ProAct Indy Hires Director of Operations and Names New CEO

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Indianapolis, IN, February 24, 2021.  ProAct Indy, an Indianapolis-based nonprofit organization, announced today that Faren Jones, MPA, CFRE has been named the new Director of Operations of the organization. An experienced nonprofit and community leader, she is passionate about both individual and societal level issues, such as helping others operate in their purpose and develop structures that ensure that the entire community is able to thrive. Jones is known for having a high standard of ethics, accomplishing any task at hand, and effectively leading teams of varying abilities. Her dedication is fueled by an interest in eradicating the status quo, eliminating inefficient processes, and dismantling oppressive systems.

With this addition to the organization’s eclectic and talented team, ProAct Indy’s Board of Directors appointed the founder of the youth-serving organization, Derrin Slack, as its CEO, succeeding Pitt Thompson. Slack will assume responsibilities on April 1.

Slack previously served as the organization’s CEO, however, as the organization scaled its operations in 2017-2018, citing operational and management challenges, Slack stepped down as CEO in March 2019 and asked Pitt Thompson, who served as a board member, to step in as CEO. Slack transitioned to manage the organization’s programs as Chief Program Officer.

“At the time, in order to ensure the success and sustainability of the organization, I knew that I needed to either engage myself in leadership development activities and get the right mentors around me to grow as a confident leader, or I needed to move on and get out of the way – I chose the former,” Slack shared as he reflected on this transition. “I needed to be in a position of learning, and I am incredibly grateful to our board of directors and Pitt Thompson for their personal sacrifice to mentor me, teach me, and prepare me to assume the role of CEO again.”

“They believed so much in the mission of the organization and in my personal development that they provided the resources of an executive coach, leadership development opportunities, and helped recruit experienced board members to ensure our continued success and impact,” Slack said.

Stepping in during a time when the organization needed an experienced executive to sustain business operations and mentor key leadership, Pitt Thompson will step down after two years in the position and serve as the organization’s Board Chair to oversee governance, accountability, financial integrity.

“I am confident that ProAct will be among the leaders in the nonprofit sector for years to come,” said Thompson.

While serving as CEO, Pitt Thompson helped lead the organization to financial stability and established a six-month operating reserve fund, increased staff from two to nine, recruited a dynamic board of directors, refreshed marketing and communication efforts, and helped solidify strategic partners to implement new programs.

“I have never felt more confident as an individual and leader as I am now. As I transition into the CEO role, I am focused on our mission and purpose to achieve collective impact,” Slack said. “Continuing to partner with Pitt and now, Faren Jones, who will lead our internal operations, ProAct is in a better position than it has ever been to invest in the relationships necessary to empower youth to actively transform their communities. We are ready.”

About ProAct Indy

ProAct is a pioneering community engagement organization committed to standing in the gap for vulnerable populations while empowering youth to actively transform their communities.

We bring together organizations in the city – helping groups cross social, racial, and economic boundaries – through meaningful service projects and social equity training. Learn more at www.proactindy.org

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