Moran retires after nearly three decades
After nearly 30 years of service to the Inter Faith Council, the past 17 as its executive director, Chris Moran has retired.
Moran, 66, announced his decision to step down last week.
He made it in the spring while he recovered from a seizure that left him unable to work.
“I did not retire because of that [health reasons],” Moran said. “I did so because it’s the right time for me and the right time for the organization.”
Moran, who had successful brain surgery about 17 years ago to remove a tumor, said he is doing fine now, and is looking forward to retirement.
“I’m well, and planning to do plenty of absolutely nothing for a while,” Moran said.
The IFC’s board of directors has named Associate Director John Dorward to serve as interim director until a successor can be named.
Dorward will have his hands full as the organization moves forward with what he calls Moran’s “legacy,” Community House, a 52-bed transitional facility for men that is planned for Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
“We are in the middle of a capital campaign to build what I see is Chris’ legacy,” Dorward said. “I see it as part of my job to make that happen.”
The IFC has raised $2.3 million of the $3.7 million needed to build Community House, which will cost about $5.6 million. The organization previously raised $2 million for the project.
In the days since news about Moran’s retirement began to spill out, IFC officials said there has been an uptick in donations to the Community House capital campaign.
“We’re very grateful for Chris’ long years of service,” said Rebecca McCullough. “Community House was his dream and idea. We hope people will give generously to make that happen.”
Moran said the IFC is in good hands with Dorward and the legions of volunteers who make the organization work.
He said much of the hard work on Community House has been done, and that he is certain the project will be a success.
Community House has been a source of controversy.
Residents near the proposed site complained that the area already has a heavy concentration of social services facilities, and said they are concerned about safety.
As the IFC’s executive director, Moran spent many hours defending the shelter, preparing and making presentations throughout the community before the Town Council approved a special-use permit to allow the project to move forward.
Moran said that is the part of the job he will not miss.
“I won’t miss doing power points, making presentations, haggling with politicians and going to meetings,” Moran said.
What he will miss is the relationships he has forged over nearly three decades of serving the region’s neediest citizens in a job he says allowed him to be “who I was.”
“What motivated me to go to work was our staff, our volunteers and the many conversations we would have with the people coming into our offices every day,” Moran said.
McCullough said Moran’s compassion for his fellow man is one of his many, enduring strengths.
“He really was an advocate for the poor and vocal for those in need,” McCullough said.