The arrival of our new Executive Director, Greg Hilding, coincided with the onset of COVID-19 and the daunting challenge of restructuring our Essential Services business model in order to maintain our core services and, at the same time, prioritize the safety of our staff, volunteers, clients and community. A tall order, and not the way we’d hoped to welcome our new leader.
However, Greg jumped in ahead of his April 13 start date to join our staff in strategizing and implementing an effective Interfaith and community response to COVID-19.
At one of many meetings with our Senior Leadership Team, Greg said:
“Before we jump into our daily agenda, I just want to express my heartfelt admiration for all of you. Although I am new to this group, I have entered many other organizations in my time, and in some cases during trying circumstances. The work that is being done here during the most challenging and unusual circumstances, is inspiring. I am impressed by the dedication to the mission and the use of ‘guiding principles’ to steer decision making.
The work of the last few days demonstrates we’re making really good progress on a number of key issues: we have analyzed various scenarios to understand our financial future and to ensure sustainability, we have defined and reinforced organizational alignment around the structure of our Essential Services model, and we have made substantial commitments to taking care of our employees (not just their direct benefits, but emotional support). In addition, we have had good discussion about the importance of engaging with the community and utilizing the resources that may be available to us.
All of this has been done while balancing the need to advance the mission, while being mindful of employee health and safety. In my view, all of you are modeling leadership behaviors that will do wonders for the overall team and our future.”
The feeling was definitely mutual. COVID-19 notwithstanding, our heartfelt and enthusiastic welcome to our new leader.
Founder and Executive Director Emerita