For Ginia Northcutt, nonprofit work is the only work. In fact, aside from some time as a waitress, it’s the only work she’s known.
Northcutt is the new executive director of Refuge International, a Longview-based nonprofit dedicated to increasing access to clean water, improved health care and literacy here and in Guatemala.
Among her many goals for the organization, Northcutt said she wants to take Refuge International to the next level — in Longview and beyond.
Northcutt wants to create a better inventory system — a room full of bins of medical supplies at the group’s Longview office needs to be organized — and wants to do more development and fundraising.
“Refuge has grown from this amazing mom-and-pop organization that Deborah Bell started in her garage,” Northcutt said. “What I bring to Refuge is a skill set of organization and leadership and development, and I’m excited to be able to use those skills.”
She also said she wants to continue what the organization already is doing and do it well. Some of those efforts include the free Hiway 80 Rescue Mission medical clinic and mission trips to Guatemala.
Northcutt said one of Refuge International’s most important services is deworming children through the hospital and school set up by the organization in Sarstún, Guatemala.
Through a grant from Rotary International written by the Rotary Club of Longview, Northcutt said Refuge International has de-wormed all school-age children in Guatemala twice.
“Those children are already a head taller than their parents because of the deworming,” she said. “It’s not that the kids in Guatemala eat a malnourished diet as much as they have worms because of their water. That presence has made a huge impact.”
What does need improvement are the mission trips, Northcutt said. For a full week, Refuge International is providing medical care, surgeries and providing medication for people who walk miles to clinics in Guatemala.
Before joining Refuge, Northcutt worked at Buckner International, the American Red Cross, Children’s National Medical Center and the Gregg County Historical Museum. She also is the president of the Longview ISD school board and is on the Longview Symphony board of directors. She is a member of Longview Evangelical Presbyterian Church and has an adult son and daughter.
Carroll Greenwaldt, president of Refuge International’s board of directors, said Northcutt’s extensive experience in nonprofit leadership and in education leadership set her apart from other applicants.
Northcutt started Sept. 1. The previous executive director, DeAnn Vickles, resigned to be with family in Colorado, Greenwaldt said. The search began in July, and the board selected Northcutt in August.
“Her leadership and her experience is exemplary and exciting for us on the refuge international leadership team,” he said.
Northcutt said she is on the right path for her experience.
“All my years of experience, and especially my experience with organization and leadership, have really kind of put me on a path and set me here,” Northcutt said. “I’m really excited about the work that Refuge does, because what we do is we serve the least of these.”