BALLE and the Future: Welcoming Rodney Foxworth as Executive Director

"Rodney emerged as the clear leader of the future of BALLE. He thinks long-term, activating and connecting partners with aligned missions and values."

As founder and CEO of Rising Tide Capital, I’m fortunate to be in conversations with funders and finance institutions of all sizes, as well as entrepreneurs and investors, all looking for partnership to address the challenges of the future.

There is much we don’t know about the future, and there is much we can be certain of: whether you believe we will lose 40% of current jobs in the U.S. to automation by 2030, or some variation, major shifts are on the horizon. It’s not possible to run a business or organization and not consider the role of artificial intelligence and new technical capacities coming online in the next one to three years, to say nothing of what may come beyond. From drones planting trees faster than humans, so that humans can tend to the next generation of established saplings, to the more common doomsday scenarios you can find with ease online, it’s not just outliers and visionaries looking at these impacts. It’s every day leaders, working to build healthy, equitable local economies.

In my role as BALLE board member, as I think about the organization’s future and the broader cultural and economic future of all our communities, I’m thrilled to partner with incoming Executive Director Rodney Foxworth to shape and support the creative, resilient, and committed spirit inherent in our network. His leadership and vision are “just what the local economy field needs now,” as outgoing Executive Director Michelle Long noted.

BALLE’s Executive Director Search Committee, led by Fellow and Board Member Kimber Lanning and Board Member Dawn McGee, ensured an exceptionally efficient, thorough, and rigorous process in collaboration with a search firm. Along with other Board members, I was able to evaluate candidates and participate in final interviews.

In the end, Rodney emerged as the clear leader of the future of BALLE, and someone who is looking at how local economies can serve their communities and truly work for all of life. He thinks long-term, activating and connecting partners with aligned missions and values.

Moving through and beyond learning edges with BALLE over the past years has involved a series of “joyful transitions” leading up to this moment. As we look toward a future with some clarity, and some areas coming into focus, leaders like Rodney will help ensure we align intention with impact in our local economy ecosystems.

Categories: The Longview