OSCS Announces New Permanent Executive Director
Greetings Friends and Supporters of OSCS,
It is my great pleasure to announce that the Board of Directors of Our Saviour’s Community Services has approved the appointment of Michael Huffman as our permanent Executive Director, starting October 4th!
Mike comes to us from our sister organization, St. Stephen’s Human Services, with whom we partnered last year to relocate our shelter guests and staff to a hotel in Bloomington, to keep everyone safe during the COVID pandemic. As Director of Outreach and Shelter at St. Stephen’s since 2018, Mike worked closely with our staff on this complex, challenging, and highly successful partnership. Mike has also taught English in Morocco and volunteered at our English Learning Center. We are very excited about the experience with our programs and knowledge of our community that Mike will bring to OSCS.
Last year, the board and staff of OSCS worked together to identify three principles to guide our strategic direction: (1) balancing service to our community and working to transform oppressive systems based on race and class; (2) strengthening our connections to the Phillips neighborhood; and (3) re-envisioning the use of our campus. An important part of that conversation was recognizing that our board composition and key staff leadership roles do not yet reflect the diversity of the community.
As a predominantly white led organization, we are committed to diversifying our leadership. We worked hard to recruit qualified BIPOC leaders as applicants for this position. Our six finalists included two BIPOC candidates. At the end of the day, both the Search Committee and the Staff Advisory Group to our search process — a majority of whom are themselves BIPOC leaders — considered Mike the best-qualified candidate to lead us forward. While Mike is a white, cisgender man, he has demonstrated his commitment and capacity to support the development of leaders of color, including members of our own staff who have been mentored by Mike in the past and speak highly of him. Our Board of Directors unanimously affirmed their recommendation to hire him as our permanent Executive Director.
As you know, choosing an Executive Director at this pivotal time in the life of our organization and the community we serve is one of the most important and difficult duties of the board. We were fortunate to have the capable support of our search firm Ballinger|Leafblad and our Interim Executive Director David Fey throughout this process, as well as the passion and diverse perspectives and insights of our Search Committee and Staff Advisory Group.
As we prepare to welcome Mike to OSCS next month, I want to offer my sincere gratitude to the board and staff for their deep engagement in this process. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the leadership transition, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly.
Nate Hallanger, OSCS Board Chair