Joe Mauthe, executive director of Pillars since its inception in October 2018, plans to retire by October 2022. The board of directors will commence their search for his successor this month.
Mauthe co-led the merger that formed Pillars from three Fox Cities housing and homelessness nonprofits: Homeless Connections, Fox Valley Warming Shelter and Housing Partnership of the Fox Cities. He was executive director of Housing Partnership from 2013 until the merger.
“Leading the Pillars team has been the pinnacle of my career,” Mauthe said. “Everything I did prior to Pillars was merely preparation for this job. It has been a real honor to lead this team and to collaborate so powerfully with this amazing community.”
Mauthe guided Pillars through the entirety of the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that all services to clients, tenants and program participants continued without interruption. Most notably, in April 2020 Mauthe led the Pillars team in coalescing community support to shift most shelter operations temporarily to the Clarion Inn in Grand Chute to protect client and public health.
Under Mauthe’s leadership, the Pillars team innovated to reduce gaps in service to those facing homelessness and housing instability. Program additions include:
- Single Room Occupancy, which houses non-related adults in rehabilitated homes. By this summer the program will be six households and 23 individuals strong.
- Case management expansion to Pillars Adult Shelter to increase the number of clients who leave for permanent housing.
- Increased Prevention staffing in response to COVID-19’s economic impacts. The program has a 90-plus percent success rate in keeping individuals and families stably housed.
Mauthe spent four years as president of the Fox Cities Housing Coalition. The coalition is a group of more than 20 housing-related providers committed to ensuring decent, affordable housing.
As a member of the Fox Cities Housing Coalition, Mauthe led Project RUSH (Research to Understand and Solve Homelessness). This seminal study of housing affordability and homelessness in the Fox Cities spawned several service innovations. Mauthe’s team at Housing Partnership also launched the Ascend Initiative. The program provides case management and housing to young adults ages 18 to 26 with mental health challenges.
Greg Vandenberg, director of giving and community engagement for U.S. Venture, said, “Joe is a rare leader. He brings deep expertise from his time in the corporate world, and he allows his empathy and calling to guide his heart and his head in helping those with nowhere else to go. His leadership of the Pillars merger created a comprehensive, client-centered approach to ensure shelter for those in need.”
Mauthe’s 38-year career included senior HR leadership roles at both Kimberly-Clark and Plexus.
The Pillars board of directors has named a search committee and soon will select a search firm.
“We are deeply grateful for Joe’s service to Pillars and to our community,” said Pillars board president Steve Williams. “We are approaching the search for his successor with care, intention and confidence that our next leader will build upon the great leadership Joe has provided.”