Hillcrest Family Services announced Monday that its most- recent president and CEO “is no longer serving in that capacity.”
The longtime executive she succeeded has returned to lead the organization on an interim basis.
A press release shared first with the Telegraph Herald on Monday afternoon stated that Julie Heiderscheit no longer is serving as president and CEO. She had held the position since April 2017.
The release does not provide information on the reason for the move.
Meanwhile, Gary Gansemer has returned to serve as interim president and CEO. Heiderscheit succeeded Gansemer when he retired after leading Hillcrest for 19 years.
Gansemer told the Telegraph Herald that he was asked to come back and lead the organization on a part-time basis while its board of directors looks for a permanent replacement.
When asked about the reason for Heiderscheit’s departure, Gansemer declined to comment on the nature of her departure.
“The board did a lot of careful thought and decision-making,” Gansemer said. “That’s all I can say.”
When reached by the TH, Heiderscheit said she did not resign from the CEO position and hopes to still assist the organization in some capacity. She has worked since 2006 for the Dubuque nonprofit, which provides mental health, education and residential care services.
When asked about no longer being CEO and president, Heiderscheit said she was “labeled unconventional in some of my approaches,” but she declined to elaborate further.
“I can’t give an opinion that would jeopardize some of the circumstances that are continuing to unfold,” she said.
In an emailed statement sent later in the day, Heiderscheit provided further context to her departure.
“Unfortunately, the same principles I hold dear can be a philosophical downfall when it comes to leadership,” she stated. “I believe all human beings deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and there is nothing I would ever ask anyone to do that I would not be willing to do myself.”
Gansemer said the board of directors hopes to find a permanent replacement by the end of the year.
He added that he has no intention of taking on the CEO position permanently again, saying he has enjoyed his retirement.
“I’m keeping my foot partially in retirement,” Gansemer said. “I am excited by this opportunity to serve again.”