I received a very sad letter in the mail today.
It was from Maxine Beckwith, a Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Board Member. Maxine is the last remaining Board Member who had joined the board prior to the introduction of term limits. As such, she has been on the board for nearly 40 years. And she has made every moment count. Her letter says she is choosing to retire from the board at the end of this operational year.
Maxine was a high school business teacher when she returned to college as an older-than-average student to earn her Master's degree. She then became a school counselor, principal, and children's advocate extraordinaire. In her time on the Ranch board, we have added additional campuses and equine programming, became co-ed, began outpatient services via Dakota Family Services, and built two chapels. She was Chair of the Board when I was hired, making her my first boss at the Ranch.
When I first met Maxine's husband, Gary, I told him that I so respected his wife and her energy. His response? "Yes, I just like to watch her!" Made me smile. She is an unstoppable ball of energy. She is also kind, and so smart and full of faith and business savvy. I have told her multiple times, "When I grow up, I want to be like you!"
Maxine is just one of many Board Members who ensure that Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch stays on track every day. They ask how our decisions further the mission to, "help at-risk children and their families succeed in the name of Christ." They hold us accountable to maintaining integrity in how we spend donor dollars. They keep the children clearly in focus as they navigate a complex business plan. They pray. They provide financial support. They even cry with us when the hurt is deep.
I will miss Maxine on the Ranch board (she is staying on until our annual meeting in August). I will also treasure all those who continue her legacy of great governance at the Ranch.
In His love,
Joy Ryan, President/CEO
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch
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