Lisa Rakey steps down from Big Brothers, Big Sisters - Mia Woods is new executive director

Lisa Rakey has stepped down as executive director of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Illinois Capital Region.

Rakey's successor, Mia Woods, started in her new role on Monday, although Rakey will stay involved as a volunteer.

Rakey, whose last day as executive director was Dec. 9,  was first hired at Big Brothers, Big Sisters about 10 years ago to help the program expand into Macoupin and Montgomery counties. It has since expanded further into Christian and Logan counties, with hopes to continue expanding to other nearby counties.

In September, Rakey told the board that she was stepping down, but she agreed to stay until a replacement was named. Rakey had been executive director since 2014, and she says she'll continue to be involved as a volunteer.

"I'm just going to be enjoying the non-administrative part of volunteering," she said. "I'll still be around to help out."

Rakey said she's excited for Woods to take the reins.

"I love this organization and wanted to stay on as long as I could until they found the perfect person to take over," Rakey said.

Woods previously served as director of operations for Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Illinois. She says  she was attracted to Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Illinois Capital Region because of its longstanding history of working with communities in need.

"There are so many great stories from supporters and participants," she said.

Woods says her main priority will be decreasing the wait time for children to be paired with a mentor or "big" by getting more people involved.

"I have so much to learn," Woods said. "I'm looking forward to figuring out who we are in the community. I want to make sure every child wanting a big has one."

Contact Patrick Yeagle at [email protected].

This article has been corrected to reflect that Woods served as director of operations for Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Illinois, not Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Central Illinois.

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