LEWISTON — Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Services, one of the largest such nonprofits in the state, has a new leader.

But she’ll look familiar to anyone familiar with the agency.

Meagan Davis, the agency’s associate director, will take over next month as executive director.

She will succeed Marty McIntyre, who has spent 34 years with the agency and is widely regarded as one of the leading advocates for ending sexual assault in Maine.

“I’m extremely excited to be able to stay within SAPARS and have another chapter of this work within the agency,” Davis said. “I don’t think I could have followed a better person. Marty has been an amazing mentor, and she has dedicated her life to this work.”

Davis, 31, received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and criminal justice from Thomas College in Waterville and a master’s degree in forensic psychology from Walden University, an online college. She worked in the nonprofit field and with crisis intervention services before joining the Maine Department of Health and Human Services as a child protection worker. 

“Which was very hard, but I am very, very proud of that work,” she said.

Davis stayed with DHHS until about two and a half years ago, when she joined SAPARS as site coordinator for Oxford County.

“I just kind of wanted more,” she said about leaving DHHS. “I wanted to do more in the sense of advocating and really supporting the family.”

As site coordinator, she would supervise SAPARS’ program and staff in that county, but she could also use her forensic psychology background with the agency’s Children’s Advocacy Center. 

A few months later, she also became site coordinator for Franklin County. 

In the fall of the following year, she was named associate director.

Davis remained site coordinator for Oxford and Franklin counties, but as associate director she began learning all the financial, administrative and operational requirements of running a nonprofit with a $1.2 million annual budget and 21 employees in Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin counties. It was a new position for SAPARS, which had been run by McIntyre for three decades.

“We talk about, you know, that proverbial bus. What happens if something happens to Marty, just for the agency purposes of just being able to sustain everything,” Davis said. “It’s a smart idea to have someone (else) who also understands how everything functions.”

When McIntyre announced her retirement earlier this year, its board of directors began searching for her replacement. They found that person in Davis. 

McIntyre approved.

“I am confident that she will lead the agency with passion, vision and a clear focus on ending sexual violence and meeting the needs of survivors,” McIntyre said in an email. “When I decided to retire, all I wanted was to be able to leave this agency in good hands, with a person who has both the head and the heart for the work. Meagan has all that and more. I’m very happy.”

Davis hopes to maintain the agency’s growing work. She would also like to solicit more involvement from survivors, perhaps by forming a committee whose members can provide feedback on SAPARS and what’s needed in the community. She would also like to continue to strengthen the agency’s work with underserved populations, such as male survivors of sexual assault.

“We know they need our services as well,” she said.

While McIntyre’s last day will be Dec. 21, Davis will shift into her new role between now and then.

“We’re doing kind of a warm handoff,” Davis said. “I’m accompanying her to meetings and just networking and slowly transitioning that way.”

She called McIntyre an “extraordinary mentor.”

“I couldn’t have learned things from a better person. I mean, she’s irreplaceable, that’s for sure,” Davis said. “But to be able to pick up where she’s left off — and she’s left such an impression on this work and the communities we serve — that I’m just super honored to just continue that legacy and hopefully do a comparable job and make her proud.”

[email protected]

Meagan Davis will succeed Marty McIntyre as executive director of Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Services, one of the largest such nonprofits in Maine. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: