June 24, 2016—Operation Fuel, a private, nonprofit fuel bank program that provides emergency energy assistance to low- and moderate-income households across the state of Connecticut, has named a new executive director. Longtime director Patricia Wrice had announced earlier this year her intention to retire by the end of this month.
“After a long and thoughtful search process, the board of directors has selected Karen Adamson,” stated Wrice “Although my decision to leave has been bittersweet, I am delighted that Operation Fuel will be in capable hands. Karen brings to the organization both a great deal of experience and a passion for this work.”
Adamson, the former vice president of community engagement and performance for the Access Community Action Agency in Williamantic, CT, says she is excited and honored to be joining Operation Fuel. She also states that “[t]he mission of Operation Fuel is a great match to [her] personal mission to help eliminate the barriers to economic stability faced by low- to moderate-income families and individuals.” She credits Wrice’s leadership as providing a voice for these vulnerable households.
Wrice first began at Operation Fuel nearly 19 years ago and, at the time, she was the only full-time employee. In addition, the program only ran during the winter months and was only able to award $500,000 in grants. As of the most current fiscal year, however, Operation Fuel offers assistance year-round and awarded $3.6 million in grants to low- and moderate-income households through its more than 100 fuel banks around the state.
Nancy Bulkeley, chairperson of Operation Fuel’s board of directors, expressed her appreciation for Wrice’s leadership by stating that it had helped the agency grow tremendously. Wrice’s efforts were recognized nationally by the National Fuel Fund Network (now the National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition-NEUAC) when she received the 2011 Sister Pat Kelley Achievement Award. The award recognizes exemplary personal achievement in furthering NEUAC’s objectives of increasing public awareness about low-income energy problems, advancing energy assistance policy, and promoting charitable energy assistance.
Sources: Press Release, LIHEAP Clearinghouse