The most significant task any governing board can undertake is the selection of a new executive to lead the organization. And that work fell to the Cathedral Chapter, the institution’s governing board, in late 2015.
Soon after Dean Gary Hall’s announced his intention to retire, the Cathedral Chapter formed a search committee composed of both lay and clergy who had deep involvement at the Cathedral. The Search Committee’s discernment process worked to crystalize the experience, skills and personal characteristics that would be required for the Cathedral’s eleventh dean. Through engagement with the various communities within the Cathedral family, as well as dialogue with the wider Episcopal Church, the Search Committee developed a profile that called for the next Dean to “lead us into the future with confidence: embracing the challenges set before us with a joyful spirit, an enthusiasm for the Cathedral’s mission, and a genuine love and engagement with the people we serve.” Further, we sought inquiries from Episcopal clergy “who believe that God is at work in the world, doing more than we can ask or imagine: leaders who understand the importance of preserving this great treasure entrusted to our care, while also venturing boldly into a future as yet unseen.”
We prayed that such a leader would hear this call.
In June 2016, we announced that Randy Hollerith would become our new dean. Randy is a gifted leader who built a strong, growing and vibrant congregation at St. James’s in Richmond. He is a faithful voice for justice and compassion. He is an exciting preacher sharing deep insights from the pulpit. He is an experienced manager with the talent of knowing where to best deploy volunteer and staff resources. He is also an experienced executive who brings strong financial and fundraising talents to the Cathedral. Randy’s first six months at the Cathedral have been electric; there is a renewed sense of energy, optimism and action that is palpable to all who engage as worshipers, staff, volunteers or partners. The Chapter is deeply grateful for Randy’s willingness to lead us forward and to his wife, the Rev. Melissa Hollerith, for supporting him as he embarked on this new ministry at the Cathedral.
The excitement, optimism and activity of the Cathedral community was evident in our financial results this year. Revenue increased in FY 2016 by nearly $1 million over FY 2015, from $13 million to $14 million. A full $6 million of revenue came from the generous donations from individuals and foundations, an increase of $500,000 over the previous year—a reflection of the deep commitment of the Cathedral community during a year of transition.
Based on strong fundraising and carefully controlled expenses, the Cathedral ended the year with an increase in Net Operating Assets of over $1 million—the second consecutive year of an annual increase in Net Operating Assets and an important starting point on the path to greater financial stability. You will see further details in this report on other important initiatives that were made possible through the generosity and commitment of those who love this amazing institution and support its ministries.
This past year was an amazingly busy and productive one, largely due to the calming but forceful leadership of the Right Rev. Mariann Budde, the bishop of Washington and our interim dean from January through August 2016. Bishop Budde provided strong management to the staff at the Cathedral, brought clarity to the strategic work undertaken by the Chapter and ensured that in all ways we strive to more effectively and faithfully do the work of our Savior Jesus Christ here atop Mount St. Albans.
I commend to you the following report, which details some of the many accomplishments of the Cathedral in the past year. And I extend my deepest thanks for joining in the Cathedral’s work
Faithfully in Christ,
Chair, Cathedral Chapter