Community & Business

26 August, 2023

Retiring CEO lauded for his efforts

AFTER over 15 years of dedicated service and leadership, Better Together chief executive officer John Russell has retired.

Better Together’s outgoing CEO John Russell with new CEO Laree Verra.
Better Together’s outgoing CEO John Russell with new CEO Laree Verra.

During his tenure, Mr Russell has played a pivotal role in providing new support services for the Tableland community, in particular, securing funding for the new Atherton Community Centre on Robert Street.

The new building is nearing completion after a decade of grant applications and planning to secure the funding and make the new centre a reality.

Under Mr Russell’s leadership, Better Together Community Support expanded its list of essential services and support to the Atherton community. 

Colleagues describe him as having “unwavering commitment to fostering collaboration, empathy, and social responsibility” and guiding the organisation to always have a positive impact on the lives of those it serves. 

Mr Russell leaves big shoes to fill and an impressive legacy which is not lost on new incoming CEO Laree Verra.

Laree brings with her a wealth of experience in non-profit leadership and community engagement. She has a strong commitment to building upon Better Together’s existing achievements and aligns with its mission to improve the greater Tablelands region and clients’ well-being so they can contribute and participate in a strong and cohesive community.

“I am honoured and excited to take on the role of CEO at Better Together Community Support,” Ms Verra said.

“I am committed to building upon the legacy established by John and working collaboratively with the board, our staff, volunteers, partners and stakeholders to further Better Together’s community support.”

For Mr Russell, the journey has clearly been one of satisfaction in seeing how the organisation has positively affected the community.

“I am extremely grateful for the incredible journey I’ve had as the CEO of Better Together Community Support,” he said.

“It has been an honour to work alongside such a dedicated team of individuals who share a passion for making a positive difference in our community.

“I am confident that the organisation will continue to thrive under the new leadership of Laree Verra.”

The transition of leadership from Mr Russell to Ms Verra has been taking place over the past few months to ensure a smooth and seamless changeover. 

The Better Together Board expressed its appreciation to Mr Russell for his outstanding leadership and welcomed Ms Verra with “enthusiasm and anticipation for the future of Better Together Community Support”.

Better Together Community Support is a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing essential services and support to individuals and families in the Tableland and surrounding community. They provide a range of services, from Emergency Relief and Personal Support, Psychology, Case Management, Aged Care Services and are expanding their services all the time. 

The new Atherton Community Centre is expected to help to improve the organisation’s capacity to support the community and broaden its services.


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