During the next six months, the CHHSM Board of Directors will oversee one of the most important responsibilities in nonprofit management: hiring a new president and CEO. The search for a new leader is underway after the current president and CEO, the Rev. Bryan Sickbert, announced this month that he will retire at the end of the year.
“This is a critical task,” says Hugh Meyers, CEO of Orion Family Services in Madison, Wis., and CHHSM board chair. “The impact of this decision will be felt for at least a decade, so we’re taking the search process very seriously.”
Meyers says the executive committee of the board has already appointed a five-member search committee, headed by the Rev. Kenneth V. Daniel, president and CEO of United Church Homes, to solicit proposals from search firms. The committee hopes to select a search agency by the middle of April.
The agency will generate interest in the position and interview candidates through the summer. By September, it will narrow the search to the top three qualified candidates. CHHSM expects to introduce the final candidate to the board of directors in November, Meyers says.
In a letter to the board of directors, Sickbert said he’s stepping down to spend more time with his family.
“It is time to move to a new phase of life focused more fully on family, recreation, study and voluntary service,” he says in the letter. “While I am proud of my service with CHHSM, I believe that the time has come for new leadership that will bring fresh vision to this ministry.”
Sickbert has brought his skilled and creative leadership to CHHSM since 1991, and helped the organization become a vital voice for the health and human service ministry of the church. He earned a Master of Divinity from Chicago Theological Seminary and Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Before joining CHHSM as president and CEO, he served as administrative resident and director of medical affairs for Good Samaritan and Bethany hospitals in Chicago, and also served as minister of mission at First United Church of Oak Park, Ill.
As Meyers reflects on Sickbert’s tenure and leadership, he says the board seeks similar characteristics in his successor.
“We’re searching for someone with demonstrated executive leadership and management of health and human service organizations, an understanding of theological issues and the ability to connect religious values with business,” he says, adding that an exposure to nonprofits and different socioeconomic groups is helpful.
He invites CHHSM’s member ministries to get involved in the process.
“Don’t hesitate to contact me or Ken Daniel,” he says. “We want input in this process. This will affect us for years to come.”