Special message from the CEO

grandview2LO is a powerful place of hope, help, and healing. To continue to be strengthened internally for the life-saving work we do externally, our team has been under-going intense training and leadership re-alignment. You see, in 2014, I responded to the Lord’s direction to be trained by John Maxwell and his team of professional leadership coaches and trainers. In these last years, I have been sharing this expertise with our whole team. God has also opened opportunities for me to work with other individuals and organizations, helping them to grow in leadership and professional development.  I see, now, that God was not only using my training in leadership to make life-saving work at LO even stronger, but also growing my heart for effective, high impact Kingdom leadership beyond the center.

After 15 years of pouring my heart and soul into LO, I am thrilled at what God has accomplished.  We are a solid ministry. Our Board of Directors received intense leadership training this last year. Each staff member has become a leader in his/her own right. We have strong volunteers who courageously engage front line ministry.

I believe that God has called me to a new season of guiding other organizations and individuals into the same leadership excellence as LO. For over a year, God has been nudging me in this direction and now the time has arrived for me to take this next step of transitioning out of LO by June.

LO has always kept its eyes on the future. A guiding principle has been to leave a legacy, no matter who is at the helm. We developed a succession plan some time ago so that the good work will continue, uninterrupted, through any major leadership transition. That plan is guiding us well now.

I am confident that we have exceptional staff already on our team to facilitate this transition with excellence. Melanie Smeenk has been a key part of the leadership of LO since 2011 and is excited to step into the CEO position. I know that she’s called for this moment and I have committed to mentor her during this transition and beyond.

Change can be challenging, yet is a time for fresh ideas and new energy. If you have any questions or ideas during this time, feel free to contact me or any one of our Board of Directors. We are in this together. All of us are looking at life-long and life-affirming legacy at LO.

IMG_5783 (2)Thank you for your continued support, encouragement and prayers during this exciting time of welcoming new, fresh and younger leadership!

Jan McDonald


A Note From Melanie:

I consider it an honor to accept the position of CEO of LO! I’ve been involved with LO for 7 years and I love everything about this organization. We have a strong and committed board, gifted staff, passionate volunteers, generous supporters and a powerful God! We’re set up well to fulfill the work God has called us to do and I am so grateful for this opportunity.

I am excited for this next chapter of my life and it will be a privilege serving with all of you! I am sure there will be challenges along the way, which is expected with any big change, but I am confident that we will remain strong because we’re rooted in faith.

One thing (of many) that I have learned from Jan is to take each situation and ask myself “what went well, what didn’t go so well, how could I have done that differently, and most importantly, what did I learn?” This will be an invaluable tool for me as I navigate this position. Jan has been such a gift in my life both personally and professionally and I’m extremely thankful for her and pray God will bless Jan abundantly as she obediently follows His lead.


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