Former Salt Lake Tribune reporter and columnist and ex-City Weekly editor Holly Mullen has been appointed interim executive director of the Rape Recovery Center.
Mullen was on the Rape Recovery Center [RRC]'s board for four years, most recently as chair. She's taking over the center's leadership from Heather Stringfellow, a former sex-crimes detective who ran the center for seven years. Stringfellow announced in August she was leaving for an administrative and lobbying position at Planned Parenthood.
After 70 applicants were whittled down to six, RRC and the finalist could not agree on compensation, Mullen said. "The more it drags on without someone at the helm, the more vulnerable we are to losing key funding sources," she noted. She said after a "mutual discussion" between her and the board, it was agreed she would fill in as executive director for six months. Once that term is over, the RRC would start a second search. Mullen said she "may or may not put my name forward," at that time.
Mullen brings to the position extensive media experience and, more recently, public-relations skills, having been communications coordinator for the Democratic caucus, a position she has since relinquished in favor of the RRC. Developing media coverage of sexual violence issues is something she hopes to work on in the following months.
She noted that in the wake of Elizabeth Smart's testimony during the Brian David Mitchell trial, "our walk-in numbers and telephone crisis calls increased quite dramatically. There's no question that when this topic is addressed in the media it does increase awareness and people come in here for services."
The RRC's annual current budget this year stands at $587,000, sourced from federal, state and corporate contributions, along with client fees. Along with crisis intervention, a 24-hour hospital response team and an education initiative, the RRC also provides therapy for rape victims.