After serving as board president for Love INC of the Newberg Area for nearly eight years, Ken Cuddeford felt it was time to give somebody else an opportunity to lead.
The Newberg resident and co-owner of Beaverton-based Impact Printing has stepped down from his position and will be succeeded by board member and Rock Point Church Pastor Karyn Wells.
"I'm not going to be the guy sitting on the board for 30 years and keep doing the same old things," Cuddeford said. "It's just time for fresh people to be involved."
Cuddeford and Wells, who has served on the board for more than two years, have known each other since they were young, as both attended Newberg High School. It was Cuddeford who initially invited Wells to join the board and he said he foresees a smooth transition.
"She has been a fantastic asset to the board, so I personally asked her to take over for me," Cuddeford said. "She's somebody that's wise beyond her years and just really understands the need and wants to help."
Cuddeford volunteered at Love INC health clinics before being asked to serve on the board by former executive director Polly Siler. He said he is especially proud of the work Love INC has done through its women's shelter and relational ministry program.
"We've seen people come in just broken and struggling, then come in and get healthy, find jobs and go out and be productive," Cuddeford said. "They get re-energized at a time in their life when they needed help. That's been great."
Former executive director Jodi Hansen, who succeeded Siler and now serves as a community liaison for the organization, said that Love INC grew tremendously during Cuddeford's time as board president and that he played a key role when the shelter shifted from an emergency housing format to a transitional living program.
"The board of a small nonprofit is such a key component to supporting the folks that are on the front lines of operations, just in helping us make good decisions," Hansen said. "When you're in it all day long and you look at what the next move or next step is going to be on a program, you need somebody in that position that understands the inner workings of the ministry really well but isn't embroiled in the inner workings every day. They have perspective that we don't have and that's been great having Karyn serve on the board as well. She's brought the same kinds of phenomenal insight and wisdom."
Wells, who volunteers in the Love INC clearinghouse and as a host at the shelter, said she admires Cuddeford's style of leadership, which she characterized as knowledgeable, steady and kind.
"As a Christian business owner, he understands how to run the Love INC ministry in a sound manner and deal with people wisely and with integrity," Wells said. "I intend to continue leading with the same kindness, wisdom and integrity, but my style will naturally be more pastoral than business-like. I greatly appreciate Ken's willingness to stay connected to Love INC and I also appreciate the expertise of the other board members, who will continue to ensure that sound business practices are still one of our strengths."
Cuddeford will remain on the board, at least temporarily, as executive director Heath Placek is in the process of adding two new members. Wells and Cuddeford are joined on the board by Christy Cooke of Newberg Christian Church, Rick Harris of Athey Creek Christian Fellowship in West Linn and Zephyr Bizeau of Red Hills Church.
Wells said that 2016 was a challenging year for the Love INC board as it dealt with a number of large issues, but that the organization has emerged with a stronger commitment to its mission to "mobilize the church to transform lives and our communities in the Name of Christ."
Wells said she immediately saw the value in Love INC because she grew up in a family that was quickly beset by poverty following the death of her father.
"I love that we give hope and not just help," Wells said. "There are many good organizations that give handouts and really care about their communities, but Love INC goes deeper. We really care about the souls of the individuals we serve. We want to see their lives transformed, not just changed momentarily by a free lunch or assistance with their water bill."