CHARLOTTE, NC (Nov. 17, 2021) – Community Building Initiative (CBI) Founding Executive Director Dianne English announced earlier this year that she will retire at the end of 2021 after 24 years of service.
“The people of CBI have enriched my life beyond measure, and the work has allowed me to find a place of service within this community,” said English in a letter to stakeholders. “With deep gratitude for the opportunity to be part of challenging, transformational and spirit-filled work, I know that now is the time for me to step aside.”
Ms. English came to what was then the Community Building Task Force in 1997 when it was established by government and civic leaders to promote racial and ethnic inclusion in response to a crisis after a set of police-involved shootings of unarmed Black men. Dianne’s work on behalf of CBI and its mission has been tireless ever since.
“On behalf of all the members of the Board of Directors of CBI – past and present – who have had the pleasure of working with Dianne and her team, we celebrate her long-standing tradition of servant leadership,” says Rick McDermott, Chair of CBI’s Board of Directors. “She has led CBI from its beginning as a short-term task force to its current status as a mature and dynamic organization. Although we will miss her vision, her energy, and her humor, we remain committed to and will continue working toward CBI’s mission of a more equitable and just Charlotte-Mecklenburg.”
The CBI Board of Directors has established a search committee, chaired by former CBI Board Chair Byron Hawkins. In addition to Byron, the search committee comprises current CBI board members Ray Feaster and Rick McDermott and former CBI board members Bishop Claude Alexander, Jenni Gaisbauer, and Jenny Ward. The search committee and the CBI Board of Directors have selected the firm Elinvar Leadership Solutions to support the executive search and to ensure a smooth transition. “These will surely be the proverbial big shoes to fill,” said Hawkins, “but, with the leadership of the search committee, which includes both long-term and contemporary volunteer leaders, and the CBI Board of Directors, we know we will identify the right leader to continue the important work that Dianne has supported since CBI was founded.”