Youth For Christ Elevates Jake Bland as President/CEO
By: Vanderbloemen April 5, 2021
ENGLEWOOD, Colorado - Youth For Christ, located in Englewood, Colorado has expanded its leadership team by appointing Jake Bland as their 10th President/CEO. Youth For Christ is a Christian organization with an 77-year history that has around 140 chapters impacting thousands of communities across the nation. Every day at numerous community centers, high schools, middle schools, juvenile institutions, coffee shops, and local hangouts, YFC staff and volunteers meet with young people who need Jesus. They concentrate on multiplying fruitful and sustainable ministry sites across the country and around the globe.
Jake, currently the YFC Chief of Staff to the CEO, has been involved with YFC for 23 years – first serving as a high school student in a YFC music group, then as a volunteer. Bland was promoted through the YFC ministry over the past 18 years, serving in many leadership positions. He is committed to evangelism, continuous learning and improvement, as well as using YFC as a vehicle that serves the Church. Jake will take on this position to continue nurturing and growing the caring and collaborative environment that YFC creates. He has an entrepreneurial spirit and heart after the Lord, and he is prepared to bring fresh ideas to the executive board.
At Vanderbloemen, when there is an internal candidate in the running for the available position, it’s our job to assess the best and brightest external candidates to make sure the strongest hire is made. At the end of the day, the cream always rises to the top, as was the case with Jake. The Board of Trustees unanimously selected Bland after reviewing 230 applications for the president/CEO position, which resulted in eight candidates and ultimately, two potential candidates with outstanding qualifications.
As an internal candidate, Jake is an ideal fit for this position. His passion and historical knowledge of the organization will allow him to provide new ideas that perfectly align with YFC’s goals, mission, and values. YFC aims to reach young people everywhere as they work with local churches and values-based partners to disciple lifelong followers of Jesus. Jake embodies this mission through his godly lifestyle, professional career in ministry, and passion for sharing the love of God.
Board Chairman Barry Huebner shared, “YFC performed a thorough, national search for our new president, and the candidates we considered were very qualified leaders… but the Lord led us to someone from our own YFC family — someone who truly has served YFC with a genuine call to Jesus. It was a unanimous decision to select Jake Bland. He will succeed Dan Wolgemuth, one of the most godly and passionate leaders in YFC history. The members of our National Board of Trustees believe that Jake will carry out YFC’s mission in a time when strong and godly leadership is needed more than ever.”
Brian Jensen, our Executive Search Consultant who partnered with YFC on this search stated, “I could not be more excited for Youth For Christ and the Bland family! This was a journey for sure - navigating this process with YFC through covid was certainly unexpected, but I consider it an honor. What a humbling experience to contribute to Christ’s Kingdom in this small way. My prayers for YFC and Jake and Ali will continue as they enter this next season of ministry. “
“We are honored that Youth For Christ, a place that has had such a deep and historical impact on the Kingdom, would ask us to help guide them to the next leader God is raising up,” said our Founder and CEO, William Vanderbloemen. “We’re thrilled for the new chapter of ministry God is writing for YFC.”
What began as an incredible volunteer experience for Jake Bland, eventually turned into full time employment and now being selected as the President/CEO of the organization. Jake and his wife, Ali, have been married for 11 years with two young children and they are expectant of how God will use them in this life change. This new role will allow Jake to pursue his vision for YFC of training and equipping leaders at all levels and laying out a sustainable plan for growth.
Youth For Christ has been a pillar of missional ministry since 1944, when the Rev. Billy Graham served as YFC’s first full-time staff member. Since then, Youth For Christ has continued to be both a rural and urban ministry on mission, and it is always about the message of Jesus. Jake will bring valuable experience and be an asset to their executive team as they declare the mercy and truth of the gospel to the world. We are honored to serve alongside Youth For Christ on this hire and thrilled for their next season of leadership with Jake Bland.
Vanderbloemen serves teams with a greater purpose by aligning their people solutions for growth: hiring, compensation, succession, and culture. Through its retained executive search and consulting services, Vanderbloemen serves churches, schools, nonprofits, family offices, and Christian businesses in all parts of the United States and internationally.
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