Northeast Opportunities for Wellness, Inc. (NOW) is proud to announce the hiring of Sarah C. Mortensen as its first Executive Director.

NOW announced the creation of an Executive Director position in July 2015, citing continued growth over its four-year history of providing nutrition and instruction in fitness and sports, regardless of access to financial resources, to youth throughout the Quiet Corner. Following an extensive search process in which more than two-dozen individuals applied for the position, Mortensen was selected in September to take the helm of the growing non-profit. The Plainfield native and Brooklyn resident comes to NOW following five years at Stonebridge Press & Villager Newspapers, including four-plus years as an advertising executive overseeing all aspects of advertising for the Killingly, Putnam, Thompson, and Woodstock Villager newspapers.

“It has been a wonderful experience working for Villager Newspapers, and my time there allowed me to establish a great working relationship with a variety of businesses and organizations in the community,” Mortensen said. “I have enjoyed getting to know the names and faces of the paper’s advertisers and have loved working with them toward a common goal. One of the most valuable things I’ve learned from Villager Newspapers is how connected we all are and how much better we are as a community when we work together.”

In addition to professional experience, the NOW Board of Directors was impressed with Mortensen’s track record as a dedicated contributor to various civic and professional organizations. She is the current president of the Quinebaug Valley Regional Rotaract Club, executive board member of the Putnam Business Association, and member at large of the Killingly Business Association and NECT Chamber of Commerce.

“Northeast Connecticut is a wonderful place to work and live, and I believe the quality of life we experience is directly connected to the many organizations that work to support and improve our community,” commented Mortensen. “I have found so much satisfaction in the projects I have been involved with through both the Rotaract Club and the PBA. Participating in the fundraisers, beautification projects, and public events of these organizations has sparked a passion for service that I am eager to continue in my new role with NOW.”

As NOW’s Executive Director, Mortensen will hit the ground running beginning October 5, 2015. Following an on-boarding process, she will begin managing the organization’s day-to-day operations and expanding its scholarship program to serve more children and families in Northeastern Connecticut. Mortensen will also become a key player in some of NOW’s most significant ongoing projects, including numerous annual fundraisers and the multi-million dollar renovation of the Putnam Keech Street armory into a regional recreation facility.

“It’s rare that a candidate and a position are ideal fits for one another, but we believe that’s the case with Sarah Mortensen and the Executive Director role,” said NOW President Allan Rawson. “She brings the professional skills to get the job done and the passion to champion our mission. We know Sarah will lead NOW to new heights, and we can’t wait to get to work.”