Important IRWA Member Communication

    Dear IRWA Members,

    Over the past several months, the International Executive Committee (IEC) has worked with a human resources (HR) consulting firm, Vantaggio HR, who performed an HR assessment at Headquarters (HQ). Vantaggio was tasked with meeting our employees and hearing from them what they felt were the strengths of the Organization and where we needed to make improvements. They were asked to focus on the interpersonal dynamics at HQ and to advise if we had the proverbial ‘right people on the bus’ and in the ‘right seats’.

    In January, 2019, Vantaggio met with each staff member, which included approximately an hour with each of our senior level managers. After these meetings, Vantaggio came back to the IEC with their findings and recommendations the first week in February. For the next 6 weeks, the IEC had numerous meetings, conference calls, and consultations with one another and with Vantaggio to determine a go-forward action plan. The issues at hand were complex, intertwined, and needed in-depth deliberation before implementation.

    After significant consideration and consultation with Vantaggio and an employment law specialist, the IEC came to the difficult decision that it would be in the IRWA’s best interest to replace Mark Rieck as our CEO. Effective May 2, 2019, Mr. Rieck has been terminated from employment with the IRWA.

    Daniel Stekol, Sr. VP of International Relations, will immediately assume responsibility for internal HQ operations reporting directly to the IEC, until a new Chief Executive Officer is hired. Rakhshan Mazarei, Controller/Personnel Manager, will immediately assume responsibility for HQ financial matters, also reporting directly to the IEC, until a decision can be reached about replacing Chief Financial Officer, Fred Nasri who is retiring on May 15, 2019. Our consultants from Vantaggio will be providing on-site HR services at HQ and work with the IEC to craft a recruitment strategy for bringing a new executive officer on board.

    Jeff Jones, International President and a representative from Vantaggio conducted an all staff meeting at HQ on May 2, 2019 to communicate with employees this change. They also met one-on-one with key staff members to answer questions and to ensure that areas of responsibility are met while we reorganize.

    While we know this amounts to very significant change, the IEC is confident that this plan will result in positive improvement for the Organization. We have thanked Mr. Rieck for his many years of service and contributions to the IRWA, wish him well in his future endeavors, and are ready to focus on the future.

    Please reach out to the IEC, Region Chairs, or Daniel Stekol with questions.

    We look forward to a successful Conference in June and forging plans for a successful new chapter for the IRWA.



    Jeffrey L. Jones, SR/WA

    International President