Saturday, June 09, 2007

Met the New Executive Director

Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet Duane B. the new Executive Director of HIPPY USA! He's from Dallas (actually originally from Roswell New Mexico but has been in Dallas many years) and has been working for Dallas Challenge for the past 17 years. What really impressed me about him was his passion for the organization he's worked with and his humble excitement about leading HIPPY. He's personable, intelligent, well spoken and energetic.

Meeting him got me reflecting on past leadership at HIPPY USA, and the two leaders who have, in my opinion, moved us forward the most. First of course, Miriam W. I first met Miriam in Jerusalem at the preservice training for new coordinators. She came back to New York to establish HIPPY USA, and I returned to start HIPPY in Dallas, the first program in Texas. The one word I would use to describe Miriam is visionary. She is also a person who can see both the forest and the trees, as well as the path that goes through them. She was able to build something from scratch with immediate credibility and strength. Our other most influential leader has been Elisabet E. My one word description for Elisabet would be analytical. Elisabet is a person who can see all the parts and how they fit together and work together, even while they are in motion and flux. She was able to take our organization at its most fragile state and strengthen it from the core. I admire both of them so much, on a personal and professional level, and aspire to take the best I've learned from each of them and apply them to our little planet of HIPPY Texas.

I'm eager to see and support the new HIPPY USA, with 90% new staffing, in a new location, in a new state! HIPPY has such a strong base, with excellent programs throughout the nation, research / outcomes, a clearcut program model, a cadre of excellent trainers--I know all these things will allow HIPPY USA to take the time needed to regroup and refocus so we can bring ourselves to a higher level of excellence.

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