New Hope's new leadership

LAURA CALVERLEY / FOR THE SUN CHRONICLEMarcia Szymanski, left, has been named New Hope’s new interim executive director. Ellayna Ungureanu has been named the agency’s new development and marketing associate.

ATTLEBORO - Two new executives will be leading the next chapter in the journey of New Hope, the regional agency working to end domestic and sexual violence in the Attleboro community.

Marcia Szymanski has been named New Hope's new interim executive director. She replaces longtime Executive Director Kim Thomas, who resigned in July to take over another agency.

New Hope's new development and marketing associate is Ellayna Ungureanu. Ungureanu replaces public relations head Laura Martens who also left recently for another position out of state.

Szymanski, who started Aug. 11, comes to New Hope with more than 20 years experience in public health and social services. She worked for 18 years at Health Imperatives in Brockton, where she managed various programs involving public and family health services, including sexual and domestic violence and teen pregnancy.

"I'm very excited about the opportunity. New Hope's mission is very near and dear to my heart," said Szymanski.

Ungureanu previously worked as a client support specialist for Astonish, a digital marketing company in Warwick for three years.

"I volunteered at the Women's Center in Rhode Island and fell in love with the work. I knew I wanted to continue working in this area," said Ungureanu, who has worked at New Hope since June.

Both women are looking forward to working at an agency that does so much in raising awareness, educating the community and helping victims of domestic and sexual violence.

Szymanski, who has lived in the area for more than 21 years, says New Hope has built "a huge legacy of truly amazing work" over the years.

"I've seen New Hope grow from a small agency that was mostly a shelter operation and hotline to an organization that serves 54 cities and towns. To be part of that progress is wonderful and humbling at the same time," Szymanski said.

Ungureanu also wants to contribute to the agency's future development.

"I wanted to be part of the mission of New Hope and try to help grow the agency to a higher level," said Ungureanu, who studied event management at Johnson & Wales University.

Szymanski and Ungureanu are already busy working on various projects.

Szymanski has been developing recommendations for the future and reaching out to staff and supporters to "assure them that the agency is in good hands."

"We want people to know we're a strong agency and still providing the services we've always provided, and we will continue to build on that foundation," Szymanski said.

Ungureanu is starting to plan the upcoming Gourmet Guys event, New Hope's signature fundraiser where local chefs prepare their specialty dishes. The annual event this year will take place Friday, Nov. 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Attleboro Elks Lodge, 887 South Main St. (Route 152).

"It's the 25th anniversary of Gourmet Guys this year which is very exciting," said Ungureanu.

Another project for Ungureanu is to grow New Hope's social media base.

"I'm looking at different strategies to get New Hope out there. There's a new generation of people that we want to let know what New Hope is and what we do," Ungureanu said.

For more information on New Hope, call 508-226-4015 or visit

LAURA CALVERLEY is a freelance writer for The Sun Chronicle. She can be reached at

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