We Did It!

Hello CalSAC Community,

Hiring an executive director of a nonprofit is by far one of the most important responsibilities of a board of directors. When I became the president of the CalSAC Board of Directors, I had no idea I would be leading during such a historic transition. It has truly been an honor and I am humbled to serve an organization that I care for so deeply and that I have benefited from as a CalSAC Trainer.

I am delighted to share that we have hired our next executive director! Our quest to find the new executive director was guided by an exemplary values-aligned transition plan and we executed a thorough search process that led us to the leader who will continue the legacy of the country’s oldest out-of-school time professional development organization.

As you may recall, in February we announced that, after over a decade, Ruth Obel-Jorgensen would be leaving CalSAC. As part of our deep commitment to ensuring that a diverse representation of our field informed the transition, we convened a search committee of board members and staff and conducted a stakeholder survey. Over 100 individuals participated in the survey - shaping the job profile, interview, and selection of our new executive director. We received nearly 200 applications for the position and our search committee narrowed that pool down to three dozen top candidates - eventually finding the one! This hire begins the final phase of our executive transition process, where we will be “passing the torch”. We could not have done this without the support of our CalSAC community!

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We are profoundly grateful to everyone who has joined us on this quest and want to thank our search committee members, survey respondents, staff, and board members for sharing their time and talents so generously. We thank our constituents – trainers, fellows, and advocates – and our funders and partners for their unwavering support, patience, and encouragement during this important time. And, last but not least, we thank Amari Romero-Thomas, our consultant, for guiding us along the way.

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Now, without further ado, I’m honored to announce the next executive director of the California School-Age Consortium - Isabelle Mussard! In October Isabelle will introduce herself, sharing more about her background and what drew her to CalSAC [view message here]. In the meantime, we’re excited to share a few highlights about this powerful woman. Isabelle brings over two decades of experience in the nonprofit sector along with a law degree and experience in youth development, policy, and executive leadership. We are inspired by her fierce commitment to equity and community building that echoes that of CalSAC, her authenticity, and deep self-awareness. We are impressed with her ability to discern complex strategy and her experience leading teams as a trusted partner toward a shared vision.

On behalf of the CalSAC Board of Directors and Staff team, I invite you to join us in welcoming Isabelle to the CalSAC community! The first opportunity to meet Isabelle will be at the Training of Trainers Institute on October 17th in Palo Alto. Register to attend the social here and please save the date for other opportunities to meet Isabelle in 2020!

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The passing of the torch will begin on October 14th when Isabelle joins the CalSAC team. Ruth is working with the board and staff to prepare an intentional onboarding plan and will work alongside Isabelle to ensure the final phase in our transition is a success. In early November, we say farewell to Ruth and invite you to join us in honoring Ruth by signing our virtual farewell card! We hosted a wonderful farewell to Ruth at BOOST 2019 that was sponsored by Cypherworx. You can view videos from the event here.  

We began this transition process guided by a quote from Victor Hugo - “Change your leaves, keep intact your roots”. We have done exactly that and hope that you will feel the same as you get to know Isabelle in the months ahead. Together we will continue to build upon the historic legacy of CalSAC!

In community,

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Femi Vance, President
CalSAC Board of Directors