Laura Morrison, former Compass Center Chair

July 8th would have been my mom, Martha's, 63 rd  birthday. This time of year is always tough because it's a palpable reminder that my mom isn't here to celebrate her birthday. In 1995, my mother attempted to end her abusive marriage, but my stepfather shot her to death. She was just 42 years old.
For a long time after my mom's death, I struggled with the whys. Why did this happen to my family? Why do I have to grow up without a mom? Why does intimate partner violence (IPV) happen in the first place? Why do victims often face disheartening obstacles when they seek help or attempt to leave their abusers? Around and around I went with the whys, and no matter what answer I landed on, I didn't feel better, nor did I feel I could assign any meaning to my mom's death. She was still dead, and I still hurt.
With time I thankfully realized that healing wouldn't come from answering the whys. Instead, I've found peace by using my experience to serve others.
That's where Compass Center comes in. I am proud to have served on Compass Center's board of directors for three years, one of which I served as the organization's Board Chair. Board service with Compass Center allowed me to be a strong, vocal advocate for victims of IPV in our community. Board service allowed me to turn something so personally painful into a platform to help others struggling to navigate toward healthy, fulfilling, and loving relationships. Compass Center board service has played an integral role in my growth and healing.
Perhaps most importantly, though, Compass Center helped me celebrate my mother's life while also generating community conversation about IPV and support for individuals struggling with IPV in our community. In 2013, Compass Center hosted the first annual Martha's Day on July 8 - my mom's birthday - and over the course of three annual events, we raised nearly $15,000 to support Compass Center, Orange County's only IPV agency.

Laura and her Mom

We didn't host Martha's Day this year, but you can still make a charitable contribution to Compass Center in Martha's honor. Simply click here and in the "In Memory" line, write Martha Pearson or Martha's Day. Your gift to Compass Center helps the organization thrive.
My desire to end IPV obviously drew me to Compass Center board service, but the beautiful thing about Compass Center is its broad array of services. Our board members bring a diverse set of passions to Compass Center leadership. Some are passionate about gender equality; some are motivated to help clients achieve financial stability; and others are jazzed about youth health education and empowerment. No matter what brought each member to Compass Center's board, the 2016-2017 Compass Center board of directors is deeply dedicated and committed to Compass Center's mission and vision and will work to make the organization as good as it can be in the coming years.

If you're unable to make a monetary donation to Compass Center, or if you'd like to do even more to support Compass, please consider volunteering with us! For more information about the many volunteer opportunities, please click here.
Compass Center Welcomes 2016 Board Members!

Jane Sommers-Kelly, Chair
JANE SOMMERS-KELLY - Executive Coach and Managing Director at Duke Corporate Education



Lakshmi Goyal,  Vice-Chair  

LAKSHMA GOYAL - Executive Editor at Cell Press/Elsevier 


Patrick Phelan,  Treasurer 

PATRICK (PAT) PHELAN - Financial Advisor, Edward Jones Investment    


Shelia Reich, Secretary

SHELIA REICH - Deputy Director for National Expansion and Quality Assurance for the Children's Aid Society  



John Miskey
Partner at Bagwell Holt Smith P.A.

Elisabeth Johnson
Clinical Assistant Professor, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Beth Posner 
BETH POSNER  Clinical Assistant Professor of Law, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Betsi Harris 

BETSI HARRIS - Director of Global Service Excellence, Credit Suisse Group, Research Triangle Park

Briggs Wesche

BRIGGS WESCHE - Senior Financial Management & Operations Executive

Chandler G. Spaulding 

CHANDLER G. SPAULDING -  University Development, Office of Foundation Relations, Duke University, Durham, NC

Jeff Spinner-Halev 

Kenan Eminent Professor of Political Ethics, Department of Political Science, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Julia Vanderput 

JULIA VANDERPUT - Marketing Strategist, Newfangled

Melissa F. Raszewski

MELISSA F. RASZEWSKI - North Carolina Compliance Attorney, Global Operations, Laboratory Corporation of America, Burlington

Shelah S. Bloom 
SHELAH S. BLOOM - Research Assistant Professor Department of Maternal and Child Health, Gillings School of Global Public Health, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

On behalf of the Compass Center's staff and Board of Directors we would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of  the Board 
members who recently completed their terms. Their contributions will continue to uplift and benefit Compass Center tremendously.  We wish you all the very best in your next endeavors.  

Doris A. Friend
Laura Frankel
Mark Phillips
Sandra Truitt 
Jane Leserman Madison
Leah Ogden
Laura Morrison

Board of Directors: 
Jane Sommers-Kelly, Chair; Lakshmi Goyal, Vice Chair; Pat Phelan, Treasurer; Shelia Reich, Secretary; Elisabeth Johnson; John Miskey; Betsi Harris; Beth Posner; Briggs Wesche; Chandler Spaulding; Jeff Hale; Julia Vanderput; Melissa F. Raszewsk; Shelah Bloom

Henderson Street House Foundation:
Mimi Fountain; Joan Gillings; Margie Haber; Jay Miller; Sara Morgan 
 210 Henderson St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 | 919.968.4610 |
For help with domestic violence issues, please call our 24-hour hotline: 919.929.7122