Center Plans Leadership Transition

The Center for Rural Affairs Board of Directors will begin implementing a leadership succession plan. The deliberations began after Executive Director Chuck Hassebrook announced his intentions to leave the Center at the end of 2013 to campaign for public office.

The Center’s board adopted a detailed succession plan in 2010 which will guide their deliberations. Vice Chair of the Center board and Chair of the Succession Committee, Vern Barrett, will lead the board in the process of selecting a new Executive Director. According to Barrett, the board will spend the coming months undertaking a careful and orderly transition to a new Executive Director.

Jim Knopik, Fullerton, Nebraska, farmer and Center Board President commented on the strength of the Center as the organization enters this phase. “As board president, I have every confidence in our staff’s ability to keep the Center and our work for rural America moving forward,” he said. “I’ve seen many changes at the Center since I first became a supporter 15 years ago. I can tell you the Center continues to be in a strong position – now as much as ever.”

According to Knopik, by the end of the year, Hassebrook will have served nearly 36 years on the Center’s staff. He was named director in 1996, serving in that capacity for the last 17 years. “Chuck has guided us through thick and thin. He has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of rural Americans,” Knopik concluded. 

The board expects to name a new Executive Director before the year’s end so that person may assume the role on January 1, 2014.

The Center for Rural Affairs is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and does not support or oppose any candidate for public office.