Hannah Heinzekehr submitted her resignation to the board of directors of The Mennonite, Inc., on Oct. 31. Heinzekehr began as executive director for The Mennonite, Inc., in October 2015.
In January 2018, she will begin work as the Communications Program Director for the Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. She will continue to work with The Mennonite on a part-time basis as needed to ensure a smooth transition.
Prior to her work with The Mennonite, Heinzekehr served as director of communications and marketing for Mennonite Church USA and as the liaison between the Executive Board and the board for The Mennonite, Inc., from 2013-2015. She also worked as a Convention Planning Coordinator for Mennonite Church USA from 2011-2013.
During her time with The Mennonite, Inc., Heinzekehr led a process to redesign The Mennonite magazine, continued to build on the work of former executive director Anna Groff in building a robust online publication, seeing web traffic and social media engagement increase by over 40 percent, addressed budget challenges and brought The Mennonite back into the black in FYE17, and worked with unlock Ngenuity and Nekeisha Alexis to implement anti-oppression reviews.
“It has been an honor to serve as part of The Mennonite’s staff,” says Heinzekehr. “I deeply believe in the mission of The Mennonite and of MC USA. I have grown to love so many people and congregations across the church and have been honored that they’ve been willing to share their stories with me and with the broader church.”
Gordon Houser will continue as editor of the print magazine, a role he moved into in 2015.
“In an era where our church is undergoing widespread change and we’re beginning a new process to examine how God is calling MC USA today, I firmly believe that the work of The Mennonite is more vital and important than ever,” says Heinzekehr. “I have the utmost confidence that the staff and board of The Mennonite, and a new executive director, are well positioned to continue this important work.”
The board of The Mennonite, Inc., and the Executive Board of MC USA, which must approve the selection of Heinzekehr’s successor, will coordinate the transition to a new executive director.
“Hannah has been a significant leader in our organization at a time of major change among church-affiliated media,” says Barth Hague, chair of The Mennonite, Inc., board. “She has carefully led us into a full embrace of digital content distribution and helped chart a future for The Mennonite, TMail and other platforms in the midst of transition within Mennonite Church USA. Her gifts will be missed. Our board will work carefully to ensure that the next executive director will be able to continue on the path Hannah has helped establish.”
Heinzekehr, originally from Goshen, Ind., graduated from Bluffton (Ohio) University in 2007 with a degree in communications. She earned a master’s degree in theological studies and leadership from Claremont (Calif.) School of Theology in 2012.
She is a member of Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship, Goshen, Ind., and is married to Justin Heinzekehr, director of institutional research and assessment at Goshen College. They have a daughter, Ellie, and a son, Conrad.