CalSAC's Executive Transition

Change your leaves, keep intact your roots.
— Victor Hugo

On February 12, we announced that in 2019, after over a decade with the organization, CalSAC will bid farewell to Ruth Obel-Jorgensen, and will begin the transition and search process for our next executive director. Read the announcement from the board of directors here and Ruth’s statement here. View the Executive Director job profile here.

Our board and staff have designed a transition process that aligns with CalSAC’s values and culture and we intend to make this a collaborative and thoughtful process that will stand out as a model for the field. In the spirit of transparency, we invite you to review our executive transition plan below and encourage you to connect with us throughout the process. Gathering input from our community is an important component of our process and we hope that you will participate in our stakeholder survey to inform the future of the organization and this important hire.


At CalSAC, we believe, and have seen, that strong communities are forged through seizing opportunities, overcoming great challenges, and celebrating accomplishments together. Our board and staff are ready for the opportunity ahead and are wholeheartedly committed to continuing the legacy of this organization and these great leaders. While we may be changing our leaves, our roots are strong and our commitment unwavering. We look forward to having your support along the journey ahead and invite you to join us as we enter the next historic and bold venture!  

If you have any questions, prospective candidates, or visions for the future of CalSAC, please don’t hesitate to contact Femi Vance, CalSAC Board President at

CalSAC’s Executive Transition Plan

The transition plan is the culmination of an expansive literature review, informant interviews, and consultation with Amari Romero-Thomas, an expert in executive transitions. It has been vetted by the full board and staff and we believe it reflects our best thinking as well as the values, personality, and culture of CalSAC.  Here, we introduce you to our leadership team, share the timeline for the executive transition, and tell you how to stay engaged with us throughout this process.

Our Leadership Team & Roles

Ruth will be with us through December 2019 and will continue to lead the organization forward as our Transition Team, with support from our consultant, leads the search process for the next executive director of CalSAC. We are honored to have the following leaders serve on our Transition Team (from left to right):


❖      Femi Vance, Board of Directors; CalSAC Trainer

❖      Amari Romero-Thomas, Consultant

❖      Bryan Anderson, Board of Directors

❖      Jennifer Best, Board of Directors; CalSAC LDI Fellow

❖      Nadine Farid Johnson, Board of Directors

❖      Zakir Parpia, Staff

❖      MaryAnne Shih, Staff

❖      Logan Robertson, Board of Directors; CalSAC Trainer

The Transition Team has been charged by the CalSAC Board of Directors with developing the job description and  announcement, designing the interview protocol and questions, vetting applicants, conducting interviews, and recommending the top two candidates to the board. Our vast network of trainers, fellows, advocates, donors and partners will have an opportunity to inform the process by participating in a stakeholder survey. The CalSAC staff will continue to support the process through participation in a survey and by interviewing the final two candidates. The board of directors will conduct final interviews and utilize the recommendations of the Transition Team and staff to make their hiring decision.

The Timeline & Process Ahead

With best practices in mind, we organized the transition process into three phases.

Prepare -  In July 2018, Ruth initiated a conversation with Femi Vance, CalSAC Board President, and Esther Rosario, CalSAC recent past president, to begin transition planning and a 3-month discovery phase. By December the board had developed a plan, hired a consultant, and selected the transition search committee.

Pivot - Board and staff gathered in February at our annual retreat in Santa Cruz to collectively inform and advance the executive transition, and on February 12, 2019, we shared the news by email with the full CalSAC community. In April, the job announcement, informed by staff and stakeholder input, will be release and we will embark on an aggressive candidate search. Interviews will begin in the summer and the top two candidates will be interviewed by the staff and by the full board of directors. If a clear candidate does not emerge by August, the process will continue until a hire is made.

Thrive - Ruth will take a sabbatical in the summer and return to support the onboarding of the new executive director, along with Amari who will provide coaching and technical assistance. Celebrations will be held throughout the year to honor Ruth and welcome the new executive director.


The quest has begun

We are excited to launch the search for the next great leader of CalSAC with the release of the CalSAC Executive Director Job Profile in April.

Constituents, partners and donors responded to our field survey in March - sharing their thoughtful and bold hopes for the organization and the next executive director. As a result, our job profile was informed by over 120 individuals, representing our vast and diverse field. This job profile will be our compass through the search, including the interview and selection process. The voice of the field is truly shaping our future!

As we move into the search phase of our plan, we are calling upon our community to help us find candidates for the position. Since this is an open search without an internal candidate, we’ll need all the support we can get from those that care deeply about the future of out-of-school time and CalSAC - the nation’s oldest state professional development organization in the field. It’s through our vast networks that we’ll be successful in this quest!

We extend our deepest gratitude to everyone in the field who has participated in this process thus far!

Keep Informed & Engaged

There are several ways you can stay informed about the process, support us with finding the next executive director, and celebrate with us!

  1. Share the Job Profile - After you review the job profile, please share it with others by email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and in your newsletters and job boards.

  2. Refer Prospective Candidates - In addition to encouraging individuals to consider applying, you can also share potential candidates with our consultant, Amari Romero-Thomas, and she will connect with them as well.

  3. Celebrate with us at one of the following events this year:

    1. CA Afterschool & Summer Challenge, March 11-12 in Sacramento

    2. NAA Convention, March 15-18 in New York

    3. BOOST Conference, May 2 in Palm Springs; View the invitation and RSVP here!

    4. New Executive Director Welcome Reception, Fall/Winter 2019

  4. Sign-up for our newsletter to ensure you receive the monthly updates, which will include the job announcement and other transition related updates.

  5. Participate in our stakeholder survey - This survey is designed to gather insight from the field about the future of CalSAC and our next executive director. View the invite to participate here. Update: Thank you to everyone who completed the survey! As a result, our job profile was informed by 120 individuals - providing a robust field informed roadmap to guide us as we move forward into the search process.

  6. Contact us - If you have any questions, visions for the future of CalSAC or support to offer, please don’t hesitate to contact Femi Vance, CalSAC Board President, at