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Winrock Responds To Article.


By its own admission, the May 14 article "Winrock's Commitment to Hub Questioned" is based on former employees who "reached out" to express the "fears" and "uncertainty" that led to their departures. Unfortunately, the piece is not only wholly speculative and backward-looking by design, it is also quite misleading and, in most cases, wrong.

One concern, that the Hub "does not have an effective [advisory] board because one hasn't been appointed" is false. In fact, the Hub has an advisory committee in place that includes members who served on the previous Hub board.

Other claims, such as that the merger was "ensnared in national politics" due to funding concerns under a potential Trump presidency, the fear of anonymous former employees that "Winrock plans to sell or lease the building soon," or that there was a quid pro quo with the Hub's founder to secure a job are also all unfounded and untrue. Winrock sought out a combination with the Hub because we share a mission --to improve livelihoods and drive economic development in Arkansas and around the world.

Finally, based on a reading of Winrock's 2016 Form 990, the article also stated that Winrock sustained a loss in 2016. In fact, when our 2016 unrealized gains on investments were included, Winrock completed the year comfortably in the black.

Winrock and the Hub are driving forward, not looking backward. Despite his admission that "maybe I'm the problem," we wish the Hub's former director--and talented maker--all the best. And we are thrilled with the Hub's new leadership under Christopher Jones, who informed your article with his perspective that "the Hub has the mission, staff, community support and access to financial resources from Winrock that it needs to succeed."

We hope we can move beyond any hard feelings with the words of Winrock CEO Rodney Ferguson, which you quoted in your story: "Winrock is committed to the success of the Hub and has been since our agreement came together in June of 2016, and we will continue to be a partner to the Hub for years to come."

Dave Anderson Senior Director, Communications and Public Affairs

Winrock International

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Title Annotation:FEEDBACK; Winrock International
Author:Anderson, Dave
Publication:Arkansas Business
Article Type:Editorial
Date:May 28, 2018
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