Dear Friends and Supporters of UFE:
As the chair of the board of directors at United for a Fair Economy, I am writing today to share some important news about leadership transitions happening at UFE this spring. These transitions include the departure of our Executive Director, Brian Miller, and the formation of a new interim leadership team consisting of two senior members of UFE’s staff, Jeannette Huezo and Mike Lapham.
Together, Jeannette and Mike bring over 30 years of collective experience at UFE, and I am excited about the insight they will bring to the table in helping the organization navigate the change in leadership. Indeed, their experience and passion for the work, combined with the commitment and talents of the rest of the UFE team, makes me extremely optimistic about the organization’s future as it enters its third decade this fall!
But before we start looking ahead, I want to take a moment to offer the board’s gratitude to Brian, who since 2009 has led the organization through 5 years of unprecedented growth and success, including:
- A victory on the federal tax front, helping secure the first increase in the estate tax rate in 28 years;
- Publication of The Self-Made Myth, a new UFE book challenging right-wing orthodoxy, co-authored by Brian Miller and our Responsible Wealth project director Mike Lapham;
- Exposing the racial wealth divide and the policies that created it with our annual State of the Dream reports, including our most recent installment, State of the Dream 2014: Healthcare for Whom?; and,
- The trailblazing, renowned work that we do here at UFE and all across the country every single day: supporting on-the-ground organizing from coast-to-coast through our signature trainings of trainers institutes, popular economics education curriculum development, and state-level tax fairness organizing!
In 2013, Brian together with the rest of the staff and board shepherded UFE through a year-long strategic planning process that culminated in the adoption of our powerful new, five-year strategic plan. With this sweeping roadmap in hand, UFE is poised to take on economic justice in bold new ways, supporting the constituencies and communities most affected by rising inequality today in America!
We are grateful to Brian for his many contributions and for his leadership in helping us reach this exciting moment in UFE’s nearly 20-year history. But now, in this time of new beginnings, Brian is turning over the reins, inviting new opportunity and fresh perspectives in the form of new leadership that will take the organization into its next chapter…
With that in mind, I am very proud to announce that two of UFE’s most senior and longest-tenured staff will be assuming the role of interim co-executive directors: Jeannette Huezo, a treasured and long-time member of our Popular Economics Education team, and Mike Lapham, co-founder and director of UFE’s Responsible Wealth project. Together, they have over 30 years of experience at UFE, and many more years of experience working in the field of economic justice before their time here. They each have a deep passion for economic and racial justice and are committed to UFE’s mission as a movement support organization.
I have tremendous confidence in Jeannette and Mike to effectively guide the organization through the coming months. Their long-standing commitment to UFE, and to the movement as a whole, makes them the ideal choice for this role. They have already taken the helm at UFE, and their leadership today is critically important to ensuring the smooth implementation of the first stages of our new strategic plan and in assisting the board in its search for a new executive director.
With UFE’s operations now in the capable hands of Jeannette and Mike, the board is beginning its work of searching for an exceptional and talented leader to fill Brian’s shoes. This process is only just beginning—you will be learning more about the search in the coming weeks and months, so please stay tuned. (For now, please know that we will be reaching out to you, our supporters and partners, to help us find the right leader for UFE’s next phase.)
In the meantime, there’s much work to be done! The board has been working closely with UFE’s staff over the past several weeks to implement a transition plan that ensures we don’t miss a beat in our important work to support the movement for economic justice. And we will be turning to our loyal and outstanding supporters and partners to stick with us and continue to invest in UFE’s future—for the success of our near-term and long-term goals, and for the realization of our shared vision of a fairer economy and a better way of life for all of us.
It is this shared vision that unites us, you and me and so many more who are committed to challenging concentrated wealth and power in our country. With our new strategic plan, we at United for a Fair Economy have positioned our selves to be a leading force in the movement for economic justice. And so we will carry on, together, and with your continued support, blazing the trail into the organization’s third decade!
With gratitude and in solidarity,
United for a Fair Economy