At the start of the new year, Open Heart Kitchen will have a new executive director, according to a recent statement announcing the leadership change.
John Bost is set to take over the role from current Executive Director Heather Greaux, who will be transitioning to CFO. Upon officially starting the position on Jan. 1, Bost will lead the organization's new growth, including the forthcoming Vineyard 2.0 overnight shelter and support network for the local unhoused population.
"My decision to transition into a supportive role was contingent on finding a suitable replacement," Greaux said in the statement. "John's fundraising experience, business acumen, and community connections will be invaluable to the next phase of this project and the continuation of our mission."
Bost, whose background is in organizational development and community engagement, comes with more than 20 years of leadership experience in nonprofit and religious settings.
He is moving to Open Heart Kitchen from the Livermore Homeless Refuge, where he has served as the advisory council president since 2013. In this capacity, he has increased organizational funding by 500%, established key community partnerships, and assisted in the planning of Vineyard 2.0 which is currently under construction.
The opening of the Vineyard 2.0 project is set for summer 2023. The project includes plans for 23 apartments of permanent housing support to help the most vulnerable low-income families, along with other services such as showers, laundry, mailboxes and temporary overnight shelter.
As part of the project, Open Heart Kitchen will provide free hot meals for the residents prepared in the on-site, commercial-scale kitchen.
"The board was looking for an outcome-driven leader to guide us through some big upcoming changes while building upon our recent successes and continuing to deliver on our core mandate," said Open Heart Kitchen's board chair Michael Haase. "We are confident in John's ability to rise to the challenge and ensure our community has equitable access to nutritious food today, while building a food-secure tomorrow."
According to its statement, the nonprofit anticipates a smooth transition from Greaux to Bost. "John's visionary leadership abilities and the continued support of Open Heart Kitchen's donors and community partners will put the organization on track to meet and exceed the strategic goals set for the launch of Vineyard 2.0 next summer," the organization said.