Inter-Faith Council Board President Keith Taylor was very positive about Jenks’ future with the council.
“She’s got an incredible passion for what she does, that is very evident when you get a chance to talk to her,” Taylor said.
It was that passion that set her apart from the other candidates in the eyes of the IFC, Taylor said, though there were several other strong candidates with the qualities to fill the position.
“No doubt in my mind any of them could have run the organization, but her passion is what really shined through and that was really the kind of thing that set it over for us,” he said.
John Dorward is currently co-director for the Inter-Faith Council and has previously served as executive director. He said the position is a fulfilling one.
“I think that being the executive director of the IFC is one of the better jobs in town,” Dorward said.
The executive director is in charge of carrying out the programs that the board agrees to work on, Dorward said. The executive director is also responsible for making sure that there is adequate funding, staffing and volunteers.
“You don’t have really bad days as the executive director because, if you’re feeling sorry for yourself for some reason, you go downstairs and you go out into the programs and you remember why you’re here,” Dorward said.
Dorward was a member of the search committee and was able to meet Jenks while she was in town. He will also be a part of the transition team and will still work with the IFC on a plan to build a new community house for homeless men from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area.
“I think (Jenks is) outstanding,” he said. “I’m looking forward to working with her.”
Jenks is currently working as the executive director of the Hospitality House in San Francisco. She said she has family in the Midwest and on the East Coast and accepting her new position at the IFC brings her closer to them, which is something she’s been looking for.
Jenks said she’s excited about the IFC’s capital campaign — a plan for a new IFC community house in Carrboro.
“That was something that I’m very much looking forward to sinking my teeth into,” she said.
While Jenks was visiting the shelter, she said one of the residents approached her to tell her how special the IFC was and how much they had to offer. Jenks said she was impressed that the resident took the time to talk to her and was so passionate about the organization.
“It really reminded me of something that would happen at Hospitality House, and that was the moment that I knew it was a really special place,” she said.