Earlier this month, I had breakfast with Anne Rice-Burgess, the new Executive Director of Episcopal Community Services, and I took on the new position of advisor to my successor. This marks the end of a transition process that started almost 18 months ago, when we elected a new Board President, so we could have a time of overlap before we began the search for the new ED.
We finished breakfast and walked through this historic district on a cool, summer morning to ECS on Third Street. We created some history ourselves, as Anne is the first woman to lead ECS in our 154-year history - long overdue, as women have been the bedrock of the staff and work of ECS throughout that time. I am proud to be part of such a transition. To be very clear, Anne brings a tremendous background in our work and deep experience in the field. We are lucky to have her as our next leader and head coach.
I am also reflecting on the team at ECS and our common work over the last ten years. The board and staff have a clear vision to be an agency that challenges poverty, not by maintaining the status quo but by doing the hard work to help individuals transition out of poverty, or give them the tools to chart a different trajectory in the case of children. This takes the form of programs using brain science-based coaching, social and emotional learning, resource matching, and advocacy for public policy change. It also takes a willingness to measure and adapt in the face of data.
I have been around long enough to know that my skill set has taken the agency to a new level. Anne has the background to take ECS to the next level. There is still more to do, and Anne has the energy, life story, credibility, and experience that I don’t have, to keep challenging poverty and meet what the future brings head-on.
We have been blessed with tremendous support from our board, donors, and the philanthropic community. I ask that you continue that support, as the work is having an impact and the opportunity to set a new standard that others can follow.
So, as I have said in other posts, I will leave the day-to-day work, but not the mission. I leave an excellent professional team, and know they have a leader who can keep the work moving forward and take ECS and the people we serve to new heights.
I look forward to sleeping in.
You can join us in honoring David’s legacy on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at 5:30PM at Appleford Estate, Villanova, PA for our once-in-a-decade event, Celebrating Transition and Transformation. We’ll be celebrating this past decade with David at the helm, while also welcoming our new Executive Director, Anne Rice-Burgess. All proceeds from the event will go towards the David E. Griffith Transformation Fund, which directly supports ECS’s mission to challenge and reduce cycles of poverty.
Tickets, Commemorative Book options, and sponsorship opportunities are available! Click here for more information, and reach out to Jessica Lynch for more information about sponsorships at JessicaL@ecsphilly.org.
We hope to see you there!