Interview with Faith-based Leader
Solomon came into this role after a long career in non-profit and faith-based work, including work with the United Council of Catholic Bishops. Solomon grew up in Ethiopia, during the reign of Haile Selassie. Solomon’s family was part of the ruling class in Ethiopia. However, his father instilled a strong sense of service and justice in all of his children. All that was passed on to his children came from the tenets of Catholic Social Teaching. Solomon attended a Catholic college in the United States, and never returned to Ethiopia Following his graduation from college with a degree in business, Solomon was hired as a program director at Catholic Charities D.C. He spent 10 years there, strengthening housing and poverty programs. Following that, he moved to the UCCB, where he worked again in programs.
15 years ago, Solomon came to Catholic Charities of the East Bay, again as program manager. After 7 tumultuous years in the organization, the Executive Director was terminated, and Solomon was made E.D.
Solomon felt out of his element, and while he was comfortable in the programmatic arena, he did not have a strong grasp of budgets and finance. He struggled for many years, trying to learn this area of his work, and wishes he had been much better prepared for finances. He also stated that, in retrospect, he had had an idea as to how to work with a Board of Directors. This was also a leap for him to make.
Solomon believes he leads every aspect off his organization through the eyes of faith. He prays daily, not just about things that are personal in his life, but also about decisions that he must make for the organization. In addition, his board is very dedicated to leading the organization by faith, and a good helping of business knowledge. Solomon believes that his faith is...