Hearts and Hands, a nonprofit organization which pairs volunteers with older and physically-challenged adults for transportation and in-home support, has appointed Kathleen Oczek as its Executive Director.

Kathy OczekOczek was previously employed by the Evergreen Foundation as its Vice President of Advancement, to develop and implement fundraising activities and oversee volunteer management, for events including annual giving campaigns, grant writing and fundraisers, primarily for HIV/AIDS services.  She participated in the agency’s senior management team, and prepared marketing plans and collateral materials for fundraising and appeals.  Oczek was with the organization for 14 years.

Prior to her time with Evergreen, Oczek was the Director of Development for the Heritage Oak Foundation, and the Executive Director of Cradle Beach Camp. She also worked for the Buffalo General Hospital Foundation as its Director of Development.

Kathy Flynn, Board of Directors Chairperson for Hearts and Hands, commented on Kathleen’s appointment: “There was great interest from potential candidates.  A committee of board members screened and interviewed candidates, and asked them to demonstrate how they would handle the real challenge of expanding services to meet the high demand.  Kathy brings vast experience in not-for-profit management, fundraising, volunteer services and strategic planning. “The board is excited to bring Kathy on staff and is confident in her leadership ability to take the organization to its next level of growth and maturity.”

Oczek has a degree from SUNY College at Buffalo, and began her career in education. As a remedial math teacher, she established the Title IV-C remedial math program serving children in elementary and junior high for the Wilson School District.  She is a member and past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and a past president of Dining Out for Life International, an organization of 60 agencies throughout the U.S. and Canada caring for individuals living with the challenges of HIV/AIDS.  She was also awarded a Certified Fund Raising Executive designation. Oczek is a resident of Amherst, New York.

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