../Morning Post
Posted August 6, 2009

House of Friendship Welcomes New Executive Director

KITCHENER WATERLOO – House of Friendship didn’t have to go very far to find the right person for the job when recruiting a new Executive Director after the recent departure of long-time Executive Director, Deborah Schlichter. In fact, they had to go no further than Kitchener.

After an extensive search and hiring process, the Hiring Committee and the Board of Directors of House of Friendship are pleased to announce John Neufeld will be the new Executive Director, starting Monday August 31, 2009.

“House of Friendship has a long history of serving the diverse needs of our community. I am excited to be joining the House of Friendship community and assisting with carrying out its vital mission of serving our neighbours,” commented Mr. Neufeld upon his hiring.

Mr. Neufeld is a resident of Kitchener, where he lives with his wife and two children, actively participating in Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church. Professionally, he has focused on the provision of social services, such as contributing to the mission of Bridgeway Family Homes, a foster care agency, where he has worked for eleven years, most recently as Manager of Program Development.
Mr. Neufeld’s work there equipped him with important experience in strategic planning, program development, front line service delivery, government compliance, annual strategic analysis and budgeting, all of which will be helpful in his work with House of Friendship.

He combines this experience with a strong educational background consisting of a Bachelor of Theology from Canadian Mennonite Bible College, a Masters of Social Work from the University of Toronto and, a Masters of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Outside of his paid work, Mr. Neufeld volunteered locally at Out of the Cold from 2004 to 2008, which helped to define his understanding of homelessness in Waterloo Region. His awareness of broader poverty and community development issues assists him in his current role as a Board Member with the Waterloo chapter of Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA), an association that creates business solutions to poverty around the world.

Elizabeth McNair, President, House of Friendship, invites everyone to join her in welcoming John, and in thanking Interim Executive Director, Anthony (Tony) Bender and House of Friendship’s team of Board, staff, volunteers, friends and community members for their continued commitment to our neighbours in need during this time of transition.

House of Friendship is a charitable agency founded in partnership with local Christian churches. 2009 marks its 70th year of service to low-income adults, youth and children in Waterloo Region who are in need of support. It also promotes opportunities for personal growth, wholesome relationships and community development through the application of holistic Christian principles. Led by a volunteer Board of Directors, it serves over 32,500 people annually through 18 different residential and community outreach programs. More information can be found at www.houseoffriendship.org.

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