Director hired for volunteer center

Woman was in charge of Florida organization for about five years

November 27, 2001|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

The Columbia Association has hired a director for its recently expanded volunteer center.

Michael-Anne Rubenstien began her job yesterday as head of the Volunteer Center Serving Howard County. The post pays from $36,600 to $59,000 a year.

The center matches volunteers with opportunities at agencies or charities serving Howard County.

Rubenstien was director of the William R. Butler Volunteer Services Center at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla., from 1995 to 2000. She was a volunteer coordinator at the center from 1993 to 1995.

Rubenstien graduated from Miami in 1993 with a degree in marine affairs and anthropology.

Sandy Fairhurst, who was director of the Volunteer Corps - the precursor of the expanded center, begun in 1990 as a Columbia Association program to encourage voluntarism within Columbia - and had sought to head the newly expanded center, will continue to work for the program on a part-time basis.

Under a pilot program approved by the Columbia Council in August, the focus of the Volunteer Corps was widened to include all of Howard County.

The program is not supposed to cost the association anything beyond the $60,000 a year it spends on the corps. Its partners in the center - the county, the Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism, the Columbia Foundation, the Horizon Foundation and United Way - are paying for the expansion, contributing a total of about $65,000 for its first fiscal year.

The Columbia Association has taken a lead role in the expanded center - hiring Rubenstien and part-time staff, and providing it with day-to-day direction, office space, meeting rooms and human-resources services. The association also is serving as the center's "fiscal agent," meaning the organizations that fund the center make payments directly to the association.

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