With a new leader on board, Community Action House is looking to forward to its 50th year of service providing pathways out of poverty for people and families throughout our community
Holland, MI – Community Action House (CAH) is excited to welcome Scott Rumpsa as its next Executive Director. At its June board meeting, the CAH Board of Directors selected Scott as the right candidate to lead the organization into its 50th year, and beyond. Born and raised in West Michigan, Scott brings an extensive background in nonprofit leadership. Scott will officially assume the role of ED in September 2018.
“CAH is an organization I’ve known and admired since my college years in Holland,” Scott recently shared. “It will be an incredible honor and privilege to lead such a distinguished organization - which has been made what it is, over the last nearly 50 years, by the commitment and action of countless past and current staff, volunteers, donors, and others. I look forward to working with our community to build on this amazing foundation, and to do more together in the years to come.”
For the CAH Board of Directors, Scott is an ideal match to the demands of the Executive Director role, which will draw heavily on his breadth of experience, including stints in the private sector, government, education, and nonprofits – the very same space in which Community Action House operates.
“We have complete confidence that CAH will thrive under Scott’s empowering leadership,” said Brian Pageau, President of the Board at CAH. “Scott’s track record demonstrates his ability to to create, develop, and sustain innovative, adaptable, and mission driven organizations like CAH.”
While our community has one of the highest median household incomes in Michigan, deep pockets of poverty remain. 1 in 7 residents in the greater Holland area live in poverty. Nearly everyone in our community is connected to someone affected by poverty. Hunger, substandard housing, homelessness, and financial insecurity are the reality for too many.
CAH works to address this challenge through multiple programs that meet people where they are at, providing increased security and a pathway out of poverty.
On average, CAH fights food insecurity and hunger by providing 800+ meals per day, through daily hot meals at the Community Kitchen, a food pantry, and monthly food distribution. Homeless Street Outreach builds relationships with our most vulnerable residents to connect them to resources and stable housing. Efforts to break the cycle of poverty include CAH’s EPIC Empowerment Program, which seeks to restore agency and collaboratively build a pathway out of poverty. Further along, CAH offers home buyer and financial education classes that have empowered 40 families to complete home purchases in the past year alone.
CAH’s Executive Director is tasked with bringing all of this together - community needs, complex social issues, hundreds of passionate supporters, and decisions which impact our community - to build the most effective pathways out of poverty. Scott’s diverse career, broad experiences, and deep local roots make him an ideal fit to lead and develop this organization.
An experienced nonprofit leader, Scott spent a portion of his career running country-wide operations for two nonprofits in East Africa.
As Country Director with Aqua Clara International, Scott built a water, sanitation, and hygiene program providing services to thousands of households and schoolchildren across rural Kenya. Scott then went on to lead country-level operations for Nuru International, which seeks to end extreme poverty in remote, rural parts of the world. Under his leadership, the organization doubled its client coverage across agricultural, economic development, healthcare, and education sectors, while training local community members to take full operational responsibility for all programs.
“I know that a bold vision only matters when those we’re serving have a say in how we’re approaching a challenge,” Scott reflected. “Moreover, I’ve found that servant leadership - sharing power, helping others develop and realize their potential while driving progress towards a vision that we share ownership of - is not only rewarding, but effective. CAH, and groups like it, are grappling with very challenging, complex problems. We need everyone’s expertise, and we need everyone fully bought in. I’m looking forward to learning from our clients, staff, volunteers, and partners, as we continue to innovate and enhance the efficacy of our programs.”
Most recently, Scott has served on the executive leadership team at Global Integrity (GI), a Washington D.C. based organization committed to open, accountable, and effective governance around the world.
Scott’s more local roots include working on affordable housing in the City of Grand Rapids Community Development Department, a fellowship working for long-time Michigan Senator Carl Levin, as site director of Cran-Hill Ranch, and even as a high school basketball coach at Forest Hills Central. He holds degrees from Hope College and Grand Valley State University, an MBA from The George Washington University School of Business, and a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management from The George Washington University Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration.
As CAH moves into its 50th year, Scott is being asked to build upon the many past successes of CAH and the fight against poverty in West Michigan. We’re all looking forward to what’s next.
“Any solution to poverty in the West Michigan region must fit the systemic nature of the challenge, and by necessity must be innovative, multifaceted, and complex,” said Scott. “What sets CAH apart is its strikingly bold purpose to end poverty in our community paired with a long history of innovating and delivering sustained results for the neighbors it serves. I believe that my background has prepared me well for this role. I’m excited to be joining, and look forward to connecting with so many amazing staff, volunteers, supporters, and partners in the coming months.”
About Community Action House
Founded in 1969, Community Action House is a local non-profit serving the greater Holland, Michigan area, whose purpose is to end poverty in our community and help families prosper. By providing local families with individualized empowerment, financial education, hunger relief, and homeless outreach, the agency seeks to increase financial stability and capacity for prosperity for the greater Holland community. Visit communityactionhouse.org to support and get involved.