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Thank you, Shannon Holtzendorf

Dear Truth Be Told Friends,

This press release is written to inform you of the resignation of Shannon Holtzendorf, Truth Be Told’s Executive Director, effective March 1, 2012. We want to express our heartfelt gratitude for all that Shannon has done to help us expand Truth be Told from a group of dedicated volunteers into a reliable effective non-profit service organization.

Shannon Holtzendorf speaks at a Truth Be Told luncheon

In December 2005, Shannon left a full time position to became Truth be Told’s first staff member, as part time administrative assistant and volunteer coordinator. By November 2007, she was named Executive Director with the understanding that she’d always work part time in order to focus on mothering her young children. We have accepted her resignation with grace and sadness, because we know she wants to spend more of her precious time with her children, now teenagers.

Shannon has motivated and inspired many as a frequent speaker at special events and at our annual fundraisers. She played a unique role in our organization, because her family was closely affected by the different feelings and stigmas that come with having a family member incarcerated. Shannon’s personal experiences enabled her to connect with the TBT mission for family reunification.

“Her vulnerability brings people to a heart level, when she shares about how TBT changed her life, her mom’s life, and her relationship with her husband, children and herself. She always has me wanting to sign up to belong to this community–and then I remember that I am part of it,” says Carol Waid.

Shannon brought her administrative experience and skills to help TBT become a dependable and smooth running organization. Warden Cathy Clemens at Gatesville’s Hilltop unit remarked on how delighted she was with how professional Truth be Told’s class materials and descriptive documentation were, as well as our quick and orderly responses to whatever they needed from us. Carol Waid and Nathalie Sorrell, founders of TBT, honor how Shannon has made their work in the prisons so much easier.

“We can ask Shannon for any piece of information or documentation and she is magically able to find it.” Carol says, “She is a walking file cabinet and is easily able to access all our history because it is the history of an organization that she has helped us create and loved with all of her heart, soul, mind and spirit. Shannon’s authenticity, her story and her passion for the work will be sorely missed.”

Carol Waid, co-founder of TBT and part time staff member as Director of our Beyond Bars Program, has now been placed into a full-time position, as Director of TBT Programs. In this role Carol will oversee our programs in the GEO Lockhart Unit, Hilltop Unit in Gatesville, at the TCCC jail in Del Valle. She will also act as interim Administrative Assistant, while we do a search for a new Executive Director. Carol and Shannon have worked closely together for the last 6 years and Shannon is training Carol to maintain the continuity of TBT’s foundational structure, as we’ve moved into our new office at 2810 S. 1st Street. “The day that Nathalie and I sat across from Shannon to ask her if she would be willing to take on the HUGE role of running TBT was one of the happiest moments for me. That day has been brought to the forefront of my memory as the time gets closer for her to depart, but I am truly grateful for the order that she is passing along to me,” Carol continues.

“I can’t imagine Truth be Told without Shannon,” says Nathalie Sorrell, TBT Co-founder. “She so easily did the essential jobs that Carol and I were flummoxed by, and we three became a mutual admiration society. Shannon built a bridge for our work behind bars to become stable and accessible outside prison walls. Now it’s time for her to get immersed in family, and for a new ED to come move Truth be Told into its next stage of existence. Whoever that is, she or he will be uniquely qualified as Shannon was – who can ask for anything more than working with these uniquely gifted people who support our work with the invisible women we serve?”

Amber Vazquez Bode, our Board Chair, said Shannon’s dedication to Truth Be Told has been a guiding force in the organization. Her personal transformation that resulted from TBT’s influence in her mother’s life is one of the most inspirational stories I know. I want to personally thank her for the wonderful work she has done for so long. She will be missed.

Shannon said:

“The six years I’ve spent with Truth Be Told have been the most meaningful years of my life, and I would not trade this experience for anything. I have learned so much about myself, other people, and life in general, through this work. Truth Be Told, and the people involved with it, has taught me invaluable life lessons – and I will be forever grateful for the way this organization has touched my life. I believe whole-heartedly in the mission of this work, and I use the tools taught by Truth Be Told in my own life every day. After much prayerful and thoughtful consideration, I have decided to dedicate more time to my family, and work with my husband to explore some possible business opportunities. I look forward to my continuing my relationship with Truth Be Told as a volunteer and faithful supporter.”

Truth Be Told is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit service organization providing transformational tools for women behind and beyond bars. Our programs provide community building and communication skills, respectful listening and creative tools for personal and spiritual growth for incarcerated women. We encourage in them a deeper sense of personal responsibility and help them face the truth of their pasts and embrace the hope of their futures.

If you wish to send Shannon a note, please do so at: shannon_holtzendorf@yahoo.com.

Please contact Carol at carol@truth-be-told.org or by phone at 512.292.6200, if you have any questions.

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About Shelley Seale

I'm Shelley, a journeyer and learner of the world, freelance journalist and author, yoga chick and dog lover. I pound the keyboard from home barefoot every day, and while my boss is demanding she also occasionally lets me have the early afternoon cocktail. I think not going into an office or collecting corporate paychecks are very good ideas, though not always profitable. I have written for National Geographic, USA Today, The Guardian, Texas Monthly and CNN, among others. Neither the New York Times nor Johnny Depp have answered my letters yet. I love yoga, indie movies, wine, and books, though not necessarily in that order. I believe in karma. Mean people suck. If I could have any dream job I would like to be a superhero. I have performed a catch on the flying trapeze, boarded down a live volcano and was once robbed by a monkey in Nepal. But, I don't know how to whistle. My mantra is "travel with a purpose."

One response »

  1. Wow. TBT without Shannon is hard to imagine. Shannon, best of luck as you move forward in your life.

    Reply

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