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Howard County anti-poverty group leader Dayhoff retires after 32 years

Among her myriad of accomplishments during her tenure as president Bita Dayhoff dramatically increased the total number of individuals CAC served from 3,000 a year to 53,000 per year, enabling CAC to reach a significant portion of Howard County’s citizens in need. (File photo)

The Community Action Council of Howard County (CAC), Howard County’s designated anti-poverty organization, announced President Bita Dayhoff is retiring after 32 years with the organization.

A national search for Dayhoff’s replacement will begin soon and the next president and CEO will be announced in Spring 2022.

Under Dayhoff’s leadership, CAC has transformed significantly, creating a culture and organizational systems that have sparked innovative thinking, promoted equity and delivered excellent service.

Among her myriad of accomplishments during her tenure, Dayhoff dramatically increased the total number of individuals CAC served from 3,000 a year to 53,000 per year, enabling CAC to reach a significant portion of Howard County’s citizens in need.

In addition, Dayhoff increased the total number of service points by 2,700%. Over her tenure, Dayhoff increased the number of children served in the Head Start program from 182 to 362. Most recently,  Dayhoff secured funding and the location for the opening of the Bauder Education Center, a state-of-the-art early childhood education center, in the Long Reach Village community.

Dayhoff led Howard County’s design, launch and implementation of the 2 Generational Case Management approach developed by the Aspen Institute as a robust vision to support a family’s well-being and lead them to self-sufficiency.

The model of service is now funded statewide by the governor’s office and lauded as a means to bring an end to the cycle of poverty.

Seeing a drastic increase in food insecurity throughout Howard County, in 2017, Dayhoff secured funding to purchase the Howard County Food Bank as a permanent and centralized location to serve the most vulnerable residents of the community with the “Customer-Choice” grocery store model. The Howard County Food Bank focuses on delivering healthy and fresh food to the families and serves as a national model in ending hunger with respect and dignity and its design has been replicated in the State of Maryland and nationally.