Big Announcement!

I am pleased to announce that Tara Barnes is NMAC’s new Deputy Director for Operations. She starts this position when Kim Ferrell retires on January 12, 2024. This decision was a no brainer. After working with her for 25 years, I’ve never met a person like Tara who always smiles and keeps her composure in the middle of multiple fires. NMAC is lucky to have her in this new role. That brings everyone great comfort and relief.

Change is difficult. I was concerned about who would follow Kim Ferrell. Tara’s 25 years at NMAC will ease this important and emotional transition. Staff, board, and constituents have decades of experience working with her. I am especially glad to continue NMAC’s legacy of strong Black women leaders.

After working with Kim for 18 years, I’ve come to understand this position’s primary function is to keep me and the agency out of trouble. The Deputy serves as the conductor who makes the engine runs smoothly and on mission. The job is mostly inward facing. Staff needs and expects leadership to hear their concerns.

Thank you, Tara,  for making what could have been a difficult transition so much easier. I am grateful. It is important for everyone to understand that Tara is not Kim, and she has her own ways of working. It may take time to make the necessary adjustments, but given our 25 years of collaboration, I have faith.

Yours in the Struggle,

Paul Kawata

Paul Kawata