New Executive Director for FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT!

New Executive Director for FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT!

Change in Leadership end of November

FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT is pleased to announce that Mary Ann Hansen will assume the role of Executive Director at the end of November.  Hansen will be stepping in to replace the current Executive Director, Wendy Rowan. Rowan will retire on November 20th, and Hansen will be working closely with her until then to assure a smooth transition for programs the Commission supports for young children throughout the county.

Mary Ann Hansen is a long-time Humboldt County resident who has more than 30 years of experience working on behalf of young children, their families and communities.  She is currently one of five certified Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Practitioners in the county.  She has held leadership positions in the Association for the Education of Young Children at the local, regional, and state levels, as well as in an early childhood higher education organization.  She has served as a family child care provider, early childhood educator, non-profit director, and most recently as a lecturer in the Child Development Department at Humboldt State University where she teaches their class on child and family policy analysis and advocacy.  Hansen states, “I am looking forward to continuing the good work that FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT has done with our community partners in ensuring that young children and families in our county are healthy and supported in achieving their full potential.”

FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT funding exists due to the passage of Proposition 10 in 1998 to tax tobacco products and provide a revenue source for children age 0-5.  The Proposition recognized that an ‘ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,’ and the goal was to help families ensure their children were healthy and developmentally ready to succeed in school and life.  Over the years the Commission’s work has touched the lives of many children in the county, from geographically isolated communities to larger communities surrounding Humboldt Bay.

Wendy Rowan was the first Executive Director for FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT and began her tenure in 2001.  She states, “I have been privileged to do this work for young children and enjoyed working with many fine people throughout our county who have genuinely engaged in improving community conditions for our children. Mary Ann will bring new talent to this work and I have full confidence in her capacity to further the vision of Proposition 10.

For more information about FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT, visit their website at

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