ROSWELL, Ga. — North Fulton Community Charities’ longest-running executive director is set to retire at the end of this year.
“NFCC has been my life’s work,” said Barbara Duffy, executive director of the charities group. “I started as a community volunteer and helped lead the organization. My first office was no bigger than a closet, and we did everything from food to assistance in that one little room. I have seen North Fulton grow tremendously over the years, and along with that growth, the issues of hunger and homelessness have also grown. I am proud of everything we’ve accomplished in the last 35 years, and I wanted to announce my retirement plans now, so I could work with the board to find a successor that will ensure the future success of NFCC.”
Duffy, previously a stay-at-home mom, first became involved with North Fulton Community Charities as a volunteer in 1983 during the organization’s inception.
“I went looking for something that did not involve my children that might put me in contact with people outside of my neighborhood,” Duffy said. “I found a place that fit my interests of working with people from other walks of life and helping people.”
Duffy was on the organization’s board in 1990 when she was asked to serve as the executive director. She hasn’t looked back since.
“It’s been a wonderful ride,” Duffy said. “I’m proud of what we’ve done and proud of the folks that have come with us on this journey. I know that we will be in good hands going forward.”
During her time at the reins, North Fulton Community Charities has acquired its current 20,000 square-foot facility on Elkins Road as well as added the Family Enrichment Program and Education Center to help people become self-sufficient. Most recently, the organization has acquired another building on Elkins Road that will host client services, education, development and administrative offices.
In 2014, Duffy was recognized by the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce as the Nonprofit Leader of the Year.
But the best part of her job has always been the people, Duffy said.
“It’s the people who come for help, who I admire greatly for the struggles they endure; the people that come to volunteer and share what they have, who are blessed by the spirit of giving; and the donors,” she said. “It’s always going to be about the people. NFCC is an amazing place that folks from different walks of life can come together and help one another…
And the people who come in their time of need often come back to volunteer or donate. It’s a circle.”
A successor has not yet been named.
“Barbara Duffy has been an amazing leader and wonderful inspiration to our employees, volunteers and the entire community,” said Mary Good, president of the board of directors. “The board of directors has the challenging job of finding someone to fill her big shoes.”
North Fulton Community Charities staff have plans to celebrate Duffy’s legacy at “Barbara’s Bash” on Sept. 14 at the Atlanta Athletic Club, 1930 Bobby Jones Drive, Johns Creek. More information about the event will be announced closer to the date.