OCP Announces New Executive Director

OCP would like to welcome Sam Nickels as its new Executive Director. Sam brings a wealth of experience working in the nonprofit world, including work as a case manager in homeless shelters in Washington DC, helping people access disability income and other public benefits at Zacchaeus Free Medical Clinic, and serving with the Mennonite Central Committee in El Salvador. Locally, Sam has worked with NewBridges Immigrant Resource Center to assist immigrants and train community health and human service agencies and church groups in cultural competency and diversity issues. Sam recently obtained a PhD in nonprofit and community leadership from JMU’s School for Strategic Leadership Studies.

His volunteer work has included serving on the Founding Team of the Friendly City Food Coop for 5 years, and assisting community-based mental health organizations in Central American countries for the last 16 years. Sam said, “I am very excited about leading the work at OCP. The staff is amazing, the programs are deeply important, and I love working with our community members who come daily for fellowship, support, food, and love.” Sam’s fluency in Spanish will broaden OCP’s impact in the community.

Sam has lived with his family in Harrisonburg since 2001. He began as OCP director on February 1st.