Peace House selects new executive director | ParkRecord.com

Peace House selects new executive director

Kendra Wyckoff led Safe Harbor Crisis Center

Peace House has selected Kendra Wyckoff as its new executive director.

Wyckoff brings 18 years of experience working in the victim-service field to the nonprofit that is on a mission to wipe out domestic violence in Summit and Wasatch counties. 

She comes to Peace House from her role as executive director of Safe Harbor Crisis Center, a domestic-violence and rape-crisis center in Davis County.

"I'm drawn to mission-based work and care deeply about violence intervention and prevention services and strategies," Wyckoff told The Park Record. "The Peace House position was of interest to me as I know the organization quite well because of the work I have done in the field.

"(I'm looking forward to) having the opportunity to be involved in a community that is clearly invested in ushering in a new phase of service delivery for survivors of domestic violence."

The new phase Wyckoff refers to is a $11 million facility that will include 22 housing units, with eight units for emergency shelter, 12 units for traditional housing and two units for employees at Quinn's Junction.

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Former Peace House Executive Director Jane Patten, who Wyckoff is replacing, is the campus' project manager.

"I really look forward to work collectively to work the Peace House team and the community around the new campus," said Wyckoff, whose husband, Justin, is a sergeant with the West Valley Police Force. "This is going to be an incredible opportunity for Summit and Wasatch counties, because with that campus, there is going to be an increase in terms of services we will offer victims of domestic violence."

For the past two and a half years, Wyckoff led efforts at Safe Harbor to increase programming capacity, which included opening an outreach resource center to provide greater accessibility and visibility of services for individuals impacted, by domestic violence and sexual assault. 

"Oftentimes, domestic violence is seen as a private family matter, and we're working hard to show that this issue is really a public health and public safety issue that has tremendous impact on families in our communities," she said. "If we have the capacity to create visibility, we increase the conversation and investment with the community around addressing the issue."

Wyckoff also worked collectively with the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition, a federally recognized state organization, to cultivate partnerships with the local law enforcement agencies in Davis County. The work resulted in a nearly county-wide implementation of the LAP (Lethality Assessment Protocol), an evidence-based screening tool and referral protocol used by first responders to identify high risk victims of domestic violence and link those individuals to victim services.

Wyckoff — a mother of one son, age 25, and three daughters, ages 20, 11 and 6 — also has experience as Shelter Director for both the YWCA in Salt Lake City and South Valley Sanctuary, and five years of experience as an advocate in the West Valley City prosecutor's office.

"Eighteen years ago I had the opportunity to apply for a position with the West Valley prosecutor's office, and I started working as a victims advocate in a systems-based capacity, which means I worked closely with police and prosecutors in supporting victims of crime," said Wyckoff, who has a degree in Behavioral Science and Health from the University of Utah. "We primarily worked with domestic violence and sexual assault victims, and that was the foundation in terms of understanding the needs and prevalence of these issues and contribute in positive ways so we can start to see the tides turn.

"That has helped my work at a strategic leadership level because I have learned so much from survivors themselves. I can look at program development through that lens."

Wyckoff said her family is looking to relocate to the Wasatch Back.

"We've lived-in Davis County for 10 years and are working to sell our home, which takes time," she said. "I look forward to our next move because I love that the community here is invested to support nonprofit organizations."

Peace House Interim Executive Director Julie DeLong said she and the Peace House administration are so happy Wyckoff accepted the offer.

"She holds some relationships in the field and they were so positive and extremely excited for the opportunity for her to join our work at Peace House," DeLong said. "The search committee was impressed with Kendra's talent, skills and passion for the work."

As far as her own experience as interim executive director, DeLong had nothing but good things to say.

"I have had such great experience with the Peace House team for the past seven months. It's been an honor for me to associated with this organization," she said.

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