Sharing news from Maggie for the CEF family

Message from Maggie, CEF Co-Director

Hello dear CEF family,

I am writing to share the news that I will be transitioning out of my position at CEF this summer.

CEF has been a place where I have felt an overwhelming sense of call. Called in a daily way to show up, heart and soul, surrounded by a community of people filled with a common purpose. Almost ten years later, I am feeling a need to respond to a different call—albeit one I don’t know yet! I’m sad to leave, and more than a little bit terrified. But I also know it’s the right thing for me in this moment.

I am writing to say thank you. Working alongside all of you has been a gift—filled with people and moments and experiences I will cherish always. Thank you, from my heart and soul, for the ways that literally every single one of you has been a part of co-creating this transformative place. Sometimes, when people ask me how CEF started, I simply laugh and say, “Magic.” So many people have come into CEF and added their magic to this place—their hopes, gifts, prayers, wisdom, labor, and their love. Thank you. The sheer miracle of this experience will never leave me.

CEF is a strong, beautiful organization, filled to overflowing with an incandescent grace. The MembersAdvocatesstaffboardpartnerssupporters, and friends that make up the whole of the CEF family are a glory to witness. As I prepare to transition out of this daily work, I find myself simply saying, “Wow.” How amazing, what we can do and who we can be together. I stand back in particular awe of the CEF staff team, who daily inspire in me an overwhelming sense of peace and confidence that, someday, the world will be right.

I want to say a special thank you to my fellow Co-Directors—Jon Young and Janet Xiao. The three of us have done this work together for almost ten years now, and they will continue to lead CEF beyond my transition. Working with and learning from Jon and Janet has been one of my most sustaining joys throughout CEF’s growth. Their grounded, thoughtful leadership will continue to strengthen CEF as an organization, and our communities as a whole.

I’ll be transitioning out of my position on May 31st. In the meantime, I will work closely with the Transition Team, Board of Directors, Co-Directors, staff team and all of you to make this transition healthily, and in ways that continue to strengthen this ever-growing organization.

All of that said, while I’m taking off my staff member hat, I’ll still certainly be a member of the CEF family. Though I don’t know yet where my soul will lead me next, I do know that I’m not going anywhere geographically; this is home. I hope to stay connected to the CEF community and to be supportive in any way I can. This place is transformative and impactful beyond words, and I know I will love staying in touch and witnessing all of the accomplishments ahead for CEF and our amazing Members and Advocates. Thank you all so very much.

With gratitude, blessings, and love,


Message from the CEF Transition Team


Eric Breit, Stephanie Barnes-Simms & Brian Smith (CEF Board Members, Current & Former)

Jon Young & Janet Xiao (CEF Co-Directors)

Maggie has played an incredible role in the transformation we’ve all experienced since CEF started as an organization in 2009. She has brought immense dedication, vision, soul, and entrepreneurial gumption to her work. Maggie, thank you. While we can’t help but feel sadness about this change, we are also excited to take this next step with the organization and begin a process of discernment and transition.

CEF is a vibrant and growing organization that now includes over 1,000 Members and 250 Advocates each year. In 2017 alone 153 Members gained jobs, 132 Members moved out of homelessness, and the first 9 Members even purchased their own homes! In exciting news, CEF Members have now saved over $900,000 collectively towards their personal goals. We are growing in impactful ways, and we remain deeply committed to our mission and community. With your active presence and support, CEF will continue to thrive.

The transition team will be seeking input from a wide range of stakeholders, including Members, Advocates, staff, partners, and supporters. We are designing a process and an interim strategy that gives us the space and time we need to be thoughtful during the period following Maggie’s departure. Our goal is to have a third new Co-Director in place by September 1st. You can learn more details here:

We’re so grateful to the whole CEF family for being an amazingly supportive community. As we enter another big year for CEF, and as we continue to adapt and grow, we hope you’ll keep doing what you do best at CEF—whether that’s volunteeringdonatingcoming to meetingsbuilding program partnerships together or singing with the Advocacy Choir. Or, if you are looking to get more involved,we hope you’ll reach out!


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CEF: Community Empowerment Fund

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