August 7, 2020
LOTUS serves as strong foundation for Founder’s next step. Applying her learning from founding LOTUS, Rachel Monaco-Wilcox, JD, LOTUS Founder and CEO, has resigned her position in order to pursue new challenges. The LOTUS mission of empowerment for survivors of sexual violence and trafficking by providing direct, comprehensive legal services, advocacy and community education, stands unique as a forerunner for survivor leadership, and Monaco-Wilcox intends to take that spirit forward. She has set her sights on amplifying the LOTUS vision to address emerging national and global needs.
LOTUS Board President, Linda Krieg, said, “The Board has been proud to support Rachel in this evolution of her role. We thank her for selfless dedication to LOTUS over the past years, and share her quest to take the spirit of LOTUS across the country. We look forward to celebrating this victory with Rachel and all our partners in the fight for justice.”
The LOTUS Board search committee has been working for the last few weeks on designing the description and expectations for an innovative and committed leader to take LOTUS to the next level. To ensure continuity, Kate Knowlton, pro bono and staff attorney with LOTUS since 2014, has been Interim Executive Director since January 1 of this year, and will collaborate with the whole Team and Board to ensure a smooth transition. Linda says, “We look forward to introducing all to our new leadership in the coming months.”
Says Monaco-Wilcox, “Founding LOTUS remains one of my proudest achievements. In a few short years, we have recruited a phenomenal staff and a strong Board, secured funding commitments to expand our services throughout the state, and supported hundreds of individuals on the journey toward their own definition of justice. Some of our clients have become powerful agents of change alongside us. We have set new precedent in victim’s law. We have built partnerships in Wisconsin and across the country that safeguard and expand legal and social wholeness for survivors of exploitation. The organization is strongly positioned to carry out its mission, allowing me the autonomy to pursue our vision of justice more broadly, but infused with the same underlying spirit,” said Rachel. “The courage and dignity of survivors is really what built LOTUS, because it inspired us to create something new to respond to their unmet needs. It’s to them, to our staff, and to the hundreds of friends, donors and partners that I express my deep love and gratitude in this next bold step I’m making.”
LOTUS sends only the very best wishes, strength and gratitude to Rachel as it continues its dedication to serve survivors amid new and unprecedented conditions. The ability to adapt and reinforce all efforts to ensure justice and healing has showcased LOTUS’s agility, innovation and commitment in the face of daunting challenges. Knowlton sends a hopeful message, “I am so grateful to this tremendous Team for their professionalism and zealous advocacy for clients, even and especially in the midst of this world-wide pandemic. Following our clients’ lead, we refuse to be intimidated or stopped, even by COVID-19. Rachel’s foundational ideals of service and comprehensive approach to survivor empowerment are invigorated and expanded upon through our work. We very much look forward to the future.”