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Candidate Corner with Ron Simon

Read Time
4 minutes
Fall 2023
Ron Simon

Candidate Corner with Ron Simon

This month's Corner features Ron Simon, Chief Executive Officer at Families United Network, Inc.

In your new role, what was your major impact the first year? 

Reflecting back, I think my major impact my first year in my new role was setting the table for the culture of the organization and the culture for leadership that I envision.  I say setting the table, because culture change does not happen overnight, it takes time.  However, I have noticed changes happening and a shift towards the type of culture that I think a healthy organization needs.  Two things our staff were wanting were strong leadership and increased communication.  I also started creating an environment of mutual respect and unconditional positive regard.  One thing I am very proud of is that we implemented a paid new parent leave in my first year.  I also was able to gain the trust and respect of the Board and was able to close a program that was losing money and underperforming for a few years.  Staff responded positively to this change, as most knew it needed to close.
Where do you get advice? Who do you listen to? 

I feel very lucky in that I am married to a wonderful woman who is also a CEO of a non-profit.  We do a great job of maintaining work and home balances, but we do bounce things off of each other.  I also have a wonderful Board and they have been very helpful.  Finally I think mentorship is a lost art.  I still keep in touch with those that have mentored me and I try to mentor others.  I think with mentorship, both parties benefit. 
What do you do outside of work that gives you joy? 

I like to stay physically active.  I think it helps me clear and stimulate my mind.  Currently I enjoy playing golf and taking bicycle rides. 
If you could have a meal with one person, who would it be and why? 

I gave this question a lot of thought and it was harder to answer than I originally thought.  When it came down to it, I kept on coming back to my Dad.  He passed away 34 years ago at the age of 50, I was only 23 at the time.  In 23 years he thought me so much about the business world and how to be a leader.  He was a high school dropout, as he had to start working to support his family.  He was the oldest child in his family and his parents became disabled.  He started working to support everyone and got his GED.  Shortly before he passed away he rose to the level of VP at a National Company, most of his peers had MBA’s.  He taught me so much about being a leader.  I would love to be able to have one more meal with him.  An important take away is that education is important, but so is experience.  Never sell yourself short and always believe in yourself.
What have you found most helpful while working with search firms? 

I have worked with search firms on other jobs and potential jobs.  I have to admit, I found the experience with Andrew and the team at Lincoln Leadership to be at a higher level than other experiences with search firms.  First, they found me.  The team did a reach out to me and said that based on my experiences and skill set, they felt I was a nice fit for the position they were filling.  Second, I felt like I got personal attention and service from start to finish.  Actually I should rephrase that, Andrew still stays in touch with me to see how things are going, you can’t beat that level of personal service.  And finally even though they were hired by my organization, I felt all along that Andrew was also representing me and looking out for my interests.  I made the right decision and could not be happier.  It was a great process and I am very grateful to Andrew and his team for matching me with my organization!  It has been a great fit for both myself and the organization and we are very pleased with the work of Andrew and Lincoln Leadership!