A nonprofit focused on addiction prevention in Lancaster County announced this week that it is under new leadership.
Manheim Township-based Compass Mark has hired Eric Kennel as its new executive director after a five-month search to replace Carol Kuntz.
Kuntz left the organization in February after a 10-year tenure, including three years as leader.
Kennel joins Compass Mark from another Pennsylvania nonprofit, Liberty Lutheran, located in Montgomery County.
He served Liberty Lutheran as its director of grant development, and has more than 10 years of experience in the delivery and administration of nonprofit human service programs.
Kennel has a master’s in public administration from Penn State University.
The board chose Kennel as its next leader because the organization was looking for someone who grasped the importance of what it does and could understand its vision.
Compass Mark is on the front lines of the county’s fight against drug addiction. Lancaster County, along with the rest of the state, is seeing an alarming increase in drug overdose deaths.
From 2014 to 2015 deaths increased more than 23 percent, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which recently reported that drug overdoses claimed 3,383 lives in Pennsylvania in 2015.
Studies have repeatedly shown prevention education is the most cost-effective way to combat addiction issues in our society, according to according to Aaron D. Hollis, president of Compass Mark’s board of directors.
That is why choosing a new leader for Compass Mark was a critical decision.
“Eric has strong organizational leadership abilities and passion for our mission,” Hollis said. “We look forward to continuing to serve our community under Eric’s leadership.”
Kuntz went on to fill an education position at the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations, where she will be able to guide hundreds of agencies statewide.