Kolar takes reigns as new executive director at East Mesa’s House of Refuge, Inc. 

January 6, 2021
For Immediate Release
Contact: Krista Cardona, House of Refuge, Inc. 

Kolar takes reigns as new executive director at East Mesa’s House of Refuge, Inc. 

Leadership change set post Nancy Marion retirement

MESA, AZ — Kayla Kolar began 2021 as the new executive director of House of Refuge, Inc. Kolar left her post as president and CEO of Gilbert’s HD South, succeeding Nancy Marion, who retired from House of Refuge after 23 years with the organization. 
Kolar has a nearly 30-year career in non-profit leadership. During her tenure at HD South, Kolar led the organization through rebranding and a successful capital campaign, transitioning the organization from a museum to an intergenerational arts and culture center in downtown Gilbert. 
“In Kayla Kolar, House of Refuge has found an individual with many years of diverse executive leadership and development experience in non-profit organizations,” said Johnna Switzer, President of the House of Refuge Board of Directors. “Ms. Kolar has led non-profits through unprecedented growth as well as economic downturns. But, most importantly, Ms. Kolar has a true passion for the mission and work that is being done at House of Refuge. With Ms. Kolar, we look to the future and all of the possibilities that lie before us as we turn the page to a new chapter in the life of House of Refuge.”
Prior to HD South, Kolar was the Executive Director for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, coordinating major donor events including the Phoenix “Race for the Cure.” Kolar also served for over a decade as deputy director for the Desert Botanical Garden where she managed operations and chaired the Garden’s annual “Luminaria” event.
“I find myself filled with gratitude that there is a place like House of Refuge that serves so many families in need. The work that is done day in and day out to provide these families with a place to call home and to give them the services they need to get back on their feet is nothing short of a miracle,” Kolar said. “I’m especially grateful to the Board of Directors for entrusting me to lead this amazing organization into its next chapter. I look forward to working with them to continue to build on the legacy that Nancy has left, help many  more families who need a hand up and secure the financial future of the organization for decades to come. I am truly honored to be part of this effort going forward.”
About House of Refuge, Inc.
House of Refuge provides transitional housing and social services to Arizona families that are experiencing homelessness. Working with staff and nonprofit partners, participants work towards self-sufficiency while having a safe, dignified place for them and their families to live. The House of Refuge campus, situated on 20 acres in Southeast Mesa, maintains 80 two-bedroom single family homes. Over its 23-year history, House of Refuge has created a healthy and safe neighborhood environment through partnerships with state, county, and local governments, the local community, and our faith-based partners and supporters.


All funds are provided through federal grants, foundations, churches, service organizations and individuals. To keep our program vibrant and operating, financial and volunteer assistance is always appreciated.