Ken Goldstein, MPPA

Ken Goldstein has been working in nonprofits and local government agencies from Santa Cruz, to Sacramento, and back to Silicon Valley, since 1989. He's been staff, volunteer, board member, executive director, and, since 2003, a consultant to local nonprofit organizations. For more on Ken's background, click here. If you are interested in retaining Ken's services, you may contact him at ken at

Monday, July 07, 2008

Return to blogging

First I must thank all of you who continued check this blog site during my extended break in regular posting. I appreciate it very much, and is one of the reasons I've determined to start posting again.

My absence has been partly due to plain old being busy, and partly due to a bit of soul searching.

First the busy part. I was completing nearly one-and-a-half years as the Interim Executive Director of Grail Family Services in San Jose. It was a wonderful and satisfying experience, through which I learned much and gained terrific insights and experience. Yes, even as a consultant, and somebody with nearly twenty years of public service, half of it in leadership positions, I continue to learn every day.

The assignment began as a simple "caretaker" role, keeping daily operations running smoothly while we negotiated a merger. As the merger talks dragged on, more leadership was required as the normal course of things brought about staff changes and all the other crises that come at nonprofit organizations on a regular basis. After nearly ten months of negotiations, and a draft of the final agreement, it became clear that the merger was not in our best interest, and talks ended.

We then began a process of determining the best path for GFS. Should we pursue another merger? With whom? Should we hire a permanent ED? Could GFS be sustainable if it remained independent? Much time had been lost with developing new funding sources when we thought we were merging. Still, the more than a year of uncertainty had taken its toll on staff, and all agreed that finding a way to make the organization stable and successful on its own was the best avenue to pursue.

After a search of several months, and interviewing some wonderful candidates, we wound up re-hiring the previous Executive Director, who was once again available. The organization is on track for another great year. I completed my tenure as Interim ED about a month ago, but I am continuing as a consultant to assist with their upcoming Strategic Planning process.

And so, that completes the "too busy to blog" story. Tomorrow I'll tell you about the soul searching, and where I am now. Thanks again for your patience during this absence.

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