ST. LOUIS - DOORWAYS Interfaith AIDS Housing has named Opal M. Jones as its President and Chief Executive Officer effective December 1, 2012. Jones’ appointment as President culminates a year-long process including the implementation of a succession plan, the retirement of Dr. Lynne M. Cooper, now President Emeritus of DOORWAYS, and a nationwide search for her successor.
Jones currently is director of DOORWAYS’ residential program, managing 103 apartments in seven residential facilities in St. Louis. The Program provides safe, affordable housing and related support services to more than 200 children, women and men. She has been with DOORWAYS for 5 years.
“I’m honored and humbled by the confidence shown in me by the DOORWAYS Board of Directors,” said Jones. “I’ve learned so much from Lynne Cooper and my colleagues at DOORWAYS. I’ve also learned from our clients - about their lives and their families, their aspirations and their fears. For them, DOORWAYS’
According to DOORWAYS, their Board of Directors was committed to searching for a new leader who would continue the inspired traditions of the organization with a vision for the future of providing services to its clients.
“We considered scores of candidates from across the country and in Opal we found an ideal balance of commitment, compassion, and connection,” said John Russell, vice-chair of the DOORWAYS Board of Directors and chair of its transition and search committee. “We were moved by her deep compassion for DOORWAYS’ clients and we’re excited about our future under her leadership.”
Board Chair Chuck Miller said, “Opal’s selection marks an important new beginning for DOORWAYS. As we look forward with enthusiastic resolve, we remember the hard work of the generations of staff and volunteers who brought us safe this far. We stand on the shoulders of not only Lynne Cooper, but of Archbishop John L. May the spiritual parent of DOORWAYS, Episcopal Dean J.C. Michael Allen of Christ Church Cathedral who envisioned it, and all of the religious and community leaders who built DOORWAYS into a national model of compassionate care for men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS.”