Martha’s Vineyard Community Services head will retire

Christine Todd (left) and retiring MVCS executive director Julia Burgess at the Dave Brubeck concert YMCA fundraiser in 2010. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

Martha’s Vineyard Community Services announced Tuesday that Julia Burgess, executive director since 2006, will retire as head of the Island’s umbrella social services agency.

Ms. Burgess will “graciously” remain in her present position as executive director until the search for her replacement is completed on or prior to June 1, 2013, Wiet Bacheller, chairman of board said in a press release.

“The board extends its sincere appreciation and best wishes to Julia as she looks forward to the next phase of her professional and personal life,” Ms. Bacheller said.

Ms. Burgess knew the Island well, having visited summers since her grade-school years, when her family first came to visit the Vineyard Haven family of Francis W. Sayre Jr., then her father’s colleague as Dean of the National Cathedral.

After an extended career dedicated to social services in Illinois and the Washington, D.C., area, Ms. Burgess moved to Martha’s Vineyard to take the helm at Community Services in April 2006.

“Under pressure of state fiscal austerity, over the last 6 years, Julia Burgess has lead Community Services through many changes including accreditation, program expansion, stabilizing staff and building a technology infrastructure,” Ms. Bacheller said. “We thank her for her service.”

Ms. Bacheller said the board has established a search “to identify leadership to take MVCS through this next exciting period that includes attending to the changing needs and demographics of our community, a changing health care environment, and a challenging economic context.”

For more information about MVCS, call 508-693-7900.