Mobile Meals of Southern Arizona

Jul 26, 2021

2019-2020. Interim Executive, Fundraising, CEO Search.

  • Mission to deliver freshly prepared meals (lunch and dinner) to isolated people, M-F. Utilized a volunteer model of delivery – 6 staff, 300 volunteers.
  • Was a 50-year-old org, changed little during the past 20 years, client services were flat during the last 20 years. Org in decline, toxic staff environment, and staff conflicts of interest to address. Org started as an all-volunteer, a “failed hire” of an ED who stayed for less than 3 years after the first long-term director (2003-16).
  • 18 months, including COVID pandemic response (which lengthened tenure).
  • Organizational Assessment, Lifecycles Framework. Recommendations to Board for Immediate vs. Long-Term Leadership/Operational Shifts.
  • Engaged in Turnaround for a declining organization.
  • Turnaround Action Plan: Assess Terrain, Evaluate Admin/Operations/Programs based on ROI, Opportunity Costs.
  • Readied and outsourced IT, HR, Payroll, and Finance.
  • Developed culture change and handled human resource conflicts and issues that arose from change. Brought on new team members.
  • Worked with Board through Merger Discovery (Board decided to remain independent after discovery and engagement work).
  • Board Development & Readiness.
  • Served as Operating face of Org.
  • Realigned staff positions and integrated DEIA principles to transform non-diverse staff to one representative of the community served (moved from 6 all white, English-only speaking staff, to 3 Hispanic, 3 bilingual, 1 LGBT upon my departure).
  • Staff Restructuring & Emphasis on Professional Development.
  • Activated fundraising – developed annual FR plan, 6-series annual campaign, robust foundation/corporation giving program; applied for additional government grants, esp. CARES ACT related.
  • Responded to COVID-19 pandemic as an essential business (delivering meals to isolated adults, seniors, and persons living with disabilities). Led using Crisis Leadership experience. Used COVID as a “silver lining opportunity” to transform the organization.
  • Developed Disaster Response Plan, PPE acquisition and deployment plans for all 300 staff/volunteers on the meal delivery front lines, developed new customer intake and response strategies, loosened restrictions to serve more people in need, created a staff safety protocol, deployed, and managed a remote work environment, harness the power of the media and our unique position in the food/meal security community in Tucson to gain visibility, new volunteers, donations during the pandemic.
  • Transformed IT to a cloud-based server for remote work – during COVID response.
  • Supported staff through transition, crisis leadership, and response.
  • Led CEO Search. Completed search in two months, 240 total candidates. Hired a former corporate foodservice CEO.
  • Readied all systems, updated all policies/procedures, coordinated the training of staff/volunteers in all new systems prior to new CEO onboarding.
  • Increased regular clients served by 35% from start to finish of my tenure, improving customer service and client acquisition.
  • Ended 2020 FY, with their largest budget ever, having grown the organization’s revenue over the 2019 year by 43%.

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