July 25, 2018

Kellen to End Contract with IOA

The professional management company that provides administrative support to the International Ombudsman Association has announced that it will end its contract this year. An announcement from IOA Board President Marcia Martínez-Helfman indicates that the decision was made by Kellen unilaterally and unexpectedly. Just four months ago, Marla Schrager was announced as the new executive director and it was hoped that she would refocus IOA's strategic efforts.

Here's the full announcement:
Dear IOA Members:
On behalf of the IOA Board of Directors, I want to inform you of upcoming changes to IOA management. By way of background, IOA entered into a management services agreement with The Sherwood Group in 2014. In 2015 Sherwood was acquired by Kellen, and that company assumed responsibility to provide contracted staff services to IOA. During the last year and a half, the Board has engaged in discussions internally and with Kellen directly regarding the question of fit between their service model and corresponding costs, and IOA’s priorities and needs.
Earlier this month, Kellen advised IOA that they will end their contract with us toward the end of the year. Their decision was driven by both economic considerations as well as a shift in Kellen’s overall strategic priorities. Further discussions between Kellen and Board leadership provided additional clarity and a mutual understanding that IOA’s current and future needs can no longer be met by Kellen. While Kellen’s decision was not expected at this time, the IOA Board believes it presents an opportunity for our association to determine the management model that best fits our current strategic priorities and operational needs. Accordingly, the Board is immediately launching a process to identify new management options, beginning with the immediate engagement of a consultant, with the goal of completing a smooth transition by the beginning of 2019.
Kellen staff have been informed of this change, and their management team has committed to “business as usual” through the transition period. This means that your all-important member activities along with IOA’s committees, task forces, and the Board will move forward effectively and as smoothly as possible.
We are excited about the possibilities, and are working diligently to develop plans to accomplish this important transition. We will provide updates on our progress as plans unfold, with the goal of introducing you to a new management team later this year. If you have any questions or concerns about this change, please don’t hesitate to contact any Board member or me directly.

Marcia Martínez-Helfman, JD, MSW
President, International Ombudsman Association
Related posts: International Ombudsman Association to Hire First Executive DirectorIOA Board Elects 2018 OfficersIOA Selects New Executive Director.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) contracts with Naylor and have had nothing but good things to say about the relationship.

  3. Good! It is about time.