VerWys said he intends to be quick to listen and slow to speak during his first 90 days in his new job.
"Let's be honest, I recognize no one could replace Jonathan Bradford," VerWys said. "I'm not coming into a situation where it's a crisis. Things are going really well here. The best thing I can do is a lot of learning and a lot of listening."
The 37-year-old VerWys is the son of a Reformed Church in America minister. He has been married for 15 years to his wife Rachel. The couple has four children ranging in ages from 3 to 9 years.
"I feel a call to advancing God's Kingdom, particularly to advancing shalom in communities," VerWys said. "I was created for this position. ICCF does not see people as objects of charity but works with them. We provide folks with the know-how to maximize their own transformation."
ICCF board president Ted Cox said VerWys is a hand-in-glove fit.
"His wealth of experience and demonstrated leadership in serving vulnerable neighbors will help ICCF move forward in its mission to ensure access to affordable housing opportunities and services that encourage family responsibility and independence thereby helping to build stable communities," Cox said.
VerWys' most recent stint was director of operations for the Christian Reformed Home Missions, a position he held for a year starting in June 2014.
Prior to relocating to West Michigan, VerWys served as the founding executive director of Kingdom Causes in Bellflower, Calif., an organization that addressed homelessness, created affordable housing, provided employment-training, and encouraged neighborhood development.
As president/CEO of ICCF, VerWys will lead a team of 40 staff members in housing development, construction, property management, housing education and counseling and finance.
Together they will continue to serve households across Western Michigan with emergency shelter, rental and home ownership opportunities and a broad array of housing and life skill learning opportunities.
"I don't plan on bringing a bunch of changes but instead, continuing the momentum ICCF already has, and coming alongside and learning and supporting a great team that's here," VerWys said. "We can't pay the staff what the market can pay. The people who work here are connecting to a cause."
It all started 41 years ago
ICCF was founded in the Grand Rapids area in 1974 in a donated home that Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church renovated. Its corporate offices moved to its current location at 920 Cherry St. SE in 2007, which is a neoclassical-style building that formerly was the D.A. Blodgett Home For Children that opened in 1908 to care for orphans.
For more information, call ICCF at (616) 336-9333 or go to www.iccf.org.