Eric Lindh chosen as National CEO
Project Transformation operates through a network of affiliated chapters in different cities with current chapters based in Dallas, TX, Oklahoma City, OK, and Nashville, TN. All local Project Transformation chapters will be affiliated with the national organization, which will help create new chapters; strengthen existing chapters; and serve as a conduit for training, communication and networking among chapters. Together the three current chapters serve nearly 2,000 children in grades 1 to 12 with 185 interns at 21 program sites achieving the following results:
- 99% of participating children maintain or improve their reading levels during summers, while children in underserved areas typically fall behind in reading;
- 98% of children in after-school programs progress to the next grade
- 97% of participating college interns indicate a desire to continue to serve their communities as a result of their experience with Project Transformation
Each chapter shares the same mission and core programs, but will operate as independent nonprofits with local boards of directors and operations. The mission of Project Transformation is to engage young adults in purposeful leadership and ministry, support underserved children and families and connect churches to communities in need.
“The needs are greater than ever for more hands-on experiences for young adults to explore a call to miniProject TransformationProject Transformation National CEO. “And there are abundant opportunities to connect the resources of the United Methodist Church and other partners to help revitalize urban churches and communities. I believe that Project Transformation offers a unique and replicable approach to address these needs, and it is time that we move forward in faith to respond,” Lindh emphasized.
National Board of Directors Announced
Board members of the new organization are:
- Barbara Dorff, educator; core Leadership Team member of the new Project Transformation Rio Texas
- Tony Hairston, Managing Director, Maverick Capital, Ltd. & CFO, Maverick Stable Funds
- Philip Jamieson, President, United Methodist Foundation for the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences
- Henry Joyner, board chair, Texas Methodist Foundation; retired Senior Vice President – Planning, American Airlines
- Susan McDonald, Attorney, McDonald Law Firm, Nashville, TN
- Dr. Andy Stoker, interim board chair of Project TransformationProject Transformation National; Senior Pastor, First United Methodist Church Dallas; board member, Project Transformation – Greater Dallas
The board plans to develop a larger network of Project Transformation chapters throughout the country by partnering with annual conferences of the United Methodist Church. The launch of the national expansion was made possible through a $600,000 investment from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church last March.
Eric Lindh has served for nearly 10 years as executive director of Project Transformation in Dallas. Under his leadership, the Dallas program grew from having 75 interns serving 650 children (grades 1-9) annually to 113 interns serving over 1,100 children (grades 1-12) each year. During his tenure, revenues also increased 135%. In addition to assuming his national role, Eric will continue to serve as acting executive director, Project Transformation Greater Dallas until a successor is named.
Eric earned a BA from Rhodes College and an MA in Business/Nonprofit Arts Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After college, Eric served as a mission volunteer in inner-city London, developing children’s and youth programs. Additionally, he brings several years’ experience in education and youth work.
Latest Project Transformation Developments
Project Transformation Rio Texas, the newest chapter, is in development and is planning to launch a summer program in June 2015 in San Antonio, TX under the auspices of the Rio Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Nathaniel O'Dell, recently hired as its first executive director, served as an intern with Project Transformation Dallas in 2007 - 08. He also brings nonprofit and program management experience from serving as the program director at Wesley-Rankin Community Center and as senior quality advisor with Dallas Afterschool.
A new curriculum is being developed in the Greater Dallas chapter that may serve as a model for Project Transformation chapters and provide interns with better resources to deliver high-quality programming. While leveraging the power of relationships that children form with positive young adult interns, the curriculum will focus on developing the social emotional wellness and non-cognitive skills of children. Four areas of emphasis will guide all of programming: developing literacy, serving community, celebrating diversity, and cultivating leadership. The curriculum will be piloted in the Greater Dallas and Rio Texas chapters this summer.
Last week Rev. Andrew Fiser assumed the role of Project Transformation Greater Dallas's new Director of Site Church and Community Development in Dallas. The strategic goal is to partner with site church clergy and lay leaders to create vital congregations in urban churches. Rev. Fiser will support and consult with site church clergy and leadership teams on how to strengthen the relationships formed through Project Transformation and effectively be in ministry with their communities. We not only anticipate building a foundation for more effective ministry with underserved communities in the Dallas area, but creating a replicable model for other Project Transformation chapters.
Plans are underway to relocate and renovate new office and training space for Project Transformation Nationaland the Greater Dallas chapter. Project Transformation chapters are in the process of moving toward a common Customer Relationship Management System through Salesforce to more effectively measure collective impact.