Darryl Loewen has been on MCI’s staff for over 20 years.
Mennonite Central Committee Manitoba will have a local name at the helm as of August. Darryl Loewen, long-time principal of Gretna’s Mennonite Collegiate Institute, will take over as MCC Manitoba executive director, it was announced earlier this month.
“It’s an exciting opportunity,” Loewen said. “There’s broad connection theologically and philosophically between the position I’ve had at MCI for years and this new one with MCC Manitoba.”
Prior to his 11 years as MCI’s principal, Loewen spent four years teaching and seven as teacher/vice-principal at the school.
The decision to leave, which Loewen described as a “time-of-life decision” to open new career options, came prior to being named as MCC executive director.
“I’m not leaving MCI because I’ve fallen out of love with it--far from it,” he said, pointing to family history which, counting his son, has seen three generations of his family graduate from the school.
Loewen replaces interim executive director Peter Rempel, who has held the position since the resignation of former executive director Ron Janzen in October. Janzen held the post since 2012. “I’m really excited to see what Darryl can do working with young people, given his long career in education,” MCC Manitoba board chair Stefan Epp-Koop said. “I think that something that’s really important for us is engaging a new generation with the important mission of MCC and having someone who is able to bring that experience working with young people, as well as the leadership skills that he brings, is really exciting for us.”
He added that, coming from southern Manitoba, Loewen will add to already strong existing ties between the provincial organization and local churches and Mennonite groups.
Loewen also said he hopes to maintain MCC core programs (such as development and relief, indigenous programs, programs for low-German speaking people and justice programs) as well as continued development of MCC’s thrift store network.
“That’s a really vigorous part of MCC’s well-being and service to communities, so I’m in interested in that,” he said.
In particular, both Epp-Koop and Loewen pointed to MCC’s current work responding to incoming Syrian refugees, as well as new partnerships with local organization, Eden Health Care, to tackle affordable housing initiatives.
“The issues that MCC tackles in Manitoba and abroad, including resettlement of new Canadians, are such important activities and it’s really important the churches and church organizations are out front in being active in seeking justice and the well-being of all peoples, and so I’m really thrilled to be involved in that in this new way,” Loewen said.