Wausau Pilot & Review
The Ethiopian Community Development Council, Inc. on Friday named Adam VanNoord as the Director of the Multicultural Community Center it plans to establish in Wausau.
In September, ECDC received authorization from the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration to begin resettling refugees in Wausau and hiring the Director marks an important milestone on the journey to start welcoming newcomers in this new location, the organization said.
Mr. VanNoord comes to ECDC with more than a decade of work experience in both the corporate and non-profit sectors. A resident of Wausau, VanNoord started his career in graphic design then later chose to pursue international humanitarian work. For five years, VanNoord worked as the Field Director with Not Forgotten International, a Wisconsin-based non-profit serving refugees in Southwest Algeria.
Through this experience, VanNoord discovered his passion for leading diverse teams and facilitating cross-cultural exchange to promote understanding and empathy.
VanNoord is currently earning a Master’s of Social Work degree and completing his practicum with Peaceful Solutions Counseling as part of his coursework.
“Having grown up in Wausau, Adam has local knowledge and connections that will be greatly beneficial in bringing the community together to ensure the success of the refugee resettlement program. His personal experience working with refugees in the international context will help him act as a bridge for both refugees and community members alike,” said Dr. Tsehaye Teferra, ECDC’s President and CEO. “In addition, Adam’s recent training in case management combined with his administrative, technology, communications, and leadership skills make him well suited to this role.”
In his new position, VanNoord will be responsible for coordinating with community stakeholders and preparing to meet the needs of refugees related to employment, affordable housing, health care, and education as well as broader participation in the community’s civic life.
“Welcoming and partnering with refugees who are seeking to establish and rebuild their lives is a long standing tradition in our country. I’m eager to see this tradition continue here in Wausau, as it has with the Hmong-American community,” VanNoord said. “It’s is an honor and privilege to step into this new role with ECDC and be responsible for collaborating effectively with community partners and stakeholders as we tailor and improve upon existing services and engage local volunteers in the act of welcoming through ECDC’s co-sponsorship program. I expect to be challenged, but I know it will be rewarding, too.”
VanNoord will begin work on October 25.