ECS Executive Director Announces Retirement

June 12, 2012

The Rev. John Midwood has set a retirement date of June 30, 2013.

Episcopal Community Services Executive Director the Rev. John E. Midwood has announced his decision to retire on June 30, 2013 (the end of the ECS 2012-2013 fiscal year). Midwood’s announcement follows a transition planning process which engaged members of the board of trustees and agency staff to refine ECS’ strategic plan and ensure a seamless changing of the guard. In the intervening time, Midwood will continue to lead ECS as he has during his eight-year tenure as executive director, guiding the agency with an eye towards a sustainable and effective future.

“John Midwood has been a tireless advocate for children, youth, families and seniors in need,” said Miriam Kepner, president of the ECS Board of Trustees. “He has not only led this agency with a reverence for the past, an eye to the future and a commitment to sustainability, he has also articulated that vision to countless current and future supporters of ECS, speaking at churches throughout the Diocese of Pennsylvania, serving groups such as The Pennsylvania Council of Children, Youth and Family Services and ECS in America, and educating board and committee members about all aspects of ECS’ programs and management.”

Kepner has appointed a search committee which will be co-chaired by Kurt Brunner, the immediate previous board president, and Gail Trimble, secretary of the board and former director of development at ECS. The members of the committee are Kepner and board members Adrienne Hart, Jim Kelch, David Langfitt, Rob MacRae, the Rev Claire Nevin-Field, John Pickering, Fred Sutherland, Betsey Useem, and Sharon Webster. Jim Anderson, ECS Associate Executive Director of Operations, is the staff liaison to the committee.  This committee brings many years of talented service and dedication to ECS and is committed to securing the best possible successor to John Midwood. Additionally, the committee will engage an executive search firm to help ensure that the search reaches the finest candidates possible for ECS’ next executive director.

“ECS is strong as we embark on this transition,” Midwood said. “The board is fully engaged with the present while strategically considering and planning for the future.  The staff is meeting the growing complexity of the present and continuing to provide high-quality services consistent with our mission and values.  Our financial resources have been prudently managed and preserved for current and future needs.  The engagement of our stakeholders, measured both by level of interest and financial support, has never been stronger.”

Midwood joined ECS in 1999, serving as associate director for four years prior to his appointment as executive director in 2003. He was instrumental in the merger between ECS and St. Barnabas Mission, the West Philadelphia shelter for homeless women and children, where he served as president of the board. Under his leadership, the development of the ECS FAST Housing program developed an innovative “housing first” response to chronic family homelessness, while the agency’s foster and kinship care program earned high ratings under the City of Philadelphia’s performance-based contracting model. In recent years, he has steered the 142-year-old agency through tumultuous economic conditions and challenging changes in the social services environment.

Under Midwood’s leadership, ECS has made the transition to outcomes-based service delivery with an emphasis on continuous program quality improvements. Even during this period of transition, Midwood is spearheading major initiatives to improve educational attainment for ECS program participants and to create an intra-agency department dedicated to identifying, testing and implementing innovative approaches to serving the needs of the most vulnerable members of our society.

Prior to joining ECS, he served as Archdeacon of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania for eleven years, focusing on mission strategy and urban ministry. He also touched the lives of many Episcopal Academy students during his years there as chaplain.