INFORMATION ABOUT ECONOMIC SECURITY AND ITS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Economic Security Corporation of Southwest Area (ESC) is the local Community Action Agency serving Jasper, Barton, Newton, and McDonald counties in Southwest Missouri. ESC is utilizing the former Durward G. Hall Federal Building from which to operate the many programs administered by our agency.
ESC utilizes funds received from the Federal Government and passed through the State of Missouri for which to operate its anti-poverty programs.
ESC is a private, not-for-profit Community Action Agency created in October of 1965. We began operations with two employees and a first year budget of $76,000. We ended the 2012 fiscal year with approximately 325 employees and a budget of $17,725,614, including in-kind donations. ESC is a multi-dimensional agency committed to creating comprehensive, coordinated services in a four county region. The mission of the agency is "to help families currently caught in poverty to find a way out, and to work in our communities to prevent the conditions of poverty from affecting future generations.” Our main goal is to help individual’s function financially, physically, mentally, and socially at his or her own level; and to aid their attempts to attain new levels which will allow them to become more self-sufficient.
The business and affairs of the agency are managed by a Board of Directors comprised of 24 members, with one-third (1/3) of the members selected in a democratic election process. One-third (1/3) are elected public officials or their appointed representatives, and the remainder of the members are officials or members of business, industry, labor, faith-based organizations, non-elected members of law enforcement, education, and neighborhood based organization, or other major groups and interests in the community.
The board fully participates in the development, planning, implementation and evaluation of the agency’s programs and determines the agency’s personnel, fiscal and program policies, and approves proposals for financial assistance and disbursement of funds.
The board hires the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). All other hiring of agency staff is done by the Chief Executive Officer.
So What Is It That I Do
That’s the question on a lot of minds. The CEO is responsible for the day-to-day management of the agency. With nearly 325 employees, it would not be possible for me to provide oversight and directions for each and every employee. Therefore, I have divided the agency into departments and/or divisions; and, I have hired or promoted individuals to serve as directors of these divisions. I delegate the responsibility of administering the grants that the agency is awarded to these directors. When it comes to administrative duties such as personnel issues, grant writing, health insurance, computer policies and support, etc., some of the staff report to me and the others report to my directors.
In order that I know what is going on with our clients, our staff and our programs, I often “network,” by visiting with the directors and staff. A lot of our employees say, “You mean you go around and visiting and interrupting employees who are trying to work.” Gosh, I never thought of it that way. So, when I attend a meeting with my peers, I have a very good understanding as to what is happening within our agency and our programs. And, I am responsible when it comes to rewarding and disciplining employees.
Finally, I report information to the board on a monthly basis about all aspects of the agency. You should know that we are very fortunate to have a board that fully participates and cares about our clients and our employees.
You should also know that I love to talk about what we do; if you would ever like to visit me personally, please feel free to stop by or call my cell phone (417) 437-5540 and we will schedule a conversation.