Diane Moore dedicated more than 3 decades to helping domestic violence victims find new lives | SteamboatToday.com

Diane Moore dedicated more than 3 decades to helping domestic violence victims find new lives

Diane Moore spent more than three decades as the director of Advocates Building Peaceful Communities, the Steamboat Springs-based organization that provides support for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The leader of a Steamboat Springs-based nonprofit organization that has served an estimated 8,000 victims of domestic violence has left her position after more than three decades of rewarding work.

"It's been an honor to do the work for the past 34 years, and the most important part of the work I had a part of was experiencing, observing and encouraging the victims, and it truly was a small part of what played out for the victims and their families because it was their courage and strength to find new lives," said Diane Moore, former executive director of Advocates Building Peaceful Communities who left her position early this year.

Moore said the need for domestic violence support services was identified by the Routt County District Attorney's Office in the early 1980s. Routt County was one of a few Colorado counties that did not have support systems in place for victims.

"It was a really a grassroots beginning," Moore said. "Literally, it was grassroots. We would meet on the courthouse lawn and start talking about the organization."

She became the part-time director of the Steamboat Springs-based organization in 1984.

"I wrote the first grant proposal, and we were on our way," Moore said. "Our first office was my kitchen."

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Moore helped start Advocates after working as a social worker.

"I think the emphasis was to do something for the community," Moore said. "I think I stayed at it so long because I was meant to do the work. Because I like working with people."

Advocates today has a staff of eight people and also relies on volunteers.

Simone LaValley started volunteering for the organization seven years ago.

"She has such a generous spirit," LaValley said of Moore. "She's such a kind person, but she's really strong. She really gave me a lot of opportunities to learn, and it's been a great experience volunteering with Advocates."

Advocates helps about 300 victims each year. Moore said successes in recent years have included offering services specifically for immigrants and establishing a program that facilitates a safe environment for supervised visitations between family members.

Moore's work earned her the Hazie Werner Award for Excellence in 2010, the Doc Willett Award Healthcare Heritage Award in 2013 and the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault "Change Maker" award in 2014.

Steamboat Springs Police Chief Cory Christensen described Moore as a pathfinder who was ahead of her time. During the early days of Advocates, there were few state laws that protected the victims of domestic violence and made sure they were being taken care of appropriately.

"There is not enough praise from me for how much she had done for this community," Christensen said.

Christensen serves on the board for Advocates but took a leave of absence when his wife, Marnie Christensen, was named the interim executive director.

Advocates is currently advertising to hire a new executive director.

When asked why she left the organization, Moore referred questions to her attorney David Lichtenstein, who specializes in employment law.

"Advocates and Ms. Moore mutually agreed to her leaving effective Feb. 20, and the circumstances are confidential," Lichtenstein said.

In a letter to the editor, current Advocates board president Shannon Ford said the success of the organization would not have been possible without Moore.

"Her dedication to the cause will not be forgotten, and the organization hopes to honor this dedication by carrying on Diane's legacy through Advocates' continued service to victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault," Ford wrote.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.