February 1, 2011
Baltimore, Md. (IOCC) — Oklahoma City attorney Michael S. "Mickey" Homsey was named as the new chairman of the Board of Directors for International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), a humanitarian relief and development organization of Orthodox Christians based in Baltimore, Maryland. Homsey succeeds Alex Machaskee who served two two-year terms as the chairman of the board, the maximum allowed by the organization's charter.
"The IOCC Board, staff and volunteers have shown an extraordinary dedication in their response to people in times of need and to addressing human suffering and poverty in more than 30 countries over the past twenty years," said Homsey. "I am honored to have been elected as the new chairman and look forward to the opportunity to build on Alex Machaskee's leadership as we look to expand our work in service to the poor."
Under Machaskee's leadership IOCC expanded operations in Africa, including new programs in Cameroon where he recently visited to observe a growing initiative to provide educational opportunities for public school children. IOCC programs also continued in southeastern Europe where Machaskee led an effort to fund vital education and agriculture projects in Kosovo. During his tenure, IOCC also expanded services to disabled children in Serbia and launched major programs with the Romanian Orthodox Church to strengthen their capacity to deliver social services.
"It is remarkable to see first-hand the tremendous opportunity and impact that the support of volunteers like the IOCC Board, Metropolitan Committees and thousands of donors are having for children in places like Cameroon," said Machaskee, who recently met with Cameroonian government officials and the prime minister. "IOCC has great potential for expanding this outreach and we must do as much as we can to support these efforts."
IOCC also recently expanded its educational programs in Lebanon with the announcement of a $26.4 million initiative to improve student achievement, expand after-school programs, provide training for public school teachers and upgrade educational facilities in 600 Lebanese public schools over the next four years.
Homsey and the IOCC Board of Directors will guide the organization through a number of key initiatives, including a year-long commemoration of the organization's twentieth anniversary beginning in 2011, the continued growth of the IOCC endowment to support expansion of IOCC's work in health, agriculture and educational programs, and the ongoing efforts to increase programming in Africa and the Middle East. These advances will allow IOCC to continue its mission of offering emergency relief and development programs worldwide and strengthening the capacity of the Orthodox Church to respond.
"IOCC is preparing to mark an exciting milestone in its history" said Constantine M. Triantafilou, IOCC executive director and CEO. "As we celebrate the achievements of the dedicated members of the board who have made our work over the past twenty years possible, I look forward to working with this exceptional group of people as we prepare to expand programs that make a real difference for people in need."
IOCC, founded in 1992 as the official humanitarian aid agency of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), has implemented programs in more than 35 countries around the world. IOCC is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.