David Curry, chief executive officer of the Rescue Mission for the past eight years, has left his job at the Tacoma nonprofit, apparently to take charge of a California-based organization that supports persecuted Christians around the world.
According to a Rescue Mission announcement published online, Curry, 45, will become the new CEO of Open Doors USA in August. The organization advocates for Christians in countries where the religion is oppressed or discouraged, including North Korea and Saudi Arabia.
Open Doors spokesman Jerry Dykstra said Tuesday that he could neither confirm nor deny that Curry got the job and called the Rescue Mission announcement “premature.”
“We’re not ready to say at this point who our new CEO will be,” Dykstra said. “We’ll make an announcement on Monday.”
Curry, a Tacoma native and a well-known supporter of humanitarian causes in the city, also said he could not comment until Monday.
According to Donna Haynes, chairwoman of the Rescue Mission’s board of directors, Brian Sonntag is serving as interim executive director while the board conducts a national search for a new CEO.
“Brian is a tremendous asset to the organization and has already made a significant impact on our operations,” Haynes said in a statement. “We’re fortunate to have a respected leader in Brian, who will be able to quickly and skillfully step in.”
Sonntag, also a Tacoma native, spent 20 years as state auditor before retiring in 2011. He joined the Rescue Mission as its chief financial officer in February. His wife, Jann Sonntag, is manager of donor development at the Mission.
Neither Sonntag returned a News Tribune call requesting comment on Tuesday.
During Curry’s tenure at the Rescue Mission, he led the development of the Adams Street Family Campus, which expanded the Mission’s services to homeless families. While CEO, the organization added a homeless youth department, an alumni program and a variety of other homeless programs.
“We’re grateful to David for his dedication, leadership and faithfulness in helping grow our organization to serve the women, children and men who need our vital services,” Haynes said. “We wish David the best and are confident both he and the Rescue Mission will continue to serve in the name of Christ.”
The Rescue Mission officially opened its door on March 11, 1912, under the name The Tacoma Commons. The group offered food and shelter to homeless or otherwise struggling men.
The organization changed its name to the Tacoma Rescue Mission, then in 2010 took out the “Tacoma” to reflect its countywide presence. In addition to its Tacoma locations, the mission has facilities in Fife, Lakewood and the Puyallup-Sumner area.
David Curry is the identical twin of Dean Curry, pastor at Life Center, a Tacoma mega church.Rob Carson: 253-597-8693