Manchester Community Library names J. Violet Gannon new executive director


MANCHESTER — The Manchester Community Library has appointed J. Violet Gannon as its new executive director, its board of trustees announced Tuesday. Gannon, who most recently served as patient experience manager at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, succeeds Betsy Bleakie, who is moving into a new role as the library's director of philanthropy.Gannon will start as director on October 22, the board of trustees said. Gannon has spent much of her career in higher education and healthcare. As patient experience manager at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, she was responsible for patient relations across the institution, ensuring high quality patient care. "I am delighted to be joining the Manchester Community Library," Gannon said in a news release issued by the library's board of trustees. "It is a cultural, literary, and social powerhouse with a talented Board and staff. I was drawn to the position by their efforts to serve the diverse needs of the community and by the passion of donors committed to ensuring their success."Prior to her work at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Gannon directed the Career Development Center at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. She previously served as Assistant Dean of the College and Director of The University of Chicago Careers in Health Professions program. There, she developed a pre-professional program that provided students and young alumni with the resources to develop an individualized portfolio of experiences and competencies required for advanced study in health and medicine. Gannon also founded and directed a summer fellowship program in which she taught an intensive, interdisciplinary summer seminar, lecturing on the behavioral, social, political, and economic aspects of healthcare. In recognition of her commitment to supporting students engaged in civic minded scholarship, Gannon was awarded the University Community Service Center's Staff Service Award. At both Trinity College and The University of Chicago, she recruited and led a diverse team of experienced professionals committed to community building and civic engagement. The executive director's chair opened this past summer, when Bleakie was appointed director of philanthropy, filling a new position that had been open for months. Bleakie was named interim director of what was then the Mark Skinner Library in 2011 and, as full-time director, steered the library's move into its current home at 138 Cemetery Ave., and expanded its offerings and programming.Gannon was selected for the executive director position at the library following a nationwide search, assisted by the Burlington-based consulting firm of Gallagher, Flynn & Company. Kate Orme, the chairwoman of the library's board of trustees, said the search committee and the full board were impressed with Gannon's record of excellence in leading creative initiatives and providing strategic vision and direction."Violet's mission-driven, non-profit experience in higher education and healthcare, combined with her intellect, her passion for the library's mission and her energy and enthusiasm make her an outstanding choice for executive director," Orme said, according to the release. "We are confident of her ability to lead our outstanding staff, to be a strong partner with the Board of Trustees, and to forge and nurture important relationships within all the different segments of the community we serve."Gannon will be relocating to Manchester and will be reachable by email at or by phone at 802-362-2607.



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