Andrea looking into the camera sitting next to a plaque with a thank you to ancestors

Dear Community,

We are writing to share bittersweet news. After a 20-year tenure with Byrd Barr Place, Andrea Caupain Sanderson will be stepping down as our CEO at the end of June 2023.

As a friend and supporter, you know Andrea has had an enormous and enduring impact on Byrd Barr Place — from securing ownership of the firehouse as our organization’s long-term home, to fortifying essential services for our neighbors struggling to make ends meet, and organizing significant advocacy on behalf of our Black community.

All of us will miss her brilliance, her passion and her presence. We will also miss her extraordinary ability to connect with community members and uplift their aspirations while ensuring foundational human needs are met.

We’re united in wishing her well in her next personal and professional endeavors. We know many of you will ask what Andrea is doing next. Immediately, she’ll be taking a few months off to be with her family, rest and restore as she contemplates her next steps.

The full board is committed to ensuring a smooth transition with continuity of services and programs. We have formed a search committee, and contracted with a Black woman-led firm, The Byers Group, to lead a national search.

We’ve listened to diverse community voices, and we know we want our next CEO to be a strategic visionary, strong and authentic relationship builder, community-centered and someone who excels at attracting organizational resources. As a historically Black organization, we are deeply committed to finding a next CEO who can carry forward that legacy, including our systems change and advocacy work.

We will be posting the job announcement on February 20 and hope to have final candidates identified by early May. If you have any suggestions for candidates or avenues for candidates, please reach out to Brett Byers at and Christine Boulware at We would be grateful for your input.

Throughout the process we will send periodic updates. For today, we wanted to share the news and assure you that Byrd Barr Place will continue to play a foundational role in the community.

Tamara Howie, Board Co-chair
Heyward Watson, Board Co-chair
Kevin Dawson Jr., Board President Emeritus