RSVP director retiring after 13 years

Susan Haas

Susan Haas

A leader in Carson City’s nonprofit community is retiring.

Susan Haas, longtime executive director of Nevada Rural Counties RSVP Program, Inc., is leaving the organization on Sept. 17 after 13 years.

“It’s been a fantastic and wonderful experience that allowed me to be of service and that’s the most important thing about my whole time here,” said Haas, who served as executive director for seven years and as interim director, program director, and director of development before that.

During her tenure as executive director, Haas launched RSVP’s homemaker program and expanded the respite and transportation programs throughout rural Nevada. She expanded RSVP elder care services to include adults living with disabilities. And RSVP added handicap accessible vans to all its field stations through a partnership with the Nevada Department of Transportation.

Haas also created the Veterans VIP program, which assists veterans with independent living and suicide prevention, which in 2017 received the Governor’s Points of Light Award for Volunteer Program serving Veterans.

“Being a veteran, my heart goes out to all veterans in need,” said Haas.

Haas was born in Hampton Roads, Va., and served in the U.S. Navy for four years. After leaving the Navy, she received a marketing and sales degree from the University of Toledo.

Haas moved to Carson City in 1989 and worked as tour designer before going to work for the State of Nevada in 1999 and joining the Lieutenant Governor’s office as deputy chief of staff in 2001. She joined RSVP in 2007.

Haas is ending her time at RSVP after some of the most demanding months during her work there due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s been challenging. None of us had worked remotely before,” said Haas. “But we were able to shift to working remotely and found we can still be effective and provide services.”

Haas said RSVP is still providing homemaker services, respite and transportation while using precautions, and doing more counseling by telephone and delivery of groceries, medicines and other needs.

Melanie Barkley, RSVP’s director of development, is taking over as interim director while the organization conducts a search for a new executive director, who should be in place by January, said Haas.

Haas said she’s not certain what’s next for her, but she’s grateful for her time at RSVP.

“There are more ventures to come,” she said. “Thanks for the memories, thanks for the opportunities. It’s been honor.”

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