United Way of the Brazos Valley Reacts to Resignation of President/CEO

By: Nicole Morten Email
By: Nicole Morten Email

The President and CEO of the United Way of the Brazos Valley has resigned. Hank Roraback was placed on administrative leave at the beginning of the month after the non-profit's financial troubles went public. The organization is now searching for a new CEO. But now board members are trying to determine how they're going to pay back $240,000 in debt.

When there is no outlet in sight -- each year countless people end up finding it at the Twin City Rescue Mission.

“In my previous career I've had the opportunity to travel the country and shake hands with the most recognized people,” said Twin City Rescue Mission Director of Community Relations Ron Crozier. “None of it compares to being able to hand a tray of food to a hungry person, or make sure that someone who is cold has a blanket for the night or someone who is hot has a cold drink.”

Lending a helping hand in ten different counties, Ron Crozier says he is able to do so with the help of area agencies; the United Way of the Brazos Valley is one of them.

“We pride ourselves on being that agency in the community that the community wants us to be, that the community has entrusted us to be and if they are going to support us they have to know that we are doing it the way that it should be done,” said Crozier.

Crozier says funding from the United Way helps offset three percent of the Twin City Mission's $2.5-million annual operating budget.

"Although that number doesn't seem big when you look at the big picture, but that 3% is critical for how it's used," explained Crozier. "You have to understand the dollars that come in mean a lot to us in how we use them."

That three percent helps fund the shelter's homeless sector -- but Crozier admits having a backup plan in place has always come in handy -- especially when those payments are never received.

"We were able to make do with what we had and go to ‘Plan B’ and ‘Plan C’ and those are contingencies you build into your daily operations,” said Crozier. “We understand that there are a whole lot of different directions available to us as long as we're conscious of it, so if we turn our backs and close our eyes then we're going to be in trouble.”

United Way Board members say financial worries began mounting last October. Despite a $135,000 installment to their funded partner agencies last month -- to date, Ken Fogle says the United Way is still $240,000 in the red.

“We haven't been tracking the money that has been coming in and we've been paying out more than what's been coming in and that's led to the financial issues,” said Ken Fogle.

Monday board members collectively decided a new change of leadership was paramount; consequently calling for the resignation of President and CEO Hank Roraback.

In a statement Monday afternoon, Fogle said, “United Way’s Board of Directors appreciates Hank Roraback’s 9 years of service and wishes him well in his future endeavors. We are looking forward to conducting a national search to identify our next President/CEO that will lead this organization to the next level. United Way’s Board is confident that the Executive Committee and management staff will continue to successfully manage the organization as it seeks new leadership.”

While it may be a long road ahead -- it's a temporary pot hole that over time, board members know will be repaired.

“Going forward and coming out of this -- I can guarantee that it’s going to be something that will not happen again and we will be an organization that's trusted,” said Fogle.

"We never did give up on them, we never turned our back on them,” explained Crozier. “We here at the Twin City Rescue Mission understand where things are -- you can't just snap your fingers and everything is going to be fixed, that's going to take some time."

The United Way Finance Committee says there isn't any evidence of theft or fraud.

The status update they received included:

1. The United Way Finance Committee continues to meet weekly to review financial information and is developing the plan for resolution. While reviewing this information, there has been no evidence of theft or fraud.

2. We hired the accounting firm Seidel, Schroeder & Company as our contract controller to complete an internal review of financials for the last three years, and to improve our accounting procedures. For the long term, they will ensure that United Way will have professionally managed budgets, with appropriate detail, so that staff and board members will know the financial position of the organization.

3. We hired Thompson, Derrig & Craig, P.C. to perform a mid-year review of our operational procedures and finances. They will also be performing our annual audit for Fiscal Year 2012.

4. Once financials are finalized, United Way will establish a consistent payment schedule. For our partners who also receive SECC allocations, we will be issuing those checks separately on a quarterly basis.

“United Way’s Board of Director’s will resolve our current financial issues and will come out of this stronger,” said Fogle. “We are committed to strengthening the trust of our partners and this community.”

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