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Transitions in Leadership

Honoring Craig and Kris Slater

Craig and Kris Slater (middle) stand with Ms. Lien (left) and

the Hanoi University English Department staff.

“Nothing is permanent except change,” wrote Heraclitus, Greek philosopher of the 6th century BC. Resource Exchange International can verify that, as we are undergoing a change in leadership for our work in Vietnam. After over two years of devoted and productive service, Craig Slater is stepping down from his responsibility as REI’s Director for Vietnam.

The reason is simple enough. REI’s leadership team concluded that the work in our various countries of service is better served when the country leader lives in that country. Vietnam is the sole country without the leader being resident. Craig and Kris were asked to consider moving to Hanoi. After careful consideration, they decided this would not be best for them.

So, as of January 1, 2021, Craig stepped down from his role as our Vietnam Director. He is presently on sabbatical, considering what his next role will be. Doug Erdmann, our President and CEO, has assumed the responsibility for Vietnam as Interim Director while we actively search for a new country leader who can live in country.

Craig formed many deep relationships, as shown here hiking through Colorado with Dr. Loi.

It would be impossible to make a comprehensive list of Craig’s contributions to our work in Vietnam over the past two plus years, but here are a few highlights:

  • Craig and Kris provided loving care to those under their charge on the field. Resident staff from the US, the Philippines, and Singapore all benefitted from their care and attention.

  • Craig served as a bridge between Colorado and our Hanoi Office Team, considering any number of challenges and directional decisions with our own Mme. Lien and her team via email and late-night phone calls, as well as in person when Craig was in country.

  • Craig represented REI at a number of awards ceremonies as well as strategic discussions with our Vietnamese partners, to understand their needs and determine how best to meet them.

  • Craig and Kris befriended dozens of Vietnamese, sharing their hearts and even their home. They established lifetime relationships, which will continue into the future regardless of Craig’s role.

Kris was able to have a major impact on the people of Vietnam,

engaging with students like these at Hanoi University.

  • Craig played a major part in continuing our visiting professional teams to Vietnam, first with those who traveled there pre-COVID-19, and then setting up weeks of virtual training with our Business Team and Nursing Team professionals when travel into the country was no longer possible.

  • Craig facilitated bringing a large grant for COVID-19-related materials that the Dow Company Foundation made last June to Vietnam.

  • Craig was faithful and conscientious in addressing the admin element of our work, writing and responding to thousands of emails, working on the documentation required for our work to continue in good standing with the Vietnamese government, making phone calls, attending meetings, and dealing with other day-to-day responsibilities of running our work in Vietnam.

  • Craig was also part of REI’s Leadership Team, helping set direction for the organization at large.

We greatly appreciate what Craig and Kris have brought to REI’s work in Vietnam and globally since 2018. They will be missed as a crucial element of our Vietnam team, and trust that they will have clarity on what the next chapter in their lives and service will be. Thank you, Craig! Thank you, Kris! Thank you for your part in building people to build nations!

Craig and Kris enjoying a game of Uno with Dr. Loi's sons.

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