With responsibility for a $30 million budget, 400 employees and 22,000 customers, Bill Hallerman is every bit a corporate executive, but his job comes with some features other execs don’t deal with. Catholic Community Services, for which Hallerman is agency director, operates shelters and day centers, provides housing assistance and offers social services to a sister agency. All are part of the church’s efforts to deal with the growing and pressing problems of poverty and homelessness.
Hallerman didn’t come from a business background. His master’s degree is in theology with a concentration on social justice. Instead, he learned from the ground up, working with the poor and managing small shelters.
“As the homeless crisis has grown and the response has needed to grow, I found myself having more and more work organizationally and management-wise to improve our responses and our systems,” Hallerman says. The techniques he uses to do that are straight out of the corporate playbook. “We’re more data driven than ever,” he says. “We’re willing to pivot to what the data tell us is working.’
And just like other corporate executives, Hallerman’s job is to ensure Catholic Community Services stays focused on its core mission. “One of the great gifts we have is tremendous people who are incredibly committed to this work but are also really creative,” he adds. “My job is to take care of the culture of this place.”