White’s Residential & Family Services, one of Indiana’s oldest and largest nonprofit social services agencies, celebrates the remarkable 40-year career of Chief Executive Officer Dee Gibson. Gibson has announced his retirement and 2017 will be his last year as CEO.
“Kathy and I know that we could not have accomplished what we did at White’s without the backing of the hard-working and dedicated staff, many of whom are like family. We’ve been honored to spend our professional careers at White’s Residential & Family Services. My wife, Kathy, has been my teammate throughout my career, and I am ever so grateful for what we have accomplished together. White’s is a very strong organization and I am retiring with full confidence in the leadership team and future of the organization,” Gibson said.
Gibson’s retirement celebrates a career centered on the well-being of children. He has served on numerous boards and committees dedicated to the welfare of children including the 2004 Indiana Commission for Abused and Neglected Children and their Families. Gibson was the first president of IARCA’s Institute for Excellence Board of Directors and Public Policy Committee. In addition, he was president of the board of directors of the Indiana Association of Resources and Child Advocacy and has served on the board for more than two decades.
“Each and every day at White’s, we provide hope for children, teens and families in need of guidance. No one has been more committed to this mission than Dee. He has challenged staff, families and children to strive toward lives of character and service to others and God. His leadership and vision has helped to make White’s what it is today.” said Board Chair Dr. Eric Dale.
Gibson has served at White’s for 40 years – 19 of those as CEO. Under Gibson’s time as CEO, White’s has accomplished many of its long-term strategic initiatives. Dale cited a number of accomplishments during Gibson’s leadership, including:
- Created specialized residential treatment programs, specifically the Growing Teens for Life Initiative and Substance Abuse Program.
- Acquired Christian Haven, a residential treatment center for boys and girls in Wheatfield near Valparaiso, Ind. The 2014 addition was the result of careful planning by White’s and its board and allowed White’s to expand its level of care to secure care programs.
- Based on his belief that no family is exempt from tough times, Gibson opened White’s first private-pay, parent-choice residential treatment center for troubled teen girls, Compass Rose Academy, in 2012 to reach teens who have not yet entered the juvenile justice system.
- Expanded statewide with new offices in Columbus, Fort Wayne and South Bend, enabling White’s to serve more youths and families and grow its foster care programs.
- Launched home-based services and special needs adoption programs.
- Grew and improved the 800-acre campus with the addition of the Hodson Center, Student Family Life Center and Greenhouse, and performed much-needed renovations to the chapel and swimming pool.
- Established White’s first development office in 1997 and significantly grew its endowment to sustain White’s tradition of serving at-risk children, teens and families.
“Dee showed with the opening of Compass Rose Academy that he understands the pressures of parents today and has constantly been proactive with programming to meet the needs of children and their families,” said Dr. John Townsend, a New York Times best-selling author and consultant to Compass Rose Academy. “However, what I might admire most about Dee is that he is a man of faith who has guided White’s to be a faith-living organization every day.”
Since 2012, White’s board of trustees has been involved in succession planning and has initiated the procedures for the CEO search. White’s has engaged Keystone Executive Recruiting and Consulting to assist in the search for a new chief executive officer. Keystone will consider internal and external candidates for the position. A job announcement is available here. Gibson will remain CEO at White’s throughout 2017 until a successor is chosen to carry on the traditions of the 160-year organization.