Spark Hires First CEO
The Board of Directors announces that Rich Johnson will join the staff full time as Spark’s first Chief Executive Officer.
On behalf of the Spark Ventures’ Board of Directors, I am thrilled to announce that Rich Johnson, the visionary and co-founder behind Spark, will become the organization’s full time Chief Executive Officer beginning this fall.
Spark has accomplished a tremendous amount in its first few years of existence. Under Rich’s leadership as part-time Executive Director, Spark has stabilized and strengthened its first partner, Hope Ministries of Zambia. Year-round nutrition and schooling, bi-annual check-ups and holistic HIV/AIDS education is being provided to more than 300 orphans and vulnerable children. Fundraising efforts resulting in nearly $1 million have led to expansion of Hope’s staff, facilities and programs including a water well, 30-passenger bus, and construction of a seven-classroom schoolhouse. And over 100 investors have traveled to Zambia to experience and contribute to this partnership work first hand.
As the Board planned for Spark’s 2011 fiscal year, we recognized that this was a critical time for Spark Ventures. We are entering the sustainability phase of our model with partner Hope Ministries and beginning to look forward to adding additional partnerships with other organizations serving vulnerable children around the world. We concluded that it was time for Spark to hire a full time CEO to lead the organization through this important season of its development. The Board established an Organizational Leadership Committee to determine what Spark required in a chief executive, and after an extensive set of discussions that included the full Board of Directors, we concluded that Rich is the right executive to lead Spark into the future.
We are tremendously excited about what lies ahead for Spark in the coming years under Rich’s leadership. His vision, dedication, entrepreneurial spirit and inspirational leadership have already made a significant difference in the lives of hundreds of children, and ultimately the lives of their families and their community. We are confident that Rich will lead Spark Ventures to successfully navigate the next stage of growth and emerge as a model for making high-impact social investments in sustainable partnerships that help vulnerable children around the world realize their potential.
Chair, Organizational Leadership Committee