FamilyMeans Board of Directors Announce the Retirement of President Arba-Della Beck

FamilyMeans Board of Directors Announce the Retirement of President Arba-Della Beck

Feb 03, 2020

The FamilyMeans board of directors announce that our president, Arba-Della Beck, has chosen to retire in June 2020. In her letter she states: “It has been gratifying and challenging beyond any expectations. I have found so much joy in my work. We all recognize the changes in family life over past two decades, and I am proud of what we have accomplished.”

For 24 years, Arba-Della has been a committed champion of FamilyMeans’ mission. Under her leadership, the 57-year-old nonprofit has grown to serve over 16,000 clients each year with an annual budget of $4.7 million. FamilyMeans’ has over 50 employees and over 220 annual volunteers work seamlessly to fulfill the agency’s mission: to strengthen communities by helping individuals and families through challenges in all life stages.

“In recent memory, no one has had more impact on the success of the agency than Arba-Della, and because of her leadership we are an invaluable local resource for those who seek our services,” said Liz McGinley, board chair.  Further, “we celebrate Arba-Della and her accomplished tenure at FamilyMeans, and more importantly, we value her friendship and wisdom which has benefited many,” added Brian Gunderson, board vice chair, “and we wish her the very best.”

Since 1996, Arba-Della Beck has led collaboratively and fostered strong partnerships which has allowed the multi-service agency to increase its impact:

Counseling & Therapy: outpatient mental health services at three clinical sites (Stillwater, Hudson, and Center for Grief & Loss in Saint Paul) and in 24 schools in five districts utilizing school-based mental health therapists. In District 834, we provide coverage on all student-session days at Stillwater Area High School’s Wellness Center.  

Caregiving & Aging: responds to the needs of caregivers by providing in-home or group respite (such as DayOut!), individualized caregiver coaching and support, patient and family-learning series, community education, and Memory Cafes (Lake Elmo, Cottage Grove, Hugo, and Woodbury). Recently launched, the team provides innovative Virtual Reality Dementia Experiences. The Caregiving & Aging team is a lead partner for the ACT On Alzheimer’s initiative to make the Stillwater area a dementia-friendly community.

Employee Assistance: contracted and funded by employers as a benefit for employees, services are designed to manage personal and work-related challenges and mitigate these effects on overall employee well-being and on-the-job performance.

Financial Solutions: as a member of National Foundation for Credit Counseling, FamilyMeans offers budget counseling, financial education, plus the successful Debt Management Program (DMP), which helped over 1,100 families pay back over $5.5 million in debt last year. Counseling sessions occur in person in Stillwater, Saint Paul, Rochester, and Eau Claire and by phone or online for clients across Minnesota and Wisconsin. 

Youth Development: free, year-round programming for youth (ages 5-18) in the underserved communities of Cimarron and Landfall. Youth participants form positive relationships with program staff and volunteers through activities in arts, nutrition, fitness (especially summer cycling), podcasting, and life skills. Teens are encouraged to engage in Ready To Be programming to chart post-secondary life pathways. 

To strengthen programs during her term, Arba-Della Beck successfully led FamilyMeans through three merger-acquisitions: Consumer Credit Counseling of Minnesota (2000), Rochester Family Services Consumer Credit Counseling (2004), and the Center for Grief & Loss (2012.) She helmed two fundraising capital campaigns to improve facilities that reflect dignity of services provided: first, in 2004, a main clinical and administrative office in Stillwater by raising $6 million (including mortgage-free facility and $1 million in maintenance fund) and in 2015 by raising $1 million for a youth development facility in Cimarron, Lake Elmo. Likewise, she helped to establish two program-endowment funds (at the St. Paul & Minnesota Foundation and St. Croix Valley Foundation) that have grown to over $2 million in assets.

FamilyMeans actively maintains its credential by the New York-based Council on Accreditation (COA), which started just prior to Arba-Della Beck’s arrival. Charities Review Council has given its seal of approval as well. For its 50th anniversary in 2013, FamilyMeans was named one of the 50 best employers in the Twin Cities. In 2019, the agency received several accolades. First, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling named a Financial Solutions certified consumer credit counselor as National Counselor of the Year. Next, the Cimarron Teens’ podcasts won the Cultural Jambalaya Award. Lastly, the agency was honored as a Points of Light Service Enterprise organization, placing it in the top 11% nationally for outstanding volunteer management.   

Arba-Della Beck has garnered loyalty from her staff. Set by her example, the management team has over 99 years of experience with the agency!

Known throughout the St. Croix Valley, Arba-Della Beck has tirelessly volunteered her leadership on the boards of Sunrise Rotary, United Way of Washington County East, Lakeview Hospital, Lakeview Hospital Foundation, Trinity Lutheran Church, and numerous advisory councils for the Stillwater School District and other local aging or mental health initiatives. 

Arba-Della Beck brought to the agency a Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Iowa and later earned a Masters of Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas. She was awarded a Bush Fellowship to pursue an executive certificate in management at Smith College.  She earned an UMN Carlson School of Management Executive Education certificate. Arba-Della is the mother of four adult children, all graduates of Stillwater High School. In retirement, she will relish time as grandmother and her passion for travel and meeting people from all over the world.

FamilyMeans has benefited from her compassionate and wise leadership for over two decades. We appreciate Arba-Della for building strong relationships with our funders and other partners. We especially thank her for always reminding us of our shared humanity.   

On Monday, February 3, the board of directors will post a job announcement for the role of the agency’s fifth President. Applications will be accepted through February 28. The board is excited to find a leader who will lead the organization in its next chapter. Please visit our website for more information: