When nonprofits face disruption, it can be devastating. Larry Andrews joined the OneAccord team to help these organizations not only survive, but thrive.
“Every nonprofit on the planet is going through disruption right now,” said Larry. “When nonprofits face significant transitions in their board or executive leadership, or feel operational or organizational constraints, or have revenue challenges, it’s time to retool and reimagine. Which services should you focus on? How do you keep employees engaged in a time of transition? What are the critical scenarios to consider for the future?”
Larry's specialty is translating mission/vision into relevant organization-wide strategic plans, metric-focused action plans, clarified impact goals and broad staff engagement. His strength is aligning, developing and leveraging diverse executive leaders toward a common vision of the future, and delivering exceptional operational results.
“My heart goal is to guide nonprofits through transition and disruption to become vibrant organizations that are more effective as a result, and maximize the vision God has given them,” said Larry. “There is a balance that every faith-based nonprofit needs to find to blend mission, passion, metrics, actions plan, accountability, staff and prayer. ”
A Clear Direction
Larry spent the first 22 years of his life in Sacramento, California. He attended California State University in Sacramento, where he played football and earned his business degree in operations management and management information systems before attending grad school at CSU Chico. While in graduate school he met his wife, Bethanne, and earned an MBA.
“My plans were, originally, never to leave the Pacific coast,” he said, but when recruiters started calling, that plan changed. One of those recruiting calls came from Procter and Gamble. Larry was impressed by their values and the depth of what a career with them could look like. He also felt strongly that he belonged at P&G.
“I just really felt God say, ‘This is where you’re supposed to go.' My life has been marked by listening to God’s direction, and the trust that his plans are the best.’”
So, Larry ceased all other recruiter meetings, accepted a position with P&G and relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio. After four years in the Midwest, he was promoted to manager back in California and did a three-year stint in a manufacturing site before being promoted again and heading back to the P&G general office in Ohio.
“I was an IT guy, which was really nice in P&G because in 17 years I spent time in manufacturing, HR, sales, logistics and their global services functions. I really was blessed to gain a broad view of the business.”
Eventually, while Larry was on an expatriate assignment in Singapore, the company awarded a significant IT outsourcing deal to Hewlett Packard, and Larry saw an opportunity.
“I could have stayed with P&G and still have been an IT guy in a consumer goods company, but I wanted to go to HP, where the IT services were part of the revenue stream, and my real desire was to become a general Manager and run a P&L”
So, Larry went with Hewlett Packard, which extended his assignment in Singapore for 4 more years.
“It wasn’t exactly the rough expat assignment,” he said. “We were completely spoiled. It was great. We have four children, they went to the American school there in Singapore and we traveled all over Asia.”
For his first few years with HP, Larry was a delivery manager and set up new service centers in the Philippines, China, Singapore and Indonesia before he became a general manager for the company’s applications delivery centers in Asia.
After six years overseas, another opportunity arose within the company that sent Larry and the family back once more to Cincinnati, this time to serve P&G as his client. Larry served as the general manager for the P&G account applications services. Hiss new job came with huge customer expectations, and he knocked it out of the park.
“When I took on the role serving P&G, our total revenue was $140 million," said Larry. "By the time I left after four years, it was $240 million. In every possible way that could be measured, that went really, really well. I learned a ton about efficiencies and working globally. I also learned quite a bit about balanced scorecards, which insured we could build revenue and margin, operational excellence, client satisfaction and organization excellence."
Larry and the HP team received recognition for his success when the services contract was extended with a $1.7 billion contract over several years, but Larry knew his time with the company was ending. As he had once felt a clear direction to join P&G many years earlier, he now felt just as clearly that God was preparing him for something new.
The Pivot to Nonprofit
That something new was Partners International, a faith-based organization out of Spokane that serves indigenous ministries in hard-to-reach locations around the world. Larry learned about Partners International just as he was completing a 6-month visioning exercise with an executive coach.
“Partners International was a perfect fit with the personal mission statement that I created with Half-Time. God was providing clear direction again. As part of my recruiting, I met the team, met the board and stayed an extra day to meet and deep-dive with the leadership team,” said Larry. “They were really struggling. I knew that my capacity and skills were exactly what was needed to allow Partners International, a 75-year-old organization, to thrive again.”
The nonprofit was facing major organizational and revenue challenges in the wake of a very difficult CEO transition. They needed to do significant work rethinking their mission, vision and strategy. Larry accepted the position of CEO and, piece by piece, spent the next seven years leading that work, building a solid foundation and creating a sustainable strategic plan that included tracking metrics. This eventually led to positive revenue growth in the organization.
In faith-based organizations, Larry has seen a tendency to sometimes focus on the spiritual side of things to the point of neglecting to embrace plans and metrics. It’s part of the reason he wants so much to help nonprofits.
“I’m certainly willing to help the team in for-profit as well, but my heart is really in how we enable nonprofits to execute against their mission and vision, get strategic and have actions and processes in place for mission alignment to fulfill the mission that they have. I’m a maximizer focused on getting people aligned to work together. I like to think there’s a huge faith element to a number of these nonprofits, and I completely understand that, but there’s also an execution and strategic view needed to get organizations aligned and get stuff done."
Larry is just now finishing up his seventh year with Partners International. About six months ago, as he and the board of directors looked forward to where the organization was headed, Larry realized it was time for a new leader to come in and lead the ministry into its next phase. He gave six months' notice to the board and they worked together to find that new leader.
“They need to think about re-inventing themselves, which is a different skillset. Mission, vision and getting people operationally aligned to get it done — that’s my jam. How it could be different and optimizing itself is probably going to take a different leader in another multiple-year run. I wanted to be faithful to the calling of who I am, and to end well and give the Partners board an off-ramp.”
Larry started thinking through what he would do next. He wasn't interested in walking back into another CEO role.
"It was more about, how can I best work with existing organizations and nonprofits? How can I come alongside the younger and struggling nonprofits to see them really get engaged and be more successful in what they’re being called by God to do?”
While asking those questions, a friend referred Larry to OneAccord. Larry started looking into what it was all about, met with co-founder Jeff Rogers and was impressed with what he found.
“I just thought it was a really great fit,” he said. “I was impressed with the people, the camaraderie, the foundational core values and the heart behind the mission statement. There was a wonderful alignment between what I felt God was calling me to and the OneAccord organization. I was also very impressed with the depth of talent, capacity, experience and capability. I know I will be able to serve clients very well being part of this exceptional team."
Family Man and Guardian
Outside of work, Larry’s enjoys skiing, hiking and playing guitar. He's been married to Bethanne for 35 years and they've raised four children who are now living as nearby as Spokane and as far away as Ohio. They are also guardians for a young man named Noor Kamal, a refugee from Myanmar who showed up in Spokane just under three years ago. Larry and Bethanne heard about him through friend of a friend and felt compelled to learn more about his situation. They met with him and quickly decided to become his guardians. Noor, who has had fewer than five years of formal education and speaks English as his sixth language, has since graduated high school and earned a full leadership (ACT SIX) scholarship to Whitworth University.