KFTC prepares for executive leadership transition | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

KFTC prepares for executive leadership transition

As KFTC prepares for the transition of our long-time Executive Director Burt Lauderdale, an Executive Leadership Transition Team is coordinating the transition, including the hiring process for KFTC’s next Executive Leadership. 

The Executive Leadership Transition Team is made up of nine staff and members: David Miller, Rebecca Tucker, Dana Beasley Brown, Kathy Curtis, K.A. Owens, Meredith Wadlington, Tayna Fogle, Heather Mahoney, and Jess Hays Lucas. This team is working closely with a consultant – Emily Goldfarb – who specializes in Executive Leadership transition within social justice organizations. 

Emily has worked as a consultant since 1997 for more than seventy non-profit organizations, networks and coalitions, and foundations. Her approach to consulting is informed by over twenty years of activism and organizational leadership in the immigrant and refugee rights movements. She provides strategic planning, Executive Director and staff coaching, leadership development, and designs approaches to capacity building. Her focus now is on senior leadership and executive transitions. 

The Executive Leadership Transition team intends to work in good alignment with KFTC’s Organizational Change Initiative, and Emily has been in close conversation with KFTC’s Organizational Change consultant team, Pamela Chiang and Tony Bennae Richard. To make sure that KFTC would be far enough in charting out the direction of its transition to be able to speak to what the organization needs from Executive Leadership, the ELT team recognized that our hiring timeline would need to stretch past August, into the early part of 2022. This leaves a gap between Burt Lauderdale’s transition and the incoming Executive Leadership.

The Transition Team weighed several options for how to handle that gap: hiring an external interim ED, drawing from an internal interim staff leadership team, drawing from Steering Committee leadership, and making an internal hire for an interim ED. After careful consideration, the team unanimously recommended that Heather Mahoney, KFTC’s current Deputy Director, serve as interim Executive Director from August until a new hire in early 2022. As Deputy Director, Heather is well positioned to fill that gap. She works closely with the Executive Committee and the Steering Committee, she knows KFTC’s financials and systems, and she knows our Program of Work. The Transition Team shared this recommendation with the Executive Committee and staff for review before the Steering Committee enthusiastically approved it at the March 20 meeting. 

Now, with clarity about the timeline and interim role, and with a lot of gratitude to Heather, the Transition Team is turning to the hiring process for KFTC’s permanent Executive Leadership. The team has begun to develop strategies and supports to facilitate a process that centers equity. Next, and with some direction from KFTC’s Organizational Change Initiative process, the team will be learning about Executive structures and developing a job description. The team hopes to hire Executive Leadership in early 2022.