John Kemp, executive director of Neighbors, Inc., has informed the Board of Directors of his plan to retire. His last day with the organization will be April 15, 2017.

“Making the decision to retire was one of the more difficult decisions in my life and, once it was made, it was even more difficult to act upon,” says Kemp. “The 14 years I will have spent at Neighbors have been the most rewarding, personally satisfying and fun of my career. I am deeply grateful for the Board of Directors who hired me, the Boards I have been privileged to work with since, the staff that has surrounded me, the thousands of people who have served our community through volunteer service, and the community of northern Dakota County that has supported both the organization and myself over the years.”

Hired in 2003, Kemp has guided the organization through some significant changes during his tenure. A struggling economy resulted in increased requests for Neighbors’ services beginning in 2008, and those numbers have just recently began to decline. Throughout that period of intense growth, the organization was able to leverage its resources and relationships to ensure that no one was turned away and the amount of support provided did not decline. Additionally, Kemp and his team were able to find, purchase and renovate a new office location without incurring any debt in order to continue meeting the community’s needs.

“John has led Neighbors through some incredible challenges and opportunities, ensuring that the organization remains fully committed to its mission and values,” says Brian Counihan, chair of the Neighbors Board of Directors. “John has such passion for the organization, the work that it does and the community it serves. The Board is grateful for his leadership and knows that Neighbors will continue to do incredible work because of the strong and equally passionate team he has put together.”

The Board is conducting a regional search for Kemp’s successor, and anticipates the process will take a few months.