HomeCommunity NewsYWCA Glendale and Pasadena CEO Tara Peterson Moves On Amid High Praise

YWCA Glendale and Pasadena CEO Tara Peterson Moves On Amid High Praise

By Kennedy Zak and
Vincent Nguyen
Glendale News-Press

After eight years as CEO of the YWCA Glendale and Pasadena, Tara Peterson has announced her departure from the leadership role in the organization.
“I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to serve this organization and our community,” said Peterson in a statement on the organization’s website. “This took an unwavering commitment from the staff and our partners — I am so proud to have overseen the organization through a pandemic and continued to deliver services during this challenging time.”
Peterson is moving on to a new role as the executive director at a distinguished domestic violence organization based in Northern California.
“I have made this choice to transition to a new role to be closer to my family and support a new community,” said Peterson, who said she became a new grandmother recently. “I am excited about what is to come for YWCA GP, and I know that our board of directors, partners and staff are committed to continuing serving the community and its ever-changing needs.”
Peterson was honored with the Mayor’s Commendation at the March 26 Glendale City Council meeting. The motion was requested by Councilwoman Elen Asatryan and read by Mayor Dan Brotman, who called Peterson a “steadfast advocate for gender and racial equality.”
“An expert in violence against women, her work revived the YWCA’s legacy, expanding key programs and sparking crucial conversations,” read Brotman. “Her cofounding of the Coalition for an Antiracist Glendale and her role in crafting Glendale’s Sundown Town Resolution in 2020 stand as testament to her dedication in championing equality for all.”
Asatryan, who prepared the commendation, said Peterson’s work “for women and girls is going to have ripple effects in this city for generations to come.”
“I’m sad that we are losing you … but I know that someone with your passion doesn’t stop [doing] the work,” Asatryan added. “And while you’re moving up to the Bay Area, I look forward to our collaboration in getting state funding and federal funding to continue the work.”
In her outgoing statement, Peterson highlighted the YWCA’s goals in making a “meaningful change” in the community “to eliminate racism, [and to] empower women and young girls.”
“Our time together at YWCA Glendale and Pasadena has been nothing short of extraordinary,” Peterson said. “Collectively, we’ve achieved remarkable milestones and weathered challenges that have only strengthened the bonds within our community.
“Together, we’ve navigated the complexities of the pandemic, refocused our agency on eliminating racism and empowering women, and significantly expanded our impact and reach.”
Asatryan spotlighted Peterson’s efforts to create and strengthen programs, improve employee structure and bridge together previous language barriers for individuals hoping to join the YWCA.
“She has been advocating on the federal and state levels to secure resources and funding,” Asatryan said. “And during her tenure, she got the budget to go from $1.3 million to $3 million for our local chapter. I know that I can speak firsthand on how accessible you have made the YWCA Glendale and Pasadena.”
Peterson touted the YWCA’s expansion from a 10-bed shelter to a 16-bed dwelling under her guidance. The organization also renovated the Lexington facility with ADA compliance and sprinklers to fulfill fire safety requirements.
“YWCA Glendale and Pasadena is vibrant and strong,” Peterson said. “We have an outstanding board, talented and committed staff, dedicated community supporters, committed donors, a strong balance sheet, and a strategic plan we are all passionately pursuing. The future holds endless possibilities for YWCA-GP to continue making even more significant impacts.”
YWCA Board President Jill Welton thanked Peterson for her accomplishments in a statement.
“So much has been achieved for our community,” Welton said. “We have increased in size and services offered, received recognition from government officials for outstanding work, unified our services with Pasadena to help build and strengthen programs, and have made meaningful social justice progress within the community.
“We thank you all — because of your support the YWCA Glendale and Pasadena is vibrant and strong! We are excited to build upon this strong foundation,” Welton added, noting that the organization’s board and leadership will continue services while they conduct a national search for a new CEO.
Peterson praised the board’s commitment and partnership for the “shared success.”
“I am immensely proud of what we have built together, and I am confident that the YWCA team will continue to thrive, accomplish great things, and create positive change in the community,” she said.
“As I step into this new chapter, I want to express my profound appreciation to all of you. Your commitment to our shared goals has been a constant inspiration, and I am genuinely grateful for the memories we’ve created.
“Thank you for being an integral part of this incredible journey. I eagerly anticipate crossing paths in our respective endeavors and continuing to cheer on the continued success of YWCA.”

First published in the March 30 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

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