Pleasanton-based child and family support nonprofit Hively has announced that Mary Hekl will be the organization's permanent CEO after serving as interim for the past five months.
Hekl served on the Hively Board of Directors for four years until stepping down to take on the interim role after the nonprofit and former CEO Kelly O'Lague parted ways in February for unknown reasons.
"Mary brings a unique set of skills as an expert in HR from her days at Google and familiarity with the organization from her previous term as board chair," current Hively Board Chair Ryan Duncan Anderson said in the news release.
"As interim CEO these past months, she has exhibited creativity and a strategic orientation that we believe will help us expand Hively's mission into the future," Anderson added. "We look forward to her leadership and determination as we continue to provide resources and support to ensure that everyone in the community can thrive."
Headquartered in Pleasanton, Hively focuses on supporting local families through child care stipends and referrals, parent education classes and family classes in the East Bay. The nonprofit offers clinical mental health services and daily essentials such as food, diapers and clothing to those in need.
The organization served over 2,000 local families and children seeking child care referrals during the past year and served 975 child care providers, according to the news release.
A Pleasanton resident, Hekl said some of her goals as incoming CEO will be focused on expanding core services within the organization and increasing access, availability and affordability of mental health services.
"First -- greatly increase the number of families and providers that we help with services such as child care subsidies, educational programs and referrals to essential services that allow families to thrive," Hekl said regarding the goals she hopes to accomplish.
"Second -- continue to support Tri-Valley residents with food, clothing, housewares and other items through our Hively Family Resource Center in Dublin," she said. "Third -- become a leading provider of mental health services beyond our current San Leandro location by adding Tri-Valley and Oakland as well as pilot creative ways to improve mental health."
Hekl comes from a 20-year background working in leading human resources teams for companies including Marriott, Google, Ellie Mae and Zymergen. According to her bio on the Hively website, Hekl's "professional passion is creating great places to work for employees and helping companies thrive."
She recently began pursuing a master's of public health at Johns Hopkins University with a focus on mental health and she holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan and a bachelor's from Tulane University.
Another addition to the Hively leadership team will be Candida Duperroir, who will be joining as the new director of community services and education.
Duperroir, who started in her new position July 1, will be bringing her experience in child care services after 23 years of working with CocoKids, which offers child care resource and referral services in Contra Costa County.
She has also worked as the county organizer for the national grassroots organization, Parent Voices, and became a leading advocate for access to child care, housing and employment services.
"She is an active parent advocate and an educator for child care providers and the Early Learning Education system," Hekl said of Duperroir. "As one of our government partners recently exclaimed, 'What a huge gain for our county and for Hively!' Candy's impact will be felt immediately by Alameda County parents and providers."
Duperroir said in the release that Hively is unique in that it combines child care and mental health services to effectively serve the community. She also outlined various ideas on how she wants to approach the job.
"First, I would like to build trusted relationships with the Hively Team and board of directors to advance quality, affordable and accessible child care for all families and child care providers," she said. "Second, I would like to advance the My Child Care Plan database to expand online services for families and providers.
She added, "Third, I would like to elevate the voices of families, providers, child care resource and referral agencies and Alternative Payment Program providers so they can be the change agents, those who not only implement but also influence the policies and regulations that enable all families with equitable access to child care and education."
Hively currently has locations in Oakland, Fremont and San Leandro to serve its family clients and most recently opened a new Hively Family Resource Center in Dublin in January under O'Lague's leadership.