Head of Bethel New Life to leave

August 14, 2010
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By Terry Dean of the Austin Weekly News

After five years at the helm of Bethel New Life, CEO Steven McCullough resigned earlier this week from the West Side social service agency. McCullough’s resignation takes effect Aug. 18.

McCullough, who had worked for Bethel for 10 years, will become chief operating officer of The Safer Foundation, a West Side nonprofit that provides services and advocates for individuals with criminal records.

Bethel’s Board of Directors will search for his successor. In the meantime, Bethel’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer will both oversee the organization until a permanent CEO is found.

“Steven is leaving us with some pretty big shoes to fill,” said Bethel’s board Chairman Nat Piggee in a statement. “But we are fortunate to have an exceptional staff, a strong board and lots of support, so I am confident that this will be a smooth transition and that we will build on Steven’s work and continue improving how we serve the community.”

Bethel, celebrating its 30th year, had to cut 100 staff positions due to the economic downturn, a move that’s caused consternation among some in the community, including Austin Weekly News columnist Arlene Jones.

McCullough, however, insists that the faith-based organization remains committed to serving the community.

“I think the future looks really good for Bethel because we’re looking to explore some additional opportunities for our programs and strengthen leadership in the community,” McCullough said in a recently published interview in the Austin Weekly News.

Concerning his departure, McCullough said this week in a statement: “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work at Bethel for the past 10 years and serve as its leader for the past five. I want to thank the board for giving me the chance to lead an extraordinary team of people dedicated to serving the community where I was born and raised.”

To read the interview McCullough did with the Austin Weekly News about six months into his tenure as CEO, click here.

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