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Danita McCartney to fully lead KARM starting Oct. 1 after current CEO retires

Burt Rosen, CEO of Knox Area Rescue Ministries, announced his plans to retire in January. The transition will be finalized on Oct. 1.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Knox Area Rescue Ministries will have a new CEO starting October 1.

Burt Rosen announced in January he would be retiring as CEO of Knox Area Rescue Ministries after 20 years.

Danita McCartney, who currently serves as president, will take his place and serve as both president and CEO of KARM starting October 1.

“My prayer and dream for the future is that KARM will continue to spend itself on behalf of the homeless and hurting in our community and will continue to do the innovative things I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of all these years—being on the cutting edge of responding to people’s ever-changing needs without ever compromising who we are and what we do,” Rosen said.

Rosen started with KARM in May 2003.

KARM's services include helping the homeless and aiding families in times when they need emergency shelter. 

Rosen said his planned departure was "a bit bittersweet" but also exciting because of what the ministry can look forward to doing in the future.

McCartney has been with KARM for 13 years and was named president in 2021 as part of the multi-year transition process.

"I am honored to become KARM’s next CEO,” said McCartney. “This is an organization and a team I know well and care about deeply. With God’s help, I will faithfully continue the tradition of strong and visionary leadership being passed on to me.”

 KARM board officials said she has "an amazing heart for the homeless." 

"Burt Rosen has led KARM with vision, wisdom, and a reverential care for those most in need and often at risk in our community. His perseverance, faith, and steady hand have allowed KARM to grow, to prosper, and most importantly, to serve others as Jesus taught us," said Doug Yoakley, chair of KARM's board of directors. "Building on Burt’s leadership, we are blessed and grateful that Danita McCartney will become our next CEO. For more than a decade, she has proven herself as a trusted leader of KARM’s operations and development, and she is our Board’s unanimous choice to lead its future growth and service.”

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