It’s been awhile since our last blog post. So much has changed since November, when we were poised to roll out our new company and our new model with a big, bold launch that coincided with the New Year.
As many of you know, the better half of the Vela partnership team is my friend, Katrina Pierson, who has been working on evolving Vela out of her role with HBH Consultants. In December, to the shock and heartbreak of so many of us in the nonprofit community, we learned that we had lost Katrina’s business partner at HBH, Bob Bunger, to suicide. As you can imagine, the world stopped for Bob’s family and his circle of friends – of which many of you are a part – when we learned of this perplexing and crippling loss.
For those of you who didn’t know Bob, he was a jovial spirit and tireless supporter of community and charity. He found great joy in mentoring leaders through periods of personal and organizational transformation. His loss will be felt for a very, very long time.
This loss of Bob continues to reverberate throughout the world that he inhabited. So many people, organizations, and communities now experience the unavoidable reality of an empty chair where their friend, their father, their leader, their helper, was expected to sit. For HBH, this means that Bob is no longer present to take HBH into a new direction under his sole leadership. Bob’s partners, Dianne McCarthy and Katrina Pierson, along with HBH staffer Amy Nord, continue to manage the work that Bob left behind, and to move toward dissolution of the company.
For Vela, this has meant a change in how we move forward. January has not been a time of celebration. It has been a time to muster our collective strengths, to carry forward with the work that meant so much to Bob, and to focus on ensuring that Bob’s work, which was so central to his purpose, is well-served. While we had originally envisioned a January replete with celebration and anticipation, it has become a time of great sadness, hard work and reflection. We have been forced to think even more deeply about our purpose and our aim.
Just as Vela will be ramping up, HBH will be winding down. Many of HBH’s clients will now be served by the team in place with Vela with the support of Dianne McCarthy as Senior Advisor and Amy Nord as Project Coordinator.
Over the next two months, we will proceed with the launch of Vela Strategy. We will unveil our group members to you, along with key components of our approach, including our philosophy related to engagement as a holistic lens for organizational and leadership development. We will describe our range of services and share our core values and finally, later this spring, will launch the Vela website.
In the meantime, please know that the Vela team is up and running. We are currently working with several clients on a variety of projects ranging from board development to feasibility studies to participatory research projects and are interested in talking with those of you who are wondering if our support can benefit the work that you do.
Thank you for your continued interest in the evolution of Vela Strategy. We look forward to continuing the conversation.
Do Good, Be Well.
P.S. We’ve started a memorial fund to support the Bunger family’s financial needs during this difficult time. Anything you can contribute would be met with deep gratitude.