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New executive director of Sexual Assault Services appointed in Brainerd

The Sexual Assault Services Board appointed Marianne Washburn as the new executive director for the organization.

Washburn replaced the outgoing executive director Rose Kramer, who served in the position for 25 years prior to her retirement.

Washburn was selected among several qualified candidates seeking the appointment.

“It was a tough choice because the candidates all demonstrated passion and had excellent skills and expertise,” said State Rep. John Ward, DFL-Baxter, who is a member of the Sexual Assault Services Board. “In the end it was Marianne’s proven years of experience and success that singled her out as the candidate who could move the organization forward.”

Washburn has 28 years of experience in human services, working with victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. She has been involved in advocacy, crisis intervention and assisting with legal remedies in criminal and civil court proceedings. Washburn was pivotal in developing interventions that enhanced and sustained funding for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Family Violence Prevention Programs.

As administrator, Sexual Assault Services reported Washburn secured state and federal grant funding to successfully maintain five separate victim services programs and was responsible for the development of three of their most recent, including Sexual Assault, Criminal Justice Intervention and an Elder Abuse Program.

A survivor of both sexual assault and domestic violence, Washburn has dedicated her life to helping others overcome personal trauma, the organization reported, adding aspires to bring that same passion and dedication to the Brainerd lakes community. “My greatest hope is to see victims of sexual assault have the support and services they need,” Washburn said. “I am excited to engage and educate the community so that together we can work to end the cycle of violence.”

Sexual Assault Services is a nonprofit organization established to meet the needs of victims and their families, through programs and interventions. Anyone interested in obtaining additional information, volunteering, or making a tax-deductible donation, may contact Marianne Washburn at Sexual Assault Services at 828-0494 or email

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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