CAN Development Consultant and Coordinator: Request for Proposals

The Next Phase of the Central Appalachian Network

A note from the CAN Steering Committee & Rural Support Partners:

We are writing, with tremendous excitement, to update you about the Central Appalachian Network’s (CAN) next phase of development. CAN is in the strongest position it has ever been with over 100 practitioner organizations collaborating within four working groups focused on advancing the equitable, just, and sustainable economic transition of Central Appalachia. The CAN Steering Committee is also restructuring how CAN operates to center equity at the core of our work and build out a democratic and inclusive network. As CAN grows, we know that its management and structure must change to support that work.

We know that part of restructuring CAN to be more equitable and democratic so that it is better organized to carry out its equity-centered regional work requires some decentralization of management responsibilities and decision-making power. To that point, Rural Support Partners (RSP), our backbone support team for the past twelve years, has decided that it is time for RSP to help CAN move into this next phase but not to manage the Network going forward. As Thomas Watson, RSP’s owner, put it, “Thoughtful leaders know when it’s time for a change. It’s time for CAN to have new management and it’s time for RSP to pursue some new directions.”

CAN’s partnership with Rural Support Partners has been instrumental in getting us where we are today. RSP has an incredible team and will be greatly missed by all Network members. Fortunately, we know RSP remains deeply dedicated to CAN and the region and will continue to do great work as partners to our collective efforts across Appalachian. Together, the Steering Committee and RSP decided upon a six-month transition plan that slowly transitions RSP out of the backbone support role before November 2022. Until that time, RSP will continue to partner with and support the Network as it always has.

What’s Next?

We are excited about CAN’s future development and our possibilities to expand our collective impact moving forward. As part of the restructuring, we are hiring two positions that will support CAN’s growth: a Network consultant and a Network coordinator. The Network consultant will engage CAN members on their vision for our future structure as well as work with the Steering Committee and Working Group Co-Chairs to build out a more democratic management structure for advancing CAN’s future efforts. The Network Coordinator will help move CAN’s work forward over the next year by coordinating the fantastic work that the Working Groups and the Steering Committee are already doing.

The combined RFP for these positions can be viewed below, or download the PDF here.


CAN Development Consultant and Coordinator RFP.docx

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with questions:

In Service,

CAN Executive Steering Committee
Aleta Botts, Brandon Dennison, Debbie Phillips, and Leslie Schaller

Thomas Watson, Owner & Managing Director, Rural Support Partners