Wendy Goetz took over as executive director of the Rescue Mission of Utica earlier this month.
The former administrator of Rome Memorial Hospital’s residential health care facility and senior behavioral health unit replaced Jim Haid, who retired.
“My background in health care translates to almost every facet of leading the mission, from regulations to financial requirements to human resource and facilities management,” Goetz said. “The most important aspect is building a great team.”
What attracted you to this job at the Rescue Mission?
The organizational vision and mission statements along with the core values and the diversity of services offered attracted me to the position. All of them are described on the Rescue Mission website at uticamission.org/about-us.
What do you think are the mission’s greatest strengths and the greatest challenges you’re inheriting?
The greatest strengths are the employees and the greater Utica area community, who are faithful in generous donations of volunteer time, monetary support and donations of needed items. The mission has experienced tremendous growth in the last three years, so my challenge is stabilization and ensuring the mission is sustainable for future generations.
How does faith inform the mission?
If you look a the mission statement of the Mission, it is driven by faith. It states, “The Rescue Mission of Utica is a Christian Ministry established to program, in word and deed, the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ by unconditionally endeavoring to assess and meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those individuals seeking assistance.” Without faith, there is no Mission.
Can we expect to see any changes or new directions? The Rescue Mission already has an outstanding vision for the community. There is opportunity for possible development of a Parker House program (a halfway house for those in recovery from addiction) for women. Our current program is only available for men. Our West Street Apartments have a long waiting list and our shelter runs at capacity, so there appears to be community needs in those areas.