ceo transition

November 30, 2020

Amazing community –

We made it! I’ve been the CEO of People Serving People for one whole year!

At People Serving People, we are still supporting families experiencing homelessness and advancing prevention efforts. Our spaces are still running and our team is still kicking. I often use milestones to reflect on the year past and set intentions for the year ahead, so here I go.

Looking back…
When I think about the People Serving People board that supports the organization, the team of staff, volunteers, and partners I get to work alongside, our families and kiddos, and you — the folks who donated to People Serving People last year to help celebrate this next part of the journey, for me and People Serving People – I am humbled and grateful. I want you to know that, on the hard days, I thought of you. I know you had our backs. It made me dig deeper and get more creative. Thank you.

We’ve spent the better part of the year responding to things and finding our organization in situations I’ve never navigated nor could foresee – crises, unanswerable questions, tragedy – and to which we didn’t know how to respond. Luckily for me, I am surrounded by incredibly smart, thoughtful, and compassionate people who are some of the best problem solvers out there. When I think about our work together, I see it full of grit and grace.
If I had to pick what I’m most proud of over the last year, it’s those moments when people came together and contributed their unique talents and skills toward a common and shared goal – with a pivot or two thrown in just for fun. I saw that happen around vaccination efforts at the shelter, supporting meal service 3 times/day, every day of the last year, hosting an engaging virtual gala, launching new programs, stepping up and in for colleagues, caring for children and caregivers alike, and celebrating and uplifting the cultures of our community – to name a few of those moments.

Intentions for the year ahead…
I really did learn a lot. I learned that my life experiences contribute to my ability to do this job. I learned that my strengths can also be liabilities, that in a pinch I can almost spreadsheet with the best of them (yes, spreadsheet is a verb now), and that as Pema Chodron reminds us – things come together and fall apart over and over and over again. I also learned that there are ways I want to grow personally and in my leadership.

One of our board chairs reminded me recently that I have the power to make change. Power is an important tool that I share with others and that I sometimes minimize in myself. Last week, I had the opportunity to provide a guest lecture with a colleague and future board member. We spoke to power, politics, privilege, and policymaking as ways to demonstrate love. I believe that love is our future and our potential as humans in community. And power – that ability to do things – is a tool of love. I intend to utilize my power to advance love in my leadership and at People Serving People.

Thank you for all that you do, your support, kindness, and the ways you contribute to the community. It makes a difference.

With deep gratitude,

November 20, 2020

Rinal Ray, CEO, People Serving People

Rinal Ray

People Serving People, the largest shelter in Hennepin County for children and their families experiencing homelessness, has selected Rinal Ray as the next Chief Executive Officer. Rinal will begin her duties immediately.

Ms. Ray, an experienced professional with a background in public policy and law, joined People Serving People in 2017 as Director of Systems Change and Community Engagement. In January 2019 Rinal was promoted to Associate Executive Director. In August, she assumed the interim role of Executive Director.

Since serving as Interim Executive Director, Ms. Ray has managed the organization’s operations in close collaboration with the leadership team, staff, and key partners. Ms. Ray has a strong track record of success in driving positive systemic change for our communities, and the Board of Directors is confident in her ability to lead the organization. Ray, the first woman of color to lead the organization in the CEO role, will also serve on the Board of Directors.

The Board noted that “we couldn’t be more excited about the transformational work occurring at People Serving People, and having an exceptional leader like Rinal to lead the effort.”

“In my role as CEO, I look forward to building on the strength of this organization and with its people – families, staff, board, donors, volunteers, and partners. We will keep meeting families in crisis response with dignity in shelter and wrap around supports. And we will build powerfully with our community to shift systems, prevent family homelessness, lead with the voices of our families and a strong and demanding love.”

People Serving People provides support to children and their families experiencing homelessness. We provide safe and dignified shelter and nutritious meals, while offering wraparound and trauma responsive services. These include educational services in shelter and in community through our Center of Excellence, advocacy services, and supportive groups. We also work upstream to prevent family homelessness through programs and systems change. We work with families, community partners, and volunteers. Our ultimate goal is to build housing stability and see families thrive.

There are extraordinary, dedicated and passionate people serving this organization. People Serving People is very excited for Ms. Ray to continue her work with our dedicated staff, key stakeholders, volunteers, and donors, to further our mission. We thank Ballinger | Leafblad for its expert and engaged guidance through the CEO search process.

We look forward to continuing to serve the community.

Best Regards,

People Serving People Board of Directors

October 2020

Public recruiting for People Serving People’s CEO has begun and a link to the position description is available here. Questions regarding the search or transition may be directed to Ballinger | Leafblad via Lars Leafblad at

September 2020

The Board has retained the firm of Ballinger | Leafblad to assist with the search and transition for our new Executive Director. A search committee of People Serving People board members has been formed and will lead the interview and selection process with support from Ballinger | Leafblad.

July 2, 2020

Daniel Gumnit - portrait

Daniel Gumnit

After nearly nine years with People Serving People, Daniel Gumnit will be stepping down as CEO on August 1, 2020, to pursue an opportunity with the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. We thank Daniel for his contributions to People Serving People and wish him well in his future endeavors. Although Daniel is leaving People Serving People, he will remain on the Board of Directors through the end of the year to help ensure a smooth transition.

Rinal Ray - portrait

Rinal Ray

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Rinal Ray as Interim Executive Director. Rinal joined People Serving People in 2017 as Director of Systems Change and Community Engagement. She was promoted to her current role as Associate Executive Director in January of 2019. Rinal is an experienced professional with a background in nonprofits, public policy and law. She is very excited to continue her work with our dedicated staff, volunteers, donors, and key stakeholders to further the important work currently being done. The Board of Directors is confident in Rinal’s ability to lead People Serving People. She has proven leadership skills and has been successful in driving positive systemic change for our communities.

People Serving People is the largest and most comprehensive emergency shelter for families experiencing homelessness in Minnesota and a dedicated leader in homelessness prevention. We work with families amid their experience of homelessness. We provide safe and dignified shelter and nutritious meals, while offering wraparound and trauma responsive services. These include educational services in shelter and in community through our Center of Excellence, advocacy services, and supportive groups. We are also working to move upstream to prevent the experience of family homelessness through both programs and systems change. We do this work with our families, community partners, and volunteers. Our ultimate goal is to build stability and see families thrive.

The Board will undertake a formal search for a permanent Executive Director. We continue to look forward to serving the community.

Best regards,

People Serving People Board of Directors