Project GROWS announces Annie Sachs as new executive director
By Rebecca J. Barnabi
For Augusta Free Press
On Feb. 1, Annie Sachs, current executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Waynesboro, Staunton and Augusta County, will become executive director of Project GROWS.
Previous executive director Tom Brenneman left in September.
“We launched a national search, and we were just fortunate that our top choice was right here in the Valley,” said Ann Snyder, board chair of Project GROWS. Sachs has been with the Boys & Girls Club for 10 years, and served as executive director for the last six years.
Sachs grew up in Rockbridge County, attended college at Virginia Commonwealth University and returned to the Valley in 2009 where she and her son, now 18, bought a home in Staunton.
“The beauty of a small community,” Sachs said of returning to the Valley.
She began part-time with the Boys & Girls Club.
“It was like a really nice way to start connecting with youth in this area,” Sachs said. The club afforded her the opportunity to work with a diverse community and “focus on creating equity in a population.”
In her role with the Boys & Girls Club, Sachs was already a Project GROWS partner.
“The Boys & Girls Club has been one of our key partners for a very long time,” Synder said.
Sachs was looking for her next challenge when the position became open at Project GROWS.
“We are so lucky she was interested in Project GROWS,” Snyder said. And the nonprofit is “grateful to the Boys & Girls Club for working with us during the transition process.”
Snyder said that Sachs not only brings leadership ability and fundraising experience to her new role, but also grant management skills.
“We really feel like [she’s] the perfect fit,” Snyder said.
Sachs said that the Boys & Girls Club’s partnership with Project GROWS added value to the club.
“I was really excited to become more involved with Project GROWS. I think the food access piece has always been a passion of mine,” Sachs said of her new role, which will allow her to still “serve many of the same clients.”
Sachs said she knows she will learn more as she assumes her new role, and she looks forward to discussing ideas and goals with the Project GROWS board and staff.
“I’m just excited to join such an incredible team,” Sachs said.
Sachs said fundraising and growing the nonprofit’s donor base will be on her list of goals.
“The community that supports Project GROWS is huge. There’s so much love,” Sachs said.
She would like to increase awareness of the nonprofit’s mission. Access to healthy food and education about healthy food options are important to her. She also looks forward to being part of the nonprofit’s growth.
“I know first hand the impact Project GROWS has on a kid who doesn’t know where food comes from,” Sachs said.
Sachs is “really excited to apply the skills that I’ve learned through the Boys & Girls Club in a way that is meaningful to Project GROWS.” The organization’s “mission focus has been strong.”
“You can’t have a healthy kid if you’re not making sure the foundation of that [is healthy food],” Sachs said.