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Examiner
  • Doug Cowan named president/CEO for Community Services League

  • Once again, Community Services League has a new president and chief executive officer, and this time, it’s someone who is no stranger to Eastern Jackson County or to CSL’s top administrative position.

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  • Once again, Community Services League has a new president and chief executive officer, and this time, it’s someone who is no stranger to Eastern Jackson County or to CSL’s top administrative position.
    CSL announced Friday afternoon that Doug Cowan, an employee of CSL since 2010 and formerly the organization’s chief development officer, is CSL’s new top leader.
    Cowan replaces Jerry Jensen, who was named as CSL’s new president/CEO last August and officially started in the role on Jan. 2. Attempts to reach Jensen for comment Friday were unsuccessful, and it wasn’t immediately known what Jensen’s new employment plans are.
    For much of 2012, Cowan had served as interim president/CEO as the CSL board of directors sought a replacement for Michael Levine, who left the organization in early 2012. Cowan, who also serves as president of the Square Association, will continue his previous fund development responsibilities as CEO.
    “The big picture responsibilities are carrying forward the mission of the organization, continuing our growth, continuing to serve people here in town – all of those things are my responsibility to make sure we move those things forward, on a day-to-day basis and within the organization,” Cowan said Friday. “The thing about our organization is that we just keep clicking day after day, and we’ve done it for 97 years. Our job is to just keep helping people the best that we can.”
    A lifelong Independence resident, Cowan is a 1999 Truman High School graduate and 2003 graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, with a degree in political science. He and his wife, Katie, have one son, 2-year-old Truman.
    Cliff Jones, chairman of the CSL board of directors, said the organization has been in a period of change for several years now and described Cowan as “exceptionally qualified” to lead CSL.
    “Doug has deep ties to the organization, as well as to the Independence community,” Jones said. “Quite frankly, we’re excited to have him move into this role, and we expect great things from Doug, his team and CSL.”
    As Eastern Jackson County’s largest provider of emergency services, housing counseling and job training for low-income families, CSL served clients more than 60,000 times in 2012, operating service offices in Independence, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove and Buckner. During Jensen’s brief time with CSL, Cowan said he learned a great deal, including how to think of the organization’s potential impact metrowide and even regionally.
    “The thing that’s nice about personnel changes is you can step back and realize that the organization is so much larger, that it is an entity of the Eastern Jackson County community,” Cowan said. “We’ll continue to keep clicking away in the future because we’ve got the infrastructure to provide to those in need, regardless of who is at the helm.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I am extremely committed to CSL, and I plan to be for years. I’ve loved every second of it, and I can’t imagine being anywhere else – it’s a great opportunity for me.”
     

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