Today the HOBY Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that HOBY alumna Kristen Hoefer has accepted the role of HOBY CEO. Kristen has served as interim CEO since August 1, 2020.
Following the departure of former CEO Javier LaFianza, Kristen agreed to step into an interim CEO role to keep the organization moving forward. Kristen did this in a voluntary capacity, for which the Board will always be grateful. Simultaneously, we launched a nationwide executive search, led by global search firm Korn Ferry and a Board Search Committee made up of Board Members Michael Akin, Megan Alexander, Shawn Mobley, Virginia O’Brian, and Brian Selander, which generated over 400 applications.
While the search process was running, Kristen and the HOBY team were full-steam-ahead in laying the foundation for the organization’s continued financial strength, even amidst the challenges brought on by COVID-19. We now enter 2021 with an updated and sustainable financial model, a proven virtual seminar model to build upon, and a significant donor pipeline. Additionally, Kristen set a new standard for engagement with volunteers during HOBY Town Halls as well as with the Board during Board Meetings.
It was this record of accomplishment that led the search committee to ask Kristen if she would consider staying on in a non-interim capacity. After further discussion with Kristen, and as part of the overall search process, it became clear that Kristen was the right leader for the times.
In addition to her tremendous leadership over these past months, the search committee found Kristen’s multi-faceted HOBY experience noteworthy. Kristen is a HOBY alumna (HOBY Rhode Island & World Leadership Congress, 1986), both of Kristen’s children are also HOBY alumni and active volunteers, and she has served on the HOBY Board of Trustees. Kristen also has an impressive executive track record having served at the helm of multiple global healthcare organizations, including 23 years with Abbott, running businesses within North America and Europe.
In short, Kristen possesses an outstanding – and rare – combination of proven executive leadership at the highest levels of business, and a demonstrated knowledge of and commitment to HOBY’s mission-driven work.
There is much work to be done, and we are grateful that Kristen’s service to HOBY continues in this role. Yet, as we all know, HOBY is bigger than any one person. It was part of Hugh’s brilliance to forge an organizational structure that requires all of us – volunteers, staff, and board – to work together to achieve HOBY’s maximum potential. We remain more committed than ever to this inclusive approach. By working together, we can ensure that HOBY’s brightest days are ahead.
It is only appropriate that we close with this powerful reflection from Mrs. Virginia O’Brian:
This was Hugh’s dream. He really wanted to see a HOBY Alum leading HOBY and being a HOBY parent as well is even better. We can now say that dreams do come true. I am thrilled that we will have Kristen Hoefer, a very accomplished and analytical HOBY Alum leading HOBY. Kristen is very caring, professional and respectful of the HOBY staff, volunteers and Board of Trustees. She is just what HOBY needs as we enter 2021. I know that Hugh is cheering with a big OUTSTANDING from Heaven.
Please join us in welcoming Kristen Hoefer as HOBY CEO.