Brian Farragher, a New York native and 30-year veteran of managing residential treatment centers, was introduced Thursday as the new executive director of Hanna Boys Center.
Farragher, who will take over leadership at the revered 69-year-old Sonoma Valley institution in June, was on campus last week, with his wife, Anne, to meet the boys and attend Hanna’s annual Evening with the All Stars, the center’s signature fundraising event.
“Many of the kids here come from a background with a lot of adversity,” Farragher said during an on-campus interview. “That changes the way they relate to the world.”
Asked about his leadership strategy, Farragher explained, “You have to help them develop trusting, authentic relationships with adults. Of course, there have to be boundaries, but some residential programs focus too much on discipline and not enough on loving. Discipline without love is abuse.”
Farragher, who is 56, began his career after college as a caseworker for abused and neglected boys at St. John’s Home for Boys in his hometown of Rockaway Beach, the slender finger of land extending out into the Atlantic Ocean from the borough of Queens where Hurricane Sandy wreaked some of its worst havoc.