By John L. Beath
On March 12, Kevin Rhoades submitted his letter of resignation with a 60-day notice.
First of all, I would like to thank Kevin for his hard work, dedication and tireless work as executive director of OWAA. When he resigned for personal reasons, my first instinct was of thanks to Kevin for his years of service to OWAA.
Kevin has spent 11 years at OWAA headquarters, longer than most past employees. For six of those years he was our director and did an outstanding job. I can’t think of one person in OWAA who does not consider Kevin a friend, aside from his role as executive director. OWAA legal council Bill Powell made a comment to me worth repeating: “I did not think it possible to have an executive director that everyone liked.”
I wish Kevin and his family the very best and look forward to him being an OWAA member for years to come. Thanks again Kevin, for your dedication to OWAA over the years. You will always be part of our unique family.
Now we have the job of looking for an executive director and will no doubt use Kevin as a measure when selecting a new executive director. I have appointed a search committee and the work has begun. Rest assured we will find someone to fill this difficult and challenging job. Of all the issues during my presidency, this is the most important challenge yet. Many other presidents have had to search for an executive director and many more in the future will also face this difficult challenge. Rich Patterson, who has been a non-profit executive director for 35 years, says the average length of employment for a non-profit executive director is just three years. Kevin doubled that length and we appreciate it.
High turnover rates in the non-profit sector are due to many of the same factors, including: tight budgets, constantly changing board of directors and officers, declining memberships and better job offers. OWAA is no different than many other groups, and will face the same challenges now and in the future. When selecting a new director, the selection committee will keep these challenges in mind and look for a candidate with experience, vision, managerial skills and a high sense of integrity. The new candidate will have to be able to work with people with BIG egos – that’s right, a few of us admittedly do have big egos, which makes the job of executive director more difficult.
You have my guarantee that we will find an extremely dynamic executive director that will help lead OWAA past some of the difficult challenges facing all non-profits. The selection committee looks forward to finding the perfect person to fill the job and to introducing that person to OWAA membership.
To conquer a challenge is one of life’s greatest accomplishments. ◊
By John L. Beath