KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — After nearly 20 years in service, the CEO of Knox Area Rescue Ministries is preparing to retire. Burt Rosen started his work with the ministry in 2003.

Since then, he has seen KARM grow while the needs of the community has more than doubled. Rosen said that when he started, the ministry was serving around 200 meals a day. Now the organization serves closer to 1,000 meals a day.

Rosen will stay on through October, gradually passing the baton to Danita McCartney, the current KARM president.

“In all this, as Danita and I and the leadership team are working together, it will be almost seamless,” Rosen said. “People will just say, ‘You know what we can hardly tell Burt’s not there anymore.’ The team is in place and Danita will be the one to pick up the baton and carry it forward.”

“KARM has evolved over sixty-one years to meet the everchanging needs of our homeless. I’m excited about what that looks like in the future and the opportunity to lead those endeavors as we venture into areas where we know there’s a current need and that need needs to be met and we’re excited about that,” McCartney said.

McCartney has served with KARM for 12 years. Rosen says he waited to retire until he knew he found the perfect replacement.