AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO OUR CLIENTS, PAST AND PRESENT
It has been our very distinct honor to have had the opportunity to work with you and many other committed and far-sighted boards over the past many years in our shared passion to elevate governance to new levels. Our relationship has been couched in mutual respect for and confidence in each other, and we hope our work together has resulted in the promise of enhanced governance performance that motivated us both.
AGI was legally formed in 1993, making this venture a 30-year commitment for us. Since AGI’s formation, we have had the good fortune to have worked with boards in most of the states and with others in seven countries on three Continents. It has been the dream ride of a lifetime.
But nothing lasts forever. We have seen the inevitability of accumulated years as they have come and gone, ever more rapidly and consequential each year. One of our greatest fears has been that when the end of the road occurs for both of us, AGI simply goes away. We selfishly believe that the work we have done for 30 years has some value worth maintaining, and have hoped that the product of that work will outlast either of us. Saying it simply: we have been very concerned about succession and whether AGI and Coherent Governance might live beyond “Linda and Randy.”
We are very pleased to announce that, yes, indeed it will. After extended discussions and a fair amount of give-and-take, we have reached agreement with the Center for Educational Effectiveness (CEE) in Bellevue, WA, to purchase AGI and make it a significant part of CEE’s portfolio of services for school boards and districts. CEE is a larger company, originally created to help school districts improve in a variety of ways their effectiveness in meeting student needs. Its focus and reach since have expanded, and this entry into the governance field will add a significant new dimension to CEE’s menu of services for districts.
How did all this come about? It began in 2017 when we did a CG project for the Evergreen School Board in Vancouver, WA. Evergreen’s superintendent at the time was Dr. John Steach. We knew when we met John that he was a different breed. He is a former two-term school board member who started his working career as an engineer, then migrated to the field of education administration because of his passion for kids. But he never lost his ability to look at situations and problems through the eyes of an engineer. To him, the logic behind CG made perfect sense, as did the sequential processes that needed to be created to make it work from an organizational viewpoint. It was a hand-in-glove fit.
Shortly after our work with John in Evergreen, he left the superintendency to accept his current position as Chief Executive Officer of CEE. CEE’s reach into multiple districts appealed to John. If he could apply sound logic to administrative leadership in one district, why not do the same in many districts?
When it came time for AGI to begin looking at succession options, one of the most obvious choices was John and CEE. Fortunately, our proposal made as much sense to them as it did to us, and the long story made (somewhat) short is that resulting from those discussions is an agreement for CEE to become the future home of AGI. John’s past experience with CG in Evergreen, as well as his association with AGI and our work since then, have set the stage for his new support for boards under the AGI/CEE banner.
So what can you expect, and when can you expect it? This is the general plan:
- CEE’s new ownership of AGI is scheduled to occur officially January 1, 2024. Randy’s work with AGI will cease December 31, 2023.
- Linda plans to continue in her role with AGI for at least another year or longer, working within the new CEE structure. John will join her in at least some of her client interface during this period. But the good news for clients is that there will be no noticeable change in Linda’s role during the transition period.
- AGI’s domicile will be moved from Gulf Shores to Washington.
- CEE has indicated that at least initially, all governance services offered by AGI will continue without significant change. Everything changes over time, so clients can expect some additions to and changes in some services over time. Indeed, that could and likely would have been the case even without this change of ownership. It’s called progress.
- CEE has committed to continue offering the annual Wisdom Sharing Conference.
We look at this change as an opportunity for AGI to renew, to catch a second wind. Broadening the horizon sometimes is necessary to enable us to see what lies beyond. For us, this is a monumental change, but a very positive one. For clients, we want to make it as transparent and as routine as we can make it. You have warmly welcomed us into your lives as we have worked to elevate governance performance, and we sincerely encourage you to do the same under this next iteration of AGI. This is an opportunity to advance the work we have done for so many years, and we hope you will see it the same way.
Words fail to adequately express to you how deeply we honor your work and how much we appreciate your welcoming us into your worlds during these past many years. We hope we have been able to make a difference in your lives and work. We know you have made an enormous difference in ours.