Latzke named as new Northwoods Battered Women’s Shelter director

The Northwoods Battered Women’s Shelter Board of Directors announced Chris Latzke as the shelter’s new executive director. Latzke is a Bemidji State and Bemidji High School graduate with deep ties to the area, most recently working at Lutheran Social Services as an Area Director.

Latzke has spent the last 20 years working in human services, largely working with supervising and training staff to support people with developmental disabilities and mental illness in residential group settings.

“I am excited for what the future holds for the team working at NBWS,” said Latzke.

“We have an amazing and dedicated Board of Directors here that strive for top-notch services for those in need. I feel that everyone deserves to live violence-free and be safe in their own home.”

NBWS has spent more than three years preparing for a new facility project, and the last eight years implementing a new voluntary service model to better support victims of intimate partner violence.

“Members of the NBWS Board worked diligently to select a candidate that shared the values of the agency’s work and mission,” said Shelly Geerdes, Board Chair.

“Chris has already made a big impact seeking grant opportunities and bringing fresh ideas. We are confident she will continue to serve the needs of our staff and clients with excellent organizational leadership.”

Latzke assumed the role on Nov. 1.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University.


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