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Lost & Found leader quietly exits

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Lost & Found Grief Center's four-year executive director quietly exited the organization earlier this summer.

Emily Givens' last day at the nonprofit was June 1, said Tasha Ganson, chief operating officer for Lost & Found. A formal announcement about her exit has not been issued.

"She wanted to spend more time with her kids while they are still at home – their oldest will be a senior this year and they will have two more to follow in the years to come," Ganson said via email.

Reached this morning, Givens said she's "lucky to have this time to be home with my three kids and reconnect with them after a grinding four-year stint in the nonprofit world." Additionally, Givens said she was contacted by Community Foundation of the Ozarks Inc. to work with the organization on the creation of a survey to better understand why myriad executive directors and CEOs have resigned from their roles in the past year. She also joined the board of directors at Springfield First Community Bank in May.

At Lost & Found, board member Mike Woody stepped in as acting executive director, Ganson said. Woody retired last year from Herschend Family Entertainment Corp., where he spent 40 years and most recently worked as director of marketing for the Showboat Branson Belle and other HFE properties in Branson.

Ganson said a search for a permanent successor is not being conducted at this time.

Givens in 2017 took over for Kristy Endacott, who the year prior became executive director to succeed Lost & Found co-founder Karen Scott, according to past reporting.

Lost & Found, which provides grief support services for survivors of loved ones who have died, had a 2020 operating budget of roughly $500,000, according to past reporting.

This spring, the nonprofit announced the hiring of Iman Williams Christians as chief clinical officer. The hire was designed to help fill the vacancy left by Scott, who retired from Lost & Found in 2020 as director of program development, Springfield Business Journal previously reported.

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