Founder back at the helm at Quigley House

Kile Brewer
Posted 1/17/18

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Ellen Siler has returned to Quigley House as chief executive officer, but the move is not permanent.

Siler is only stepping in as an interim chief until the board can hire …

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Founder back at the helm at Quigley House


GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Ellen Siler has returned to Quigley House as chief executive officer, but the move is not permanent.

Siler is only stepping in as an interim chief until the board can hire a replacement for former CEO Peggy Payne, who recently resigned after six years of service.

“We’re really happy with all the things she did,” Siler said. “She was just ready to move on to a new adventure.”

Siler, who currently works for the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, was contacted through that organization when the CEO position became vacant and asked if she would fill in until a replacement could be found. Siler obliged and returned to the place she helped get off the ground more than 20 years ago.

Siler served as the Quigley House executive director for the organization’s first seven years, when the shelter was a donated house with 15 beds. She stayed through Quigley House’s infancy, seeing it through until it received a $1.7 million grant to build a new shelter. She then went on to work for Hubbard House in Jacksonville as CEO for 20 years. Soon after retiring last August, she was called back into service and her current role at Quigley House.

“I was enjoying retirement, and I will enjoy it again after they find a new CEO,” Siler said. “But I spent several years of my life here, and [Quigley House] means a lot to me.”

The board has posted the job through the Florida Coalition website, whose staff will screen candidates for the minimum requirements to serve as a CEO of an organization like Quigley House. For example, one job requirement is a Department of Children and Families requirement of at least two years’ experience working in the domestic violence field. Applications will be taken through Feb. 23, and the interview process will begin.

Siler said she will not be making any changes to the operations at Quigley House during her brief tenure here, but will instead just sort of keep things going until the new CEO is chosen and ready to step in. She said that Payne had put a solid five-year plan together before her resignation that outlined the next few years and has the organization on the right track.

“My main job is the make sure that the services aren’t interrupted during the transition,” Siler said. “It’s to make sure the excellent services Quigley House has provided will continue.”

In the meantime, Siler is overseeing a few things such as the installation of added security at the headquarters, including a new system for buzzing visitors through the door, which Siler said had been in the works for some time. She is also looking to put a sign at the entrance to the headquarters building. Since it is set back off U.S. Highway 17, visitors sometimes have trouble finding the building without any markers advertising the street number along the highway.

For Siler, she is happy to return to Quigley House for a few months as she continues her career in the industry. She also encourages anyone who feels threatened or has been abused to call the hotline at (904) 284-0061, or the toll-free number at 800-500-1119.

“Knowing there is someplace to go and be safe makes all the difference,” she said.


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