Domestic violence victim center gets new leader

COURTESY PHOTO | The Retreat has announced  new leadership.

COURTESY PHOTO | The Retreat has announced new leadership.

Michele Pollock Rich has been named executive director of The Retreat, the East Hampton-based organization that provides services throughout the Eastern Long Island for victims of domestic abuse.


Ms. Rich succeeds Jeffrey Friedman, who announced his plans to leave the Retreat in late 2013 after five years of service to the organization.

Ms. Pollock Rich was selected from what the organization described as “an expansive recruiter-led search that saw 142 applicants” vying for the job. She spent the last three years directing and supervising multiple critical domestic violence service, including outreach efforts, support programs and a 38-bed shelter at the Camden County Women’s Center in Camden, New Jersey.

Ms. Rich has a law degree from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia. She earned a master’s degree in American history at New York University and did her undergraduate work at SUNY Albany.

“We selected Michele Pollock Rich because she has the rare set of skills, experiences and knowledge needed to do this job well and because it is very clear that Michele lives and breathes the mission of breaking the cycle of domestic violence,” said Nicole Behrens, Retreat board president.

Ms. Pollock Rich was a domestic violence survivor who has built success “merging perspectives that join very personal experience and motivation with real world leadership in the field,” Ms. Behrens said.

“I feel very honored to be selected,” Ms. Pollock Rich said. She is the mother of three children and is engaged to be married. She hails from the Hudson River Valley area of New York State.

The Retreat has served multiple families on Shelter Island and Barbara Olton coordinates the local activities here.

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