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  • Writer's pictureDave Griffith

The Handoff.

Yesterday morning I had breakfast with Anne Rice Burgress, 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 over to ECS on third street. We are walking through the historic district on a cool summer morning in Philadelphia. 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 its history. 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 the 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.

Anne has the background to take ECS to the next level. I have been around long enough to know that my skill set has taken the agency to a new level. Still, there is more to do, and Anne has the energy, life story, credibility, and experience that I don’t have to keep challenging poverty and meet the challenges 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 for such work 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 a new level.

I look forward to sleeping in.

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I have had a diverse career. Starting with IBM, ROLM, and MCI, then moving to The Modern Group, Ltd., and Episcopal Community Services. These days, I serve on several boards, both for-profit and nonpr


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