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CEO stepping down at Catholic Charities Fort Worth

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Paul Harral
Paul is a lifelong journalist with experience in wire service, newspaper, magazine, local and network television and digital media. He was vice president and editor of the editorial page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and editor of Fort Worth, Texas magazine before joining the Business Press. What he likes best is writing about people in detail and introducing them to others in the community. Specific areas of passion are homelessness, human trafficking, health care and aerospace.

Catholic Charities Fort Worth President and CEO Michael P. Grace resigned June 19, the organization said in an announcement.
Grace became president and chief executive officer in May 2019 he after what he describes as 25 years of serial entrepreneurship, and played a central role in the cooperation and collaboration among local non-profits and foundations in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in Tarrant County.

Chairman of the Board Christopher Plumlee said Grace made the decision “after much prayerful consideration and talking with his family.”
“He is so grateful for the people he has met and the work that has been done during his tenure, and now he is confident that he is called to new endeavors,” Plumlee said in the announcement.

Of particular note during the food insecurities involving some parts of the community in the early days of the COVID crisis was the collaboration among Meals On Wheels Inc. of Tarrant County, the Tarrant Area Food Bank, United Way and the Area Agency on Aging of Tarrant County and Catholic Charities Fort Worth to create a collaborative new program to provide meals for Tarrant County residents age 60 plus.

“Our part to play in those partnerships had much to do with some of our internal teams trying to be innovative about how to best utilize our transportation fleet once things began to slow down,” Grace said in an earlier Business Press article.

“It really is remarkable what opportunities present themselves when you are looking to do the most good with whatever resources you have,” he said.
Grace replaced Heather Reynolds, who had overseen the strategic development of the agency for 17 years, and left to become managing director of the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) at the University of Notre Dame.

Former Vice President of Advancement and current CCFW Board of Directors member Deb McNamara will serve as Interim CEO until a replacement is found for Grace, Plumlee said.
“We wish to honor and thank him for his time with us, and wish him the very best as we all work through the changes to come,” Plumlee said.
“We are truly a dynamic agency that demonstrates nimbleness and flexibility in all avenues of our work, and I am confident that we will rise to the challenges and blessings presented to us in this next season with the same creativity and passion that we bring to our work each day,” he said.

“Our board and executive teams will no doubt be busy with the details and next steps as we set ourselves up for success in selecting our next CEO,” Plumlee said.
“The most important thing we can ask of you is to continue your work in helping us end poverty, one family at a time. We are looking forward to what’s in store for Catholic Charities Fort Worth and promise to keep you informed along the way,” he said.
– Paul K. Harral

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