NOTE FROM THE CEO

As Senior Director and most recently Interim CEO of Change Happens!, I am deeply humbled, honored, and grateful to lead and serve this great organization.  As I write to you, I am reminded of my first day at Change Happens! 18 years ago.  While I had a choice of where to come to work, I came to Change Happens! because I believed it was the best organization I could work with to enrich the lives of others and lessen human suffering.  I saw clearly then the great potential to empower people to grow and be their best.  I knew that if I wanted to make a difference there was no better organization to join.  This same inspiration drives me today.

Rick Warren, author of the Purpose Driven Life, says that individuals go through three levels in life:  survival, success, and significance.  I believe that organizations experience these stages as well.  In Change Happens!’ early history, we were striving to survive, grow our programs, and sustain the organization.  After nearly thirty years, we have seen great success, but we want and need to do more.  The charitable industry does not respect complacency – it respects impact and outcomes. Change Happens! is headed for even greater places.  We have all the elements required:  talent – I continue to be inspired by the extraordinary work our staff members do every day; perseverance – we have a steady determination to overcome obstacles and difficulties; mission focus – we will stay faithful and persistent in our fidelity to achieve the organization’s mission in service to others.  As we start a new phase of our journey, we have an unparalleled capability and opportunity to make an impact – to have lasting significance in the lives of others.

 

I want to thank the Change Happens! Board of Directors for the trust and confidence they have invested in me by inviting me to serve as CEO. As a successor to the enduring foundation of excellence that was paved before me, I am pleased to report that Change Happens! – one of the largest minority founded non-profit organizations in the Greater Gulf Coast Region – continues to be a stable and dynamic organization.  However, we will not stop there.

 

When you walk through the doors to our offices, you are greeted with a sign that serves as a reminder to “Imagine.”  To imagine the impossible and work to make it possible.  To imagine young boys and girls filled with the delight of learning and discovery, poised to create the world of tomorrow.  To imagine an end to suffering from homelessness, incarceration, substance use disorders, and HIV/AIDS.  To imagine a community transformed by affordable and safe housing, thriving schools, and equal advantages and access.  These are the works of Change Happens!; what we can uniquely contribute to the world.  I invite you to join us in this glorious opportunity to lessen human suffering, enrich the lives of others, and empower people to realize their talent and seize opportunities.  There is nothing of significance that Change Happens! can do by itself.  I invite you to help us make change happen in the lives of others.  Let’s make lasting change together.

Respectfully,

 

Helen Stagg

My Professional Bio

As Senior Director and CEO of Change Happens, I am responsible for operational planning and management, program operations and oversight, addressing strategic organizational issues, human resources planning and management, financial planning and management, and community relations/advocacy.  I received my Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas A&M University and my Masters in Social Work from the University of Houston, Graduate College of Social Work.  I am also a scholar of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Association of Schools of Public Health Institute for HIV Prevention.  I am a Certified Prevention Specialist and an Internationally Certified Prevention Specialist.  I serve on the board of the Texas Association of Substance Abuse Programs and the Greater Houston Healthy Marriage Coalition.  I have presented at numerous conferences, including the National Prevention Network Prevention Research Conference.  I have been featured in a documentary commissioned by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Promise Story:  “Empowering Community Health” and was also spotlighted in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) publication Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs. Prior to coming to Change Happens, I enjoyed a career with state government as a Lead Program Manager, Region 6, Health and Human Services Commission.  I am an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Clear Lake and University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.