After 30 years of service to OnTrack Financial Education and Counseling, Executive Director, Celeste Collins, has announced she will retire later this year. Collins has served as OnTrack's Executive Director for 20 years.
"OnTrack WNC has accomplished so much over its 50-year history and I'm proud to have been part of this amazing team," said Celeste. "While my heart will always be in OnTrack WNC's life-changing work, the time feels right to turn over leadership to someone new to lead the agency into the future."
During Celeste’s time as Executive Director, OnTrack WNC adopted bold strategic plans to meet community needs and advance economic self‐sufficiency in Western NC. The 2007-2011 economic recession and mortgage crisis challenged OnTrack WNC to restructure and expand to meet ever-growing demand for intensive foreclosure prevention counseling. Post-recession the agency evolved, yet again, adding the Financial Capabilities model to enhance client outcomes, expanded its free tax prep (VITA) program, and launched matched programs to help people build emergency savings and achieve homeownership. During the global pandemic of 2020-2022 the staff mobilized to redesign programs for online delivery and continue to serve clients. Now, post-pandemic, OnTrack WNC is reimagining its programs and expanding community-based programs.
Board President, Dave Werle said, “Celeste’s inspiring leadership has created opportunities for so many people in our communities to build financial stability and hope for a better future. We are deeply grateful for her years of service and her collaboration through this transition.”
In prepartation for Collins's retirement, the Board has engaged Armstrong McGuire & Associates Senior Advisor, Hannah Randall, to lead an Executive Transition Management process. A Transition Committee comprised of board and staff members has been formed and, as part of the process, will seek input from the community in the days ahead. The search for the next Executive Director will launch this spring.