And so begins a new chapter! This is my first letter to you as Executive Director of Living Hope. It’s been nearly a month already since the official handover from my father, John Thomas, and I’ve really had time to get my feet wet! I’m feeling energetic as I begin to captain this “ship,” bringing as much intuition, perception, and interpersonal skills into the mix as possible!
A good organization knows that succession doesn’t end the day the new Executive is hired. I’m so thankful for the long process of interactions I’ve been a part of, both formal and informal, that have shown me how decisions were made, how innovations have taken place, and how the team best interacts with one another. As the designated successor, this has helped me build key relationships in a more comprehensive approach to transitioning into the Executive Director role. While getting up to speed, I’ve gotten all of the strategic, operational, and financial data and been able to spend quality time in many of our 53 programmes.
My father, John, has helped me immensely in adjusting to and understanding the culture of Living Hope and, as you know, will continue to be a presence in the organization. As we advance, John will continue to serve on the Board of Trustees and take up the role of “Founder & Global Ambassador,” gifting us his skills as a connector and fundraiser. We are already putting him right back to work, as we are currently on a trip to the USA, meeting with key contacts and connecting with our church partners.
My goal has been to connect with key contacts and get out of the office to be with our staff family letting them know how valuable they are to Living Hope.
I look forward to sharing more with you in the future. But, for now, here are some lovely pictures highlighting the farewell ceremony we held for John.
After 22 years, saying a fond farewell to our founder.
A special breakfast for the members of the management team, in which we were able to give our more personal farewells to John after 22 years!
Singing, dancing, video tributes, poetry and acting were all on display as the employees showcased their talents in saying goodbye and thank you!
What a special moment.
It was quite an emotion filled day for everyone. Looking out at the “sea” of staff wearing blue tshirts was a remarkable testimony to the story God has written through John and through Living Hope.
John receiving the longest service award in the history of Living Hope from our head of Human Resources, the lovely Kerry-Anne! 22 years and counting!
Avril & John (Or as I like to call them, Mom & Dad!)
I have officially been given the baton!
As Living Hope continues to do great things for God, we will be listening to God’s heart for the poor and the needy and stepping our in faith as He calls us to do so. I’m so thankful to be a part of this Living Hope family.