"I often questioned why God called me to this role when most of it seemed insurmountable."
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Safe Haven Executive Director Megan Hopkins reminds us that the issue does not discriminate and continues to be prevalent in West Michigan. "I believe it is our responsibility as women in leadership to educate ourselves about the warning signs of domestic violence and how to respond if we suspect someone around us is in fact experiencing relationship abuse."
What would you like to tell us about your career journey?
Hard work and faith are the principles that have ungirded everything that I set out to do. After moving to Grand Rapids from northern Maine 11 years ago, I earned my Master of Arts in communication from Western Michigan University. My goal was to continue to learn as much as possible about organizational communication to align with my passion for developing and empowering female leaders. As the founder of MBH Group LLC, I provided executive coaching and conducted an organizational assessment for Safe Haven Ministries to help grow the organization in 2016. I also agreed at the time to serve as campaign chair for the organization's $5.5 million capital campaign for a new facility. When the previous executive director stepped down in May 2017, the board asked me to fill the role as interim executive director. I was tasked with raising over $3 million for capital funds, coordinating gap financing for the project and overseeing construction, all while taking over the operations of the organization. After five months in the interim role, the board unanimously voted me as permanent executive director.
How has your own personal faith helped you lead?
My faith is the reason I'm serving as executive director at Safe Haven. Serving in this role has not only been the most inspiring and fulfilling job I've held but has given me opportunities I never would have imagined possible. That's not to say it didn't have its challenges. In the beginning, I often questioned why God called me to this role when most of it seemed insurmountable. My faith has taught me not to rely on my own strength or abilities, but to look to God for help in all things and to draw on other people's strengths as well.
What are some of your goals as you look ahead to 2021?
My personal goal is to continue challenging myself to look outward to help meet the needs of those around me, while making sure I do things that are life-giving for myself.
Professionally, my goal is to continue to grow a sustainable Safe Haven through financial stewardship, further engaging our community partners and board, and inspiring staff so that we may continue to serve those experiencing domestic violence while creating a safer and healthier community for all—right here in West Michigan.
If you would like more information or resources, visit Safe Haven Ministries or contact Safe Haven at 616.452.6664.
Written by Jennifer A. Pascua, Content Engagement Manager for West Michigan Woman.
This article originally appeared in the Oct/Nov 2020 issue of West Michigan Woman.