Another Region Beset with Post-Recession Nonprofit CEO Departures

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EXIT / Ann Hung

December 20, 2015; Buffalo Business First

NPQ published a number of stories during the recession that it seemed that few long-term nonprofit executives were leaving their posts. We speculated that seasoned execs were digging in to see nonprofits through a turbulent period and that the resignations and retirements might come later, once the environment stabilized a bit.

Now, Western N.Y. is the second region where the local press has discussed a rash of resignations or retirements among mid-sized to large nonprofits. In June, we reported that Charleston, S.C. had lost 10 arts executives within a short period and, indeed, in this new report from Western New York, two of the four executives that are leaving local high-profile nonprofits work for arts and culture organizations. As readers remember, those organizations, as a field, were hit hardest by the recession but many of them have since bounced back.

The resignations in Western New York include:

Though we have no indication that any of these departures occurred in a crisis, it is another reminder that planning well in advance for these kinds of transitions is important. Highly competent long-term executives often hold many of the key relationships in nonprofits. Is your staff leadership sufficiently redundant to allow a smooth transition even if little or no notice is given? — Ruth McCambridge