Feed The Children Looking For New CEO — Again

January 6, 2017       Mark Hrywna      

Feed The Children is aiming to find a new chief executive officer within the next couple of months after a surprisingly brief stint by a former congressman last year. The next CEO will be the third permanent chief executive since the charity’s founding in 1979.

Feed The Children’s board of directors is conducting the search and managing the selection of the new CEO, according to Traci Beeson, vice president of communications. The hope is to have someone in place by the end of March.

J.C. Watts, who represented Oklahoma in Congress from 1995 to 2003, lasted barely nine months as president and CEO. He began on Feb. 1, 2016 and by Nov. 15 Feed The Children announced that he would no longer be president and CEO. Chief Operating Officer Travis Arnold will serve as interim CEO until an effective candidate is identified, according to Beeson.

Watts’ predecessor, Kevin Hagan, announced in February 2015 that he would not renew his contract and instead became CEO of American Diabetes Association as of June 2015. It’s unclear how much Watts was paid during his brief tenure. In his final year as CEO, Hagan earned total compensation of $405,469, including base compensation of $320,330, according to the organization’s Form 990 for Fiscal Year Ending June 2015, filed in May.

Hagan served three years as president and CEO, from April 2012 through May 2015. He was the first permanent CEO since founder Larry Jones was terminated in November 2009 and voted off the board in March 2010 amid a family power struggle. Cass Wheeler, a former CEO of American Heart Association, served as interim CEO after Jones was terminated.

Oklahoma City, Okla.-based Feed The Children last year reported total revenue of $451 million, ranking No. 42 on the 2016 NPT 100, a study of the nation’s largest nonprofits. Noncash contributions comprised about 85 percent of its revenue, or $386 million, including food ($164 million), drugs and medical supplies ($53 million), clothing and household goods ($50 million), books and publications ($36 million), hygiene items ($26 million), and school and office supplies ($15 million).

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