“It has always been really important to me to feel like my work is doing something positive for people,” said Catlin Hale, the new executive director of Plano-based This Side UP! Family (TSUFamily). After working in the non-profit world for nearly 10 years, Catlin values the fulfillment that comes from serving her community.
Catlin previously worked for Interfaith Family Services in Dallas as their Senior Director of Family Services and also worked at Literacy Achieves for several years doing program management. When the executive director position at TSUFamily became available, Catlin was drawn to the family-oriented mission behind the organization.
Sarah Morris founded TSUFamily in 2010 with the goal to help families transition from merely surviving to truly thriving. It is her belief that in thriving families, parents take an active role in the family’s well-being through thought, care and action. Thriving families prioritize quality time together, support each other and give back to their communities.
TSUFamily offers various programs to help families spend quality time together, such as monthly “I Date My Spouse” nights as well as free “Family Connection Nights.” The organization also puts on two clothing giveaways throughout the year as well as other programs and events that support moms, dads and their children.
“I love that This Side Up! Family is all about families and that the programming can benefit any family,” said Catlin. “I always had roles that work a lot with family, and I know the benefit of a strong family foundation and how family stability effects all aspects of the family life.”
Once Sarah Morris decided to step down from her role as executive director, she says she felt God was preparing someone to step in as the new leader.
“God has shown off big time in this turnover,” said Sarah. “Leadership turnovers can be hard. Instead of feeling precarious and difficult, though, the whole leadership transition process has been filled with peace and excitement for all of us – that’s God.”
Upon the very first meeting with Catlin, the board of directors and Sarah both felt confident in Catlin’s ability to bring fresh perspective and passion to the organization.
“Catlin stood out unanimously as the perfect person to step into the executive director role,” said Sarah. “On top of her professional experience, she wows us with her passion for our mission and her relational personality. TSUFamilies, supporters and volunteers are going to be so well led by this amazing lady.”
With an 18-month-old daughter and husband of five years, Catlin believes her time at work will naturally spill over into her family life. She hopes to really practice what she preaches at work and take time for family connection, date nights with her husband and serving her community alongside her family.
During Catlin’s first few months on the job, she says her goals are to get the “lay of the land” and to learn as much as she can about the organization. She eventually has plans to scale up programming with the addition of more staff members and a more solid infrastructure. Financial coaching and partnering with other local non-profits are among Catlin’s goals for TSUFamily’s future.
Sarah plans to stay involved with the organization and support Catlin as the new leader. Both women feel as if they have only scratched the surface of the impact This Side UP! Family can make on this community and are excited to see where it will grow.This Side UP! Family >