Brian Gerich, Senior Vice President of Public Storage and a well-known Orthodox philanthropist, has been named the new chairman of the Board of Directors for FOCUS North America , or Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve. Gerich succeeds Charles Ajalat, who completed a four-year chairmanship in January, 2013.
"FOCUS is a dynamic ministry and an expression of Christ's love, offering jobs, housing, feeding programs, and other human services to the homeless and working poor of America," said Gerich, "FOCUS also plays a vital role in bringing Orthodox Christians into direct relationship with the poor, positively impacting their own lives while helping those in need."
Under Ajalat's leadership as founder and first board chairman, FOCUS grew into a vibrant and strong organization with eight flagship FOCUS Centers across the country and a dedicated volunteer corps of more than 6,000 people. In 2013, FOCUS has forecasted an annual budget of $10 million, with service outreach programs planned for 29 cities.
Gerich said he is humbled to succeed Ajalat. "I have worked with Charles for over 25 years. Charles is an amazing man whom God has blessed with many gifts and talents. His commitment to serving the poor is amazing."
"In just four short years FOCUS has touched the lives of so many, and we're growing daily," said Executive Director Nicholas Chakos, "It's an exciting time in FOCUS' history."
FOCUS North America is a national movement of Orthodox Christians, united in faith and joined by a desire to provide action-oriented and sustainable solutions to poverty in communities across America.