Kathy Bray, a front-line staff member at the Volunteers of America, Utah, the past 10 years has been named president and CEO of the state's leading substance abuse outreach service.

Bray replaces Jeff St. Romain, who left the position to become an administrator at the VOA office in New Orleans later this month.

With an operating budget of $7 million and nearly 130 employees, VOA provides human services to homeless individuals, detoxification services, substance abuse treatment, counseling services and senior volunteer services.

Bray has been involved in direct service to homeless and low-income people as well as program administration in the community for nearly 20 years.

She holds a master's degree in social work from the University of Utah and is a certified social worker.

Creating a culture that "promotes connectedness between employees, programs, the community and our mission of service is something I will strive for daily," Bray said of her appointment.

She was instrumental in the founding of the unique Center for Women and Children, a detoxification treatment facility for homeless women who are allowed to have their children live with them while they undergo substance abuse treatment.

Bray developed the program that has helped hundreds of women keep their family intact and maintain self-sufficiency that many who are battling addiction have lost, said VOA governing board president Barbara Sullivan.

VOA Utah is part of a network of national, non-profit, spiritually based missions started in 1896 that provides local human service programs, and opportunities for individual and community involvement.

For information on services or opportunities to volunteer, call 801-363-9414 ext. 104 or visit michelle.templin@voaut.org.

E-mail: jthalman@desnews.com