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The Board of Directors of Shepherd’s Hand is very pleased to introduce our new Executive Director, Shan Kingston. Shan and her husband, David, moved to Whitefish earlier this summer and are excited to live, work, play and serve in the community!
Over the last several years, Shepherd’s Hand has taken a number of thoughtful and intentional steps to prepare for its next generation of volunteers and leaders. Shan’s hiring is the most recent of those steps.
In 2010 co-founders Meg and Jay Erickson established an informal leadership team to start thinking about succession planning. Later that same year, Shepherd’s Hand formally incorporated as a stand-alone 501(c)3 non-profit organization and elected our first Board of Directors. In 2011 the Shepherd’s Hand Fund was established as a Permanent Endowment, held by the Whitefish Community Foundation. In November of 2016, Kathy Neff took over for Jay as the free clinic Medical Director. And in the fall of 2016, we completed two facilitated Board Retreat sessions focused on understanding the broader scope of community needs and identifying ongoing and potential new opportunities for Shepherd’s Hand to participate in meeting those needs.
All of that activity has grounded the Shepherd’s Hand mission on a firm foundation for the future, and with that in mind, Meg and Jay set their plans to retire from their leadership roles in 2017.
In February of this year, Shepherd’s Hand announced Meg’s retirement after 22 years of service from her Executive Director role, and the Board began the search for our next leader. During this transition, Director of Operations Jennifer Hyatt and Director of Volunteers Jessica Tubbs stepped up to provide outstanding co-leadership of the Clinic’s daily operations. This allowed the Board to fully focus on the Executive Director search process that, on July 1, culminated with Shan’s hiring.
Shan brings extensive experience in a variety of roles demonstrating progressive responsibility in academic, for-profit and non-profit organizations. Her work couples a strong business and administrative background with a programmatic focus on education and outreach. Shan comes to Shepherd’s Hand from her most recent position as Executive Director for a community based literacy non-profit in Jackson, WY, serving children, adults and families. In that role, Shan guided the organization to expand programs, increase capacity and improve sustainability. In accepting the position, Shan told the Board “I am honored to join the work of Shepherd’s Hand, supporting the patients, staff and volunteers in continuing the work and growing the vision begun by Jay and Meg Erickson. I look forward to sharing stories about whom and why we serve, with the community.”
Shepherd’s Hand is blessed with a caring and dedicated volunteer base and an outstanding staff which includes Kathy Neff and David Keim serving as our Medical Director and Dental Director, respectively. With the addition of Shan Kingston to the team, Shepherd’s Hand is very well positioned to continue serving those in our community who have need.
Indeed, in speaking of his own retirement from the Shepherd’s Hand board later this summer, Jay observed that “given the combination of Shan’s experience, expertise and passion for serving the community, she will excel in leading our mission of service to our friends and neighbors throughout the Flathead Valley. Shepherd’s Hand was founded on the core belief of honoring the value and affirming the dignity of every individual. We focus on overall health and wellbeing through our weekly community meal, wellness programs, behavioral health services, and medical and dental services. We are thrilled to have Shan joining the Shepherd’s Hand family and helping us to continue our story of faith, volunteerism, compassion and community.”