Transition Update

Thanks to all of you who were able to attend our Annual Meeting on Wednesday, June 18th. We had a great turnout, with about 100 members in attendance. The focus of the meeting was on planning for the departure of Lisa Gallatin, our Executive Director of 15 years, as well as Director of our chorus, A Besere Velt (A Better World). Looking back on the past 15 years of her work and BWC's growth reminded us all what a great community we have built! Keep your eyes peeled for an announcement of a celebration of all that we have accomplished during Lisa's tenure as our Executive Director, and of the opportunity to participate in a tribute book to honor her service to us all.

Transitions can be challenging, but they also present opportunities for an organization. We want to make sure all of you are informed about the state of our organizational readiness, and will be sending regular updates. We believe - and the transition experts agree - that we are in a position to have a very healthy transition. That doesn't mean there won't be challenges; there always are. But we are taking steps to make the most of the changes ahead.

We have formed a Transition Team that is made up of both seasoned and young leaders from the Personnel, Executive, and Shule committees, as well as the Board. The Team collectively has dozens of years of organizational management expertise. The Board has approved the hiring of an Interim Executive Director who will maintain stability, provide our staff with strong support and supervision, and guide us through a thorough and thoughtful permanent Executive Director search. The Transition Team is interviewing candidates for Interim Director next week, and will make a final hiring decision by mid-July, so that we can have someone in place before Lisa's last day on August 1st.

We have also contacted Third Sector of New England, a highly regarded local organization that provides excellent services and training to non-profits, including a whole division on executive transitions. They feel we are in a healthy position for this transition - and are in much better shape than most non-profits that find themselves with this kind of change.

We have just begun to map out the process for hiring a permanent Executive Director. The interim hiring has to take place quickly, and therefore is a very different process than what we'll set up for the permanent hire. That process will include multiple opportunities for our membership to have input, the first of which was at the annual meeting. The Transition Team will conduct the search and screen candidates, and the decision on hiring will be made by the full Board. We aim to complete the hiring process by November so that we will have a permanent Executive Director in place as soon as possible.

The presentation of the transition plan generated a lot of lively discussion at the annual meeting. Themes that emerged from the discussion included: a desire for more opportunities for connection among the different parts of the BWC community, preserving the mission of BWC, desired traits and skills for a permanent Executive Director, not delaying on making the building accessible, and making sure the chorus continues.

Thanks again to everyone for sharing your hopes and concerns with us. I came away from the meeting feeling confident that our strong and vibrant community will be able to build on the success of the last 15 years to create new opportunities as we navigate the changes ahead. I look forward to working with you all to ensure that our community continues to thrive and grow.

On behalf of the BWC Board of Directors,

 

 

Rosa Blumenfeld
BWC President