Abode Steering Committee Update

Abode Steering Committee Update

steeringupdateSaturday, April 16, 2016

The Abode Steering Committee*, which has met weekly since January, would like to begin to offer brief updates about our work and process. To date we have done our best to incorporate input from many supporters of the Abode and are gratified by the outpouring of love and support expressed for the Abode and its community over the past year.  As we continue to coalesce as a Committee, we recognize the necessity to keep those who care about the Abode both informed and involved in our evolving transition process.

As a committee, we are addressing a number of issues concurrently; primary among them are finances, governance and staffing.

Finance:  A finance subcommittee, including Huzur Nawaz German (Inayati Order Treasurer), Roshan Peay (Inayati Order Finance Chair), Nasreen Moayedi (Retired Business Owner), Maheboob Blair Davis (Business Planning Advisor), Jennifer Alia Wittman (Current Abode Executive Director) and Robin Thieme of Kensington Business Solutions (an accounting firm that provides finance oversight for the Abode) has been meeting regularly. After taking great care to ensure that all information was captured and reflected for 2015, the Committee has completed its process of reviewing the 2015 financial reports for the Abode. We are publishing Abode Financials 2015 today. This report will clearly shows the impact of the successful 2015 Abode Summer Appeal, which allowed the Abode to close out the year with an overall increase in net assets.

Looking into 2016, we are nearly finished with the process of drafting this year’s budget, which we will publish shortly. Once the budget is complete, the finance subcommittee will turn to developing a multi-year business plan for 2017 and beyond. A cornerstone of this budget and a primary source of income for the Abode now and into the future is your continuing generous financial support. With that in mind, we plan another summer fundraising appeal this year. Together we can ensure the Abode is able to successfully make this transition and fulfill its mission for years to come.

Governance:  Another priority is the development of a new governance structure and organizational chart with input from existing staff and community members. While the Abode Steering Committee is currently working with the Inayati Order/Abode Board of Trustees as a subcommittee, the plan is to transition into a separate Abode Board of Directors later this year. We plan for this new Board to have representation from a wide range of Abode stakeholders.

Management / Staff:  We are likewise focused on building staff capacity at the Abode, especially as we move into our active program season. The Committee recently announced the hire of Ibrahim Pedriñán as Director of Programs and Avraham Kyle Maistri as Director of Operations.  Since then Avraham has decided that he would prefer to serve the Abode in another capacity. With this new vacancy in our management team, the Committee is fast-tracking a search for a new Executive Director for the Abode (the position currently held by Alia). We hope to have someone in this position by early this summer.

We plan an opening hiring process. Alia has been the Executive Director of the Abode for 18 months, a position she has held while simultaneously serving as ED of the Inayati Order. She plans on transitioning out of the Abode ED position once a new Director has been hired and brought up to speed. The selection committee for this position will include members of the Abode Steering Committee and the Abode community. Cari Shafia Naftali has already agreed to serve on this team. We also plan for staff and community members to meet potential candidates and to have input into this decision-making process.

In addition to this position, we are also seeking to fill the open position of Housekeeping Manager. All open positions can be found on our website under Employment.

The Abode Steering Committee recently had a joint meeting with the Inayati Order Board’s Executive Committee and both groups will continue to meet regularly. The Inayati Order has reaffirmed its commitment to encourage the development of an independently managed Abode and, at the same time, to foster a supportive, cooperative relationship between the two entities.

Please know that all of us midwifing the birth of the Abode’s next incarnation appreciate the support and contributions made by many of you, helping us to manifest an Abode of the Message that embodies the ideals of Love, Harmony and Beauty far into the future.

Warmest regards,

The  Abode Steering Committee: Huzur Nawaz German, Chair, Gabriel Christopher Steadman, Nasreen Linda Moayedi, Mahaboob Blair Davis, and Aimée Brodeur Johnson

*The Abode Steering Committee was formed earlier this year as an ad hoc committee of the Inayati Order/Abode Board of Trustees. The Abode Steering Committee is tasked with guiding the Abode in it’s next phase and specifically assigned to advise on staffing, governance and business planning, and to take leadership in each of these three areas. For further details, please follow this link: http://www.inayatiorder.org/organization/next-steps-creation-of-abode-steering-committee/