Brings Track Record of Mission-focused Leadership
Oak Brook, Ill., (March 10, 2010) — Opportunity International today announced the appointment of Bill Morgenstern as CEO, replacing Kadita “A.T.” Tshibaka who has served as interim CEO since April 2009. Tshibaka will assist with the transition over the next month and return to his former role as a member of the Board of Directors of Opportunity International.
“We are tremendously grateful for the leadership that Kadita Tshibaka has provided over the last year, and we are delighted to welcome Bill Morgenstern as our new CEO,” said Peter Thorrington, Opportunity Board chair. “Bill has a remarkable track record of accomplishments as an entrepreneur, senior executive and servant leader. We are confident that Bill’s ability to rally a team behind a mission, focus its efforts and reach its goals will bring even more people to the work of Opportunity International.”
Morgenstern and his team grew their rental purchase business, Rent-Way, from a single store in 1981 to a public company with 800 locations and nearly $600 million in annual revenue before selling the company in 2006. As CEO, Morgenstern directed several capital campaigns, including the company’s initial IPO in 1993 and several rounds of traditional bank financing. As the business grew, he empowered each of his nearly 4,000 employees to be leaders and change agents in the organization, fostering a culture of dignity and respect. Morgenstern was recognized with the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award in 1996.
Morgenstern’s nonprofit experience includes serving as a board member and board chair of Hamot Health Foundation, which operates a healthcare delivery system that reaches out to more than one million people in Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio. While serving on the board, Morgenstern partnered with the leadership team to develop and implement a strategy that helped the hospital become recognized as a regional leader in cardiac care. Morgenstern also has served on several nonprofit boards in his community, including the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and Habitat for Humanity.
“I am tremendously honored to join Opportunity International and its almost 40-year history as a leader in the microfinance field,” Morgenstern said. “The story of Opportunity continues to be the story of the people it serves. I am humbled to be given the chance to tell their stories and to work with Opportunity’s 10,000 employees around the world who support these hardworking people in their daily struggle to provide for their families.”
Morgenstern’s passion to serve the poor is rooted in his community efforts as well as his work in Haiti caring for those suffering from poverty and disease. He has served in Haiti on a number of occasions through the church he attended in Erie, Pa.
“Bill is a man of great character, integrity and compassion,” Thorrington said. “We are grateful that he has found his way to Opportunity International and joined our mission to empower people around the world to work their way out of chronic poverty, transforming their lives, their children’s futures and their communities.”
About Opportunity International
Opportunity International provides access to savings, small business loans, insurance and training to over five million people working their way out of poverty in the developing world. Clients in over 20 countries use these financial services to start or expand a business, provide for their families, create jobs for their neighbors and build a safety net for the future. For more information, visit http://www.opportunity.org or join the conversation at http://facebook.com/opportunityintl and http://twitter.com/opportunityintl.