Announcing a generational leadership change!

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Announcing a generational leadership change!

February 24, 2024 - 08:41
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In late 1997, I started working at Family Research Institute of Wisconsin. It was a small operation but had considerable impact, especially in the state legislature. In the first year I was with the organization I did research, wrote copy for various needs, processed gifts, answered phones, attended public hearings, and in general did whatever was needed. I have somewhat jokingly said to people that we pretty much ran the 3-person organization out of a shoebox!

I also told the president of the organization that while I could and would act as a kind of office manager, it would eventually become uncomfortable for me because that wasn’t who I was and was not using well my God-given strengths, talents, interests, or experience.

Some board members understood what I was saying, and in late 1998, the board asked me to be the Executive Director. After considerable prayer, thought, and counsel, I accepted. And thus began the ride of a lifetime!

Now, going on 27 years with this organization (renamed Wisconsin Family Council, with Wisconsin Family Action formed in 2006), 26 of which have been as the leader (currently president), I know it’s time for a leadership change here. I know that as surely as I knew I was to say yes way back in 1998.

Honestly, because I have long been a “student” of organizations and administration, I knew when I started this position, that I needed to begin looking for a successor. I’ve kept my eyes and ears open for years, and we’ve had a couple of hires that we thought might work out to be the next president of both Wisconsin Family Council and Wisconsin Family Action. However, we ended up still looking for the next leader.

A couple of years ago, I told the board I would like to step down as president by the end of 2024, and my announcement set in motion a very serious national search for the next president of WFA and WFC. No longer are we a 3-person organization operating out of a shoebox. By God’s grace, and because of friends like you, WFC and WFA have become the state’s premier pro-family organization.

Over the years, our budgets have increased significantly, we’ve added new programs, our outreach and impact have grown exponentially, and our team has more than tripled. And all of this has been because of God’s good hand upon us and because of the ministry friends He has brought our way. Certainly, our leadership needs have changed over these years of growth as well.

Our nationwide search actually resulted in finding a remarkable successor-leader right here in Wisconsin. I am so pleased and excited to announce that the next president of WFA and WFC is Christine M. File, who grew up in Wisconsin and has lived here most of her life. As you will see in the accompanying letter from our Board Chairman Lee Webster (copied below), Christine is well qualified to lead WFA and WFC into the future.

Being the president of WFA and WFC has been an incredible honor and a privilege. I have been humbled to serve in this capacity and am grateful to the Board of Directors for the opportunity to provide leadership for the organizations and for their godly guidance and wisdom through these years as we have expanded our operation and reach in every way. I am especially thankful for the Boards’ thorough, prayerful work as we together sought the next leader for WFA and WFC.

While I am stepping out of the role of president of WFA and WFC, as President Emeritus, I will be working closely with Christine as we make this transition. Christine joins us on February 19, 2024. When the time is right at some point this year for me to step completely away from WFA and WFC, I will continue to be involved with making Wisconsin a great place for families by encouraging people of faith to put their beliefs into action.

The future is so bright for WFA and WFC! Because we have a faithful God and incredible partners and friends like you, and now an exciting, immensely qualified new leader for these organizations, I am more convinced than ever that the best days for WFA and WFC lie ahead as they, in partnership with you, continue to strengthen, preserve, and promote God’s plan for marriage and family, the sanctity of human life, and religious freedom in our great state.

We have planned for this time for years; now is the time to put the plan into action. Thank you for standing with us over the years of my leadership and now as we pass the baton to the next-generation leader!

May God grant His incredible blessings to you, our dear friends, and also to the WFA and WFC Boards of Directors and Christine File in the days ahead.

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