Schotta retires from NWA Children’s Shelter, Russell to succeed.

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 260 views 

Steve Schotta is stepping down as executive director of the Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter and Greg Russell is stepping up from marketing director to fill the position effective July 1.

The hiring of Russell as the non-profit’s new leader was approved by the board or directors Thursday night (June 18). Russell technically will serve in an interim capacity until his appointment is officially approved by the Arkansas Department of Human Services’ Division of Children & Family Services.

Schotta, who has led the Children’s Shelter since July 2011, revealed to the board in September that he planned to retire this summer.

After a thorough search and screening more than 75 applicants with a dozen interviews, the board decided to promote Russell. Schotta has agreed to stay on in advisory capacity until September 1 to help with the leadership transition.

“Choosing the right person to lead the Children’s Shelter is one of the most important decisions we make as a Board,” said Board President Chris Lamson (CEO of Cheyenne Products). “Accordingly, we did our due diligence … and then some. As a result of our rigorous process, we feel very confident in choosing Greg as the next executive director of the Children’s Shelter.”

Lamson adds that Russell’s blend of high integrity, humility and innate curiosity make him a strong leader to take on the challenge leading the Children’s Shelter into the future.

“As director of marketing for the past four years, Greg has been very instrumental in substantially elevating the Children’s Shelter’s public profile …  he has exhibited an exceptional level of commitment to and passion for the mission of providing the abused and neglected children we serve with a safe haven and hope for a better future. We also feel that his knowledge of and involvement in the progress made during Steve Schotta’s tenure will be a great asset,” Lamson said.

That said, the board of directors also expressed how much Schotta’s contributions will be missed in the coming years.

“We very much appreciate his willingness to aid us in ensuring that Greg will be positioned to succeed. We hate to see a leader as committed and effective as Steve go, but we wish him well and are glad we will continue to have the benefit of his counsel and support,” Lamson said.

Russell, who has a long history of working for non-profit organizations, joined the Children’s Shelter’s management team on Feb. 21, 2011. He has been professionally recognized for his work at the local, state, regional and national levels. He has spent nearly 20 years of his 29-year career working for and advancing the missions of non-profit organizations.