Formerly the chief executive officer of Parker Brothers Games, a toy and game manufacturer, and Lenox, the brand known for its china, Stearns led the organization through dramatic growth with its annual revenues topping $1 billion.
On Tuesday, Rich Stearns, the longest serving president of the Christian humanitarian organization, announced his intention to retire to staff.
Shortly after the news broke, Devex caught up with Stearns by phone. As the World Vision board works with an executive search firm that specializes in Christian ministries to select a new leader, he will continue to lead the organization based just south of Seattle, Washington. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
The announcement of your intention to retire notes that this comes at an important time in the 67 year history of World Vision. The organization just saw its strongest growth in a decade. And the next president is tasked with reaching the goal of helping 30 million children by 2022. How were you able to achieve this kind of growth and what advice do you have for those similarly working to mobilize supporters around ambitious targets?