TAMPA — The president of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay is stepping down Aug. 15, the agency said Thursday.
David Braughton, who also serves as chief executive officer, has run the Crisis Center for nearly seven years. In announcing the departure, the agency noted that services and programs were expanded and its fundraising had increased during Braughton's tenure. He called leading the Crisis Center "the highlight of my professional career."
"As I transition to new challenges in the field of community service, the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay is well positioned to continue its leadership in providing support to residents facing family, financial, and emotional crises," Braughton said in a statement.
The Tampa-based Crisis Center handles more than 183,000 requests for assistance a year. Its services include medical transportation, running the Corbett Trauma Center, which provides individual and group counseling, help for sexual assault victims, financial education for working families and the 2-1-1 telephone hot line that provides suicide prevention, crisis counseling and social services referrals.
A search committee has already been formed, according to Timothy Traud, the Crisis Center's board chairman.
"We appreciate all that David has done for this agency and our community. He has assembled a top-notch staff that will continue the excellent work of the Crisis Center while we search for a new chief executive officer. David's contributions to the work of the Crisis Center and his focus on our mission have ensured not only the future success of the Crisis Center, but more importantly, the continued service to those who need us most," Traud said.
In April 2012, the Crisis Center was among the agencies that did not make the first cut when the Children's Board of Hillsborough County doled out $20 million of tax money for social services. The agency had been seeking $644,308 to pay for counseling for sexually abused children and to help cover the costs of the 2-1-1 hot line. The counseling was intended for children who did not qualify for Medicaid but whose parents couldn't afford its cost, Braughton said at the time.
A December 2012 article in the Journal of Leadership, Accountability & Ethics noted that Braughton "has some serious thinking to do about the strategic future of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay." The sour economy and funding shortfalls at the time posed a significant challenge to providing trauma counseling to everyone who needed it, the article stated.
In response, the agency got more efficient, boosted its fundraising efforts, and drew more revenue from its medical transportation services, according to the journal.
"Unfortunately, these extra resources will not sustain the organization in the long run and alternative sources of income are necessary," it said.