Thursday, January 31, 2008

Help Of Ojai Restructures Board

In a move to streamline and strengthen its operations and governance, Help of Ojai has completed a restructuring of its board of directors and approved steps to improve grass-roots involvement through new community advisory committees.
Board Chairman Kelly Randall said the actions will make Help more responsive to the demographic trends and changes in human services needs while maintaining the agency’s commitment to traditional services. The action comes after months of internal assessments, cost cutting and staff reductions, prompted by recent financial challenges.
“These moves will give us greater flexibility and the ability to respond more rapidly to challenges in the nonprofit world,” Randall said. “The new management team has stepped up to these challenges and working with Help’s president and chief executive officer, J.R. Jones, will do what’s necessary to restore our fiscal and operational health.”
Approved last week was the formation of a new governance board, comprised initially of five volunteers who are active in the Ojai community with a goal of seven to nine members in the future. They will oversee the agency’s fund raising, public awareness and mission advocacy. The new board replaces the former Help board of directors, which was comprised of up to 15 members. Following are the members of the new board of directors: Karen Evenden, Dave Neville, Alan Rains, Kelly Randall and Peggy Russell.
Chairman Randall is a retired business executive who has been actively involved in Help’s Transportation Program for the past two years and the development of Help’s Baldwin Road facility. Evenden, Randall and Russell served on Help’s former board and have been active in many community organizations over the years. Neville is a private practice attorney in Ojai, and Rains, owner of Rains Department Store, has been a fixture in Ojai’s nonprofit world for more than three decades.
Also approved, but not yet filled, were three advisory committees that will have responsibility for recommending policies and actions in areas of mission advocacy, fund raising and public relations.
Jones said that he was gratified by the board’s action, which he said gives him and the Help of Ojai staff a solid framework with which to carry on their day-to-day assignments and make the agency a better servant of public needs.

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