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An Important Update to our RCAP Community

November 8, 2021 By RCAP
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Dear RCAP Family,

After four and a half years of leading the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) through a period of tremendous growth, it is with both excitement and sadness that we announce the departure of Nathan Ohle as RCAP’s CEO, effective January 31, 2022.  Nathan has brought outstanding leadership and tireless dedication to the organization, and we support his transition in becoming the President & CEO of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) in the coming months.

Over the past five years, RCAP has seen unprecedented growth focused on serving the needs of the smallest, most distressed rural and tribal communities across the country. That growth has been a direct result of strong leadership and vision throughout the RCAP national office team and board. A couple of highlights of that growth include:

  • Raising more than $100 million in funding in four and a half years to support RCAP’s work across the country, growing the RCAP team from 7 team members to 20, and RCAP regional partner growth to more than 300 technical assistance providers;
  • Raising the profile of the issues facing the communities we serve, and helping to secure tens of billions of dollars in funding for water and wastewater infrastructure and additional resources for community and economic development;
  • Starting RuralRISE, the first of its kind network of rural entrepreneurship ecosystem builders; and
  • Building more than 150 partnerships with other rural and tribal focused organizations across the country.

Nathan’s leadership will be missed by all of us here at RCAP as well as the partners and communities he has engaged with over the years, but we wish him the best and look forward to staying connected in his new role.

This transition offers great promise and possibility for the future of RCAP. RCAP has set out an updated strategic focus and framework focused on elevating the voices of rural America and building a more resilient and sustainable future through collaboration, outreach and capacity building. The leadership team in place at RCAP has deep experience in the organization and in the issues confronted by rural communities across the country, and will play a key role in the transition to the next CEO.

This transition is a wonderful opportunity for RCAP to be strategic and intentional in finding its next leader and envisioning the future of this work. We are committed to finding a dynamic and dedicated new leader to continue to further RCAP’s mission to elevate rural voices and build local capacity to improve quality of life, starting at the tap. To this end, over the next several months, the RCAP Board of Directors will be conducting a national search to find RCAP’s next CEO. The Board has assembled a strong search committee to lead an open and inclusive process. In addition, the RCAP Board has also appointed its current board President, Keith Ashby, as interim CEO, to help facilitate the transition and support the RCAP leadership team in this process, starting in January. During the interim time period, I will be serving as the acting RCAP Board President.

We will continue to communicate as we have updates in this effort, and we look forward to moving this forward in partnership with all of you who also believe in this critical work and that #RuralMatters.

Rick Martinez, RCAP Board President, on behalf of the RCAP Board of Directors