Georgia's Rainbow Village Welcomes Melanie Conner as New CEO
Wednesday, January 10th, 2018
A self-described “community of transformation,” Metro Atlanta-based Rainbow Village is undergoing an exciting transformation of its own. After 24 years in the role of CEO, Reverend Nancy Yancey announced in June 2017 that she would be retiring at the end of the year from the Georgia organization dedicated to breaking the cycles of homelessness, poverty and domestic violence among families with children. The search began to fill some very big shoes, as Yancey played an integral role in Rainbow Village’s evolution from Rainbow House in Norcross – an outreach ministry of Christ Episcopal Church that could house two homeless families at a time – to a 501(c)3 nonprofit in Duluth that boasts a sprawling all-inclusive campus of five apartment buildings that can house up to 30 families. That search led to Melanie Conner – former housing coordinator for Governor’s Office of Transition, Support and Reentry.
In her role as housing coordinator for three years, Conner was involved with the Georgia Prisoner Re-entry Initiative and the Healing Communities program – a model for local community involvement to assist returning citizens as they seek to restore relationships with their families, communities, and – when possible – the victims of their crimes. Conner believes this experience makes her well-suited for her new position at Rainbow Village – where she’ll be able to continue working with families in need of support, just for a different audience in a new location. Rainbow Village does not mark the first time Conner has served at the helm of a nonprofit organization. Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, she served as Executive Director for Zion Hill Community Development Corporation for 11 years. Dedicated to “changing lives and serving with love,” Zion Hill is dedicated to promoting the revitalization and redevelopment of selected areas in Metropolitan Atlanta, and to empower citizens through economic, residential, social, and educational programs. As a happy coincidence, Rainbow Village also empowers its Villagers through programs that include childcare and early education, youth programs, life skills education classes, counseling and more.
Yancey had this to say about Conner, “God’s been working in both of our lives to put us in this place. Melanie is a perfect fit and I could not be happier. No one wants her to be more successful than I do. I want to be remembered as the SECOND best CEO.”
In addition to a colorful career that includes an eight-year turn in the corporate realm at The Coca-Cola Company, Conner boasts a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Georgia State University, a Master of Divinity in Christian Education from Interdenominational Theological Center and a Master of Nonprofit Management and Leadership from Capella University.
With regard to what this next new chapter in her life will hold, Conner said, “I have visited a lot of nonprofit organizations over the years, there’s something different here… something special. Rainbow Village strives for excellence just as I do in my own life. I don’t believe I can fill Nancy’s shoes, I can just do the best job that I can do and make Nancy proud. There is always room for improvement. Nancy has done a phenomenal job and has given me a strong, firm foundation to build upon. Now it’s my job to ask ‘how do we get to the next level?’ Under her watch, Rainbow Village has won so many awards, has achieved such a presence in the community, and has transformed so many lives. When it’s my time to leave Rainbow Village, I hope to leave with the same satisfaction that I have served the Lord in an equally amazing way.”