Rips declines interim directorship at SAAF

Jill Rips, deputy executive director of the San Antonio AIDS Foundation speaks at a ceremony held in 2012 when the charity received its mobile testing van. (Photo by Sam Sanchez)

Jill Rips, deputy director of the San Antonio AIDS Foundation, has declined the position of interim executive director after being named to the job last week.

Rips got the interim appointment on April 20 after SAAF’s board of directors fired Executive Director David Ewell, who worked at the foundation for 23 years.

SAAF spokesperson Regina Villalobos-Perez confirmed Rips’ decision, saying that as SAAF’s principle grant request writer, Rips feels that she cannot fulfill the duties of her present position and the interim executive director’s position as well.

Villalobos-Perez said she did not know what the board of directors will do to fill the interim position now that Rips has declined it.

The board gave no reason for firing Ewell, other than to say in a letter to employees, “In order to take full advantage of these opportunities to further SAAF’s mission and best serve our clients, the Board of Directors has determined new leadership is needed.”

Read the full story here.

Update: April 27, 2015 – 3:00 p.m.

The San Antonio AIDS Foundation issued the following statement on April 27.

Dear Friends,

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the San Antonio AIDS Foundation (SAAF) we would like the general public to be aware of staff personnel changes at SAAF. Effective as of April 20, 2015 David T. Ewell is no longer serving as Executive Director for SAAF. The board has expressed their gratitude for David’s work in the community, “We are grateful for his decades of dedicated service to the organization and his passion for our mission”, stated SAAF’s Board President Anne Marie Simmons.

As SAAF looks toward the future we maintain our passion and mission to provide compassionate medical care and social services to people with HIV and AIDS and to help prevent the spread of HIV through education, counseling and testing.

Please know that most of our staff have been at SAAF for many years because this is the place they love, these are the clients we want to serve, and we remain steadfast in our dedication to being the best we can be. We hope to bring new, vitally needed services in the near future.

Currently, the SAAF board is conducting a search for both an Interim and a new SAAF Executive Director. Once this is done this information will be communicated to you, our constituent base. Until that occurs SAAF’s Deputy Executive Director, who has been at SAAF in that position for 15 years, will fill the essential duties.

SAAFs community and client-centered services will still be provided by our dedicated and mission driven staff. Annually assisting over 1000 unduplicated clients for case management and other social services, providing over 59,000 hot meals, providing STD/HIV prevention education to over 18,000 youth are just a few of the exceptional services provided to the growing community. SAAF has also added Hepatitis C and TB testing to the over 5,300 HIV and syphilis tests as part of our STD outreach. All of this while continuing to provide for our homeless HIV community through our transitional housing services.

If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to send them to [email protected] or call (210) 225-4715 and we will forward your messages on to the appropriate party.

Until there’s a cure…

—Team SAAF


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