September 26, 2016
The search for the next executive director of Catholic Charities of Tennessee, Inc. is well underway.
The search committee has scouted out candidates both locally and nationally and is conducting the first round of interviews this week and next.
“The goal is to have someone in place by late November, early December, so there is some transition time before Bill retires,” said Dwayne Dillard, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Catholic Charities of Tennessee and chair of the search committee.
Bill Sinclair, who has been executive director of Catholic Charities of Tennessee for three decades, recently announced that he would retire Jan. 31, 2017. “The time is right,” he said. “The job really is life consuming, and I’m ready to have more free time.”
Sinclair had previously planned to retire in January 2015, but then decided against it because of major changes that were on the horizon for Catholic Charities that year, including programming shifts and growth. Sinclair also wanted to stay on to oversee the transition of moving many Catholic Charities department offices and staff members to the new Catholic Pastoral Center. Additionally, he played an integral role this year in moving St. Mary Villa Child Development Center and Senior Enrichment Center from White Bridge Road to the St. Vincent de Paul Church campus.
“When I leave I want Catholic Charities as good as it can be. Right now it’s a healthy organization and I’m much more comfortable about leaving today than a couple years ago,” he said.
Sinclair said he wants the search committee “to choose somebody better than me,” to follow him in the executive director role. The top candidate should have “a true appreciation for Catholic social teaching and serving people,” Sinclair. He or she should also have excellent management, budgeting and people skills, and “really appreciate the Church.”
The new executive director will be overseeing an organization with a $17 million annual budget and a staff of approximately 300 people. Sinclair estimates that Catholic Charities of Tennessee is one of the 40 largest diocesan Catholic Charities programs in the country. But “in proportion to the Catholic population, it’s one of the biggest,” he said.
The new executive director will have the unique challenge of taking the reins of an organization that has had the same leader for more than a generation. “We want to have two months of transition time, because there’s a lot of knowledge to transfer,” said Dillard.
Sinclair has been executive director of Catholic Charities of Tennessee for 30 years, and has been with the organization for 42 years.
Catholic Charities of Tennessee is the social service arm of the Diocese of Nashville and assists more than 60,000 people each year, of every religious, cultural and racial background, in 38 counties across Middle Tennessee through more than 50 different programs.
As Catholic Charities moves into the future with a new executive director, the organization will stand ready to serve the people of Middle Tennessee, newcomers and long-time residents alike, Dillard said. “We’re ready to evolve and adapt to meet the needs of the community.”