Two organizations engaged in searches for the best and brightest over the past months have come up aces while others continue to flounder. Consider:
Birthright Israel found it necessary to find a successor to its President, Bob Aronson. To me, Bob is at the very highest echelon of fund raising success; it would prove to be a daunting task to find one to succeed him. In choosing Cincinnati's David Fisher, however, Birthright sent a clear message -- only the best and brightest would do. The Search process took six months with bumps in the road but at the end of the day, BRI chose, in David, a young (46) businessperson and philanthropist with great contacts, absolute integrity and superb FRD experience. Having grown up in this great Fisher family, in the Cincinnati federation experience and in the Young Leadership Cabinet, David was ultimately recognized for his leadership and fund raising skills when he was named JFNA National Campaign Chair in 2006. Soon David discovered JFNA's lay and professional lack of interest in financial resource development and their own version of "integrity." He fought privately for what he believed was right -- for the FRD budget, for the Annual Campaign's proper place and for his professional staff. Frustrated at every turn, David resigned in an act of absolute integrity and, in so doing, subjected himself to vicious attacks from the then JFNA Board Chair and CEO. Clearly, the Search Committee understood this when they decided that David would become BRI's new President.
David doesn't abandon his current federation leadership roles to move to his new professional one, he builds upon them. Birthright knew best -- they got the leader JFNA cast aside. He will do great.
And, JNF hired our great friend, Chicago's Beth Cherner, as its new Midwest Director. Beth headed a thirteen year series of FRD successes as Chicago's Campaign Director. She was brilliant in the role begun by our dearest friend, Joel Shinsky, z'l. She worked night and day for Chicago's federation success, her eye was always on the ball. JNF, always opportunistic, jumped at the chance to hire the best.
May both David and Beth go from strength to strength.