work, which takes a holistic and innovative approach to promoting self-sufficiency among at-risk and low income residents, has sought to identify the issues associated with poverty and develop programs to alleviate them. Her efforts have reaped many rewards for the residents of Jackson, Lenawee and Hillsdale counties and have improved their economic, social and health conditions as a consequence.
In the late 1980s, when she began working at the Community Action Agency, the Agency administered about two dozen programs and had with a budget of roughly $4 million. Nearly a quarter century later, the agency serves more than 27,000 residents annually through more than 80 programs with a budget that averages around $20 million. This is impressive growth and a testament to the quality of service the Agency provides and the talent of those leading the way.
It doesn’t take very long to observe the profound impact the Community Action Agency has had on this region in the last two decades. The Center for Healthy Beginnings was established and currently provides full healthcare services to more than 27,000 residents annually. The Partnership Park Downtown Neighborhood Project was formed to help revitalize and redevelop a 23 block area in Jackson, Michigan through $15 million in investments. More than 1,000 children a year receive early childhood education opportunities through agency activities. And thousands of families receive free assistance filing their income tax returns each year. These are but a few examples of the good work of this impressive agency and a glimpse of the range of services they provide with Marsha Kreucher as a driving force.
Marsha is not just an accomplished leader; she is also a willing mentor and tireless community servant. She sits on a number of non-profit boards and works to bring various stakeholders together to seek out fresh ways to combat the issues related to poverty. She is always willing to lend an ear or to provide insight to others. Her vision and her ideas have helped spark innovation and creativity, planting the seeds for a brighter future.
Marsha recently said to a local paper about her life after retirement, “It’s almost hard to comprehend the difference my life will have without it.” I say to her today that it’s hard to imagine how different the Jackson community would be without her vision, leadership and hard work over the last two decades. She has worked tirelessly and fiercely to make a positive impact on the lives of those in need, and she has done so with grace and determination. I congratulate her on a job well done and wish her the best as she begins her next, exciting journey.