From Dale Penny
To the Up with People Board of Directors, Staff, Cast Members, Alumni, Camper Families, Host Families and Friends,
Five years ago I was honored to be asked to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of Up with People. Since then I have had the privilege of working with a passionate and talented staff and a dedicated Board of Directors. After much consideration I will be retiring from this position effective January 1, 2020 or until a successor is selected.
This has not been an easy decision to make. Over the past 48 years I have had the opportunity to be involved in Up with People in numerous roles – sponsor, cast member, road staff, office staff, host family, spouse of an alumna, parent of two alumni, member of the Board of Directors and my current role. As with many of you, my relationship with UWP has never been simply a professional one. I feel a personal connection to the program and a responsibility to help ensure its future.
I believe, however, that there are times in an organization’s development which offer a natural moment for leadership change, and this is one of those times. The Board of Directors and staff, with input from alumni and friends, have outlined a vision for the future that extends Up with People’s reach, touches the lives of more youth and communities, and puts UWP on the road to continue thriving into the future.
This transformation will not come immediately and will require a steady and consistent leader over the next several years. As much as I’d like to, I cannot make that commitment. I believe that now is the time for a new President/CEO to take the reins and guide UWP through this historic phase with fresh perspectives, ideas, energy and leadership skills.
It is not my intention to leave Up with People, however. As you have heard me say, I believe that Up with People’s mission — empowering youth to be agents of change for a more hopeful, trusting and peaceful world — has never been so essential. As one of our recent alumni from Cast A2019 just posted, “There is so much work to do in this world…and I believe this program has prepared me to give my 100% to making this world better. One step at a time.” For her and for the 22,000+ alumni who have shared this experience, I am committed to continue advocating for, promoting, recruiting and helping ensure thousands more youth will be served by UWP in the decades to come.
I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve as your President and CEO these past years. When the time comes for me to leave this role, I will do so with profound appreciation to the Board of Directors, staff, cast members and the thousands of alumni and supporters who have joined with us. I am proud of what we have accomplished together and excited about the future of Up with People.