Friday, April 25, 2014

Executive Director Stewards Foundation 1994-2010

Twenty years ago today, I began a 16 year adventure as Executive Director of Stewards Foundation, founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1945, then moved to Wheaton in the 1970s. I met wonderful people from most of the 50 states we served. When the President of the board called me to offer me the "Interim" job he asked, "would you like to move to Chicago?" I said "no." (Nothing against Illinois, or Chicago or Wheaton, but I love Texas, even though I went to 1st and 2nd grade in Villa Park when Dad was on faculty at Emmaus). He said "would you commute?" I said "yes." For 15 months I boarded a Fokker 100 jet (90 seat) on Monday, and on Friday I boarded the same model to return from Chicago to Dallas. The board decided to take the "Interim" out of my title, and Cheryl and I moved to Wheaton in the fall of 1995. 

At the first opportunity and with the blessing of the board, I moved the whole thing to Midway Road, Addison Texas in 1998, where it operated until recently when it moved to Dallas. Cheryl was office administrative manager for 12 years, worked free the first year, and the board hired her. I loved the Executive Director aspect. Enjoyed most of the staff we had, and loaning millions for new assemblies/churches. Enjoyed managing a $10M investment portfolio. Another thrill was being involved in an effort to place 9 brand new board members (with a new vision) in 1991, which effort was successful, and created a new majority on the board. The men who were mentors to me, and involved in that effort, were Jean Gibson, Dr. Theodore "Ted" Dippy, John W. Brown, William "Bill" Neufeld and Gerald "Jerry" Keller, all now in heaven. My wife Cheryl and my Dad, Ken, were the greatest encouragements to me in those years. By far it is the most satisfying job I ever had, and I hope one day soon to utilize my experience in another similar environment. As with any job, there comes a time when it is appropriate to move on, so I gave my resignation in 2010. Dad will always be my #1 hero, and during the darkest most difficult days he called me to say he was praying for me, or sent me a note by snail mail, or a funny cartoon he had clipped from the paper or a magazine. After he went to heaven I found a folder with about 20 cartoons, and funnies he never had the chance to send. He was always thinking of others. He is my example, and I thought of him much and talked to him much during those 16 years. Thanks Dad!! 

First IVIG infusion

 Day one of my many future infusions for my CIDP diagnosis. Today will be about 3 hours. Prayers appreciated. “Jesus led me all the way” was...