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

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Merger Complete

Now that the ink is dry and the papers filed and the merger official and done, I can publicly reveal that the Interim Executive Director assignment I was working on for the past 8-1/2 months was for the Support Network for Battered Women (SNBW), and that as of April 1, 2010, Support Network is now a division of the YWCA of Silicon Valley.

We completed the merger quicker than many thought possible, but we did it well. Because we knew we had an ambitious schedule we committed early to frequent meetings of the negotiations team, open and frequent communication out to the full board and staff of each organization, and to bringing together the implementation team and planning process even before the final agreements were completed.

The transition was smooth as the YWCA's CEO and COO each began attending SNBW staff meetings to assist with updates and get to know staff early. As negotiations wound down, the YWCA Administrative Director also began spending time at SNBW to begin answering HR questions and allay any concerns staff might have about transitioning to the YW's employment.

About that time it was announced that the YW's COO would be the Support Network Interim Division Director following the closing date, and she began dividing her time between the Support Network's office and the YWCA's office before the official merger date. When April 1 came, and my services as Interim Executive Director for SNBW were no longer needed, it was simple and stress-free to transition my duties over to her and make my exit.

Because of the focus on communications and transparency we managed to avoid the pitfalls of too-quick a transition and the potential jarring effect that could have had on staff and operations. As it was, when the official date came, it was a welcome move, well-understood by all, and a positive experience. Support Network staff attended a YWCA orientation session before the closing date, and a final private celebration of the 30-year history of SNBW took place to provide staff closure to that period in the organization's life.

Of course, while this was all happening each agency conducted their full due diligence review of the other agency's operations, including full financial review, personnel records inspections, etc., and a communications plan was continually updated to guide our messaging to key funders, constituents, and community partners.

As I've mentioned in earlier blog posts, this was my third time going through merger negotiations as an Interim ED. Each time is a little different, and the lessons learned help guide the next project, and then there's more to learn again.

And now, I'm available, once again, for an Interim (or the right permanent) Executive Director position, if you know of an agency in need of my services...

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