Catholic Charities’ leader Tim Marx prepares to step down; will remain until successor is in place

| June 12, 2020 | 0 Comments

After nearly 10 years at the helm of Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, president and CEO Tim Marx said June 12 he is starting the hard work of stepping away. The search for a successor and the process of handing over the reins will take the rest of this year and into 2021, he said.

Discernment and discussions about when best to begin such a process started more than a year ago, with Catholic Charities board members and others, Marx said. The 10-year mark was a natural time to assess the future of the organization and his own future, he said.

Tim Marx

Those discussions took place as homelessness continued to rise in the Twin Cities and in the state, then the coronavirus pandemic grew in its impact in March and continues today, Marx said. That was followed by the May 25 police-related death of George Floyd, an African American who died on a Minneapolis street as a white police officer kneeled on his neck, and the subsequent protests and riots, Marx said.

It was concluded that this is a good time, an inflection point for the organization similar to when he took the two leadership posts in 2011, as the nation came out of the Great Recession, he said.

“Now, the entire world is at a different inflection point, and it will be good to have someone who has fresh legs, who can run hard for seven to 10 years, to see this organization through to the other side of this,” said Marx, 63.

A former deputy mayor of St. Paul and leader of the state Housing Finance Agency, Marx led Catholic Charities during a period of growth and change, including the funding and construction of Higher Ground Minneapolis homeless shelter and social services center, and a similar $100 million Dorothy Day Place in St. Paul. Renovating and expanding the former Dorothy Day Center was the largest public-private partnership of its kind in state history.

Now in its 150th year of service, Catholic Charities has helped those in need in the Twin Cities through wars, economic downturns, natural disasters and more, “always evolving and rising to meet the most urgent issues of our time,” Marx said in a June 12 note to supporters.

In 2020, the community is facing the COVID-19 outbreak and Floyd’s death and its repercussions, which calls people to stand up “stronger than ever against the virus of racism that has afflicted our society for centuries,” Marx said. “Our work has always been critical, but it is only possible because of steadfast, committed supporters and partners like you,” he said in his note to supporters.

Marx said he will remain president and CEO during the nationwide search for a successor. Once that handover is completed, probably sometime this fall, he will become “president emeritus” and hold that post into 2021 to support the new CEO and specific projects important to Catholic Charities’ future, he said.

Marx said he hadn’t had time to think much about what might lie ahead for him after he leaves Catholic Charities. He plans to be active in some way, and no matter what he does or where he goes, Catholic Charities will be part of his activities, he said.

“I have tremendous gratitude for the opportunity” to lead Catholic Charities, Marx said. “When it’s your passion, and also your job, that is a profound gift that Catholic Charities has provided to me.”

A special selection committee named by the board of Catholic Charities and led by former board chair Tom Arata of Ecolab will oversee the search for a successor, which will be conducted by Chicago-based executive recruitment firm DHR International and led by DHR consultants Clare Cizek in the Twin Cities and Heather Smith in Chicago.

Tags: , ,

Category: Local News