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Cheryl Robb-Welch to lead MOCADSV

Cheryl Robb-Welch has been named the new CEO of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (MOCADSV). She will take the helm of the organization at the start of the new year. 

Robb-Welch, who has served as MOCADSV’s chief operating officer since 2002, is a former executive director of a domestic violence shelter in Cape Girardeau and a former sheriff deputy in Cape Girardeau County. She has been recognized nationally for her expertise in organizational management, policy development, and strategic vision and planning, according to a news release. 

“The first time I met Cheryl, I knew she was an extraordinary advocate and a woman to be reckoned with. Two decades on, I’m even more impressed and grateful to her,” Colleen Coble, MOCADSV’s outgoing CEO, said. “Cheryl’s leadership will continue to advance MOCADSV through her brilliant clarity, her vision, her determination, and her compassion. Join me in congratulating and celebrating one of my favorite people, Cheryl Robb-Welch, who will continue to lead my favorite organization.” 

Coble is retiring as the organization’s CEO after more than three decades. 

With a rallying cry of “onward,” Coble’s legislative accomplishments during her tenure include adding lack of consent to felony rape charges, establishing the crime of domestic assault, obtaining first-time state funding for domestic and sexual violence services, adding sexual assault victims to eligibility for protection orders, and much more. She was also able to obtain federal disaster relief funding for domestic violence services in 1994 — the first in the nation. 

“When we found Colleen to head MOCADSV in 1988, we truly found a jewel,” Mary Ann Allen, a former board chair, Public Policy Committee chair, and executive director of MOCADSV member agency Haven House, said. “It has been an honor to serve with her and a thrill to watch what she has accomplished to improve the lives of abuse survivors and their children. Under her leadership, we have grown from a small group of well-intentioned advocates to a network of well-trained professionals throughout the state. I wish her all the best in retirement.” 

Coble began her career as a journalist, which took her from Missouri to Washington. It was there in the Pacific Northwest where she met a group of women who were starting an advocacy group. Coble volunteered at the fledgling program — and thus her advocacy career was born. 

Coble served on the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women in addition to committees in Missouri that addressed gender issues in the court system. She is a founding member of the Missouri Battered Women’s Clemency Coalition as well as a founding member of the National Network to End Domestic Violence where she also served as public policy chair. 

She was awarded the National Network to End Domestic Violence’s Diane Reese Award in 2009 during a ceremony at the U.S. Library of Congress for her “outstanding commitment to social justice and advocacy for battered women.