Media Advisory: For Immediate Release

Date: January 8, 2018

Contra Costa Crisis Center welcomes Tom Tamura as new Executive Director

The Contra Costa Crisis Center (Crisis Center) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping people alive and safe, helping them through crises, and connecting them with culturally relevant resources. After a 4-month intensive search, the Crisis Center is pleased to announce the selection of Tom Tamura as its new executive director. Tamura follows the Crisis Center’s previous long-term Executive Director, Rhonda James, who left the organization in July for a new professional challenge as Chief Executive Officer of STAND! For Families Free of Violence. The Crisis Center selected Tamura after an extensive regional search led by a team of current and former Board Members. The Crisis Center’s Interim Director, Mary Vradelis, coordinate the search.

Under Ms. James’ dedicated leadership, the organization built on its strengths, developed new relationships and strengthened existing relationships with partners and supporters.  The Crisis Center anticipates that Tamura will leverage these achievements to help the organization expand its services to even more Contra Costa residents in crisis.

“We are very excited to have Tom taking on the role of the executive director of the Crisis Center,” says Andrew Pojman, the Board President.  “Tom brings to the job an exceptional combination of energy, sensitivity, and proven leadership to the challenges of working with people in crisis. Both the Board and Staff are impressed with his extensive knowledge of Contra Costa County, his 30-years of work within the mental health area, and his strong management skills.  We expect Tom to not only continue the Crisis Center’s excellent programs, but to work with partners and funders to help expand the Crisis Center’s programs to more people in need.”

Tom Tamura joins the Crisis Center after 30-years of work as a therapist and administrator, providing services to the most vulnerable and at risk clients and their families. He is particularly proud of his work with multidisciplinary teams that provided support and safety options for families in their most difficult times, by building strong partnerships with both public and private organizations.  Most recently, Mr. Tamura was the Regional Executive Director of the Seneca Family of Agencies, serving from 2014 to 2017.  This position grew out of his 17 years of experience and growth within the organization.  The Board and Staff are impressed with his extensive knowledge of Contra Costa, his 30-years of work with children, youth, and families in crisis, and his strong management skills.

“As a proud and long-time resident of Contra Costa County, I have been privileged to witness the impact of good people giving back to the community. Together, we are stronger, and it is in this spirit that I begin my work at the Crisis Center.  I am excited to work with the exceptional management team and staff to help the organization meet the challenges of the next decade,” says Tamura.  “The Contra Costa Crisis Center is a ‘best-kept secret.’  I’m looking forward to bringing the work of this essential organization to more people in our community.”

The mission of the Contra Costa Crisis Center is to keep people alive and safe, help them through crises, and connect them with culturally relevant resources in the community. The organization opened in 1963 in order to provide a safety net for depressed and suicidal people beyond usual business hours. In addition to crisis intervention, we provide grief support and our 2-1-1 line which helps people make timely connections to safety-net resources. The Crisis Center prides itself on delivering continuous services to so many each year because of our hybrid model of professional staff and highly trained volunteers working side by side each day. Without this combination, a prompt and responsive 24/7 presence would be nearly impossible to maintain.  Just in the first nine months of 2017, we’ve received 23,738 calls from people seeking basic assistance or shelter. Our crisis lines have received 20,626 crisis intervention calls.   To support the larger safety net provided by a diverse group of nonprofits throughout the county, we recently added two new programs — Share the Spirit and Corporate Caring Volunteer Week.   We are able to provide all these services with the help of a dedicated board, volunteers, staff, partners and donors.  Together we create a safety net for anyone in need, whatever their income, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or citizenship status.

Tom Tamura started his role of Executive Director on January 3rd, 2018.