President Ricky CreechRicky Creech

Ricky Creech began his tenure as the President/CEO of Boys & Girls Homes of North Carolina on October 1, 2020.

He joins us after serving as CEO at Southstone Behavioral Health Center in Virginia. He had previously served as President and CEO of Buckhorn Children & Family Services.

A graduate of the South Carolina Fire Academy, he received his Associate of Arts degree from North Greenville University, his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Furman University, his Masters of Social Work from Baptist Theological Seminary and has done extensive study and work in the area of Traumatology.

An ordained minister, Ricky was the Executive Director for the District of Columbia Baptist Convention and the Executive Director of the Birmingham Baptist Association.

Donna Yalch
Chief Program Officer

Donna Yalch is Chief Program Officer overseeing the Residential Services Division, Community-Based Services Division and Admissions Department.

Donna is a graduate of West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree in social work. She has more than 20 years of experience in protecting children and strengthening families.

In 2001, Donna joined B&GH as a foster care consultant and, as a result, was introduced to two young children she and her husband, Joe, would later adopt. After the birth of their son, Adam, they welcomed Brandon and Megan into the Yalch family with open arms. Donna enjoys following Mountaineer football and spending time with her family.

Ray Cockrell, CFP®
Chief Mission Officer


Ray Cockrell is Chief Mission Officer, responsible for holding the organization accountable in protecting the mission, vision, values, heritage and identity of B&GH in all that we do and say.

Since joining the development team at B&GH in April 2005, his focus has been planned giving and major gifts. He is a Certified Financial Planner and holds both a bachelor and master's degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. In addition to his work, Ray is active in scouting and serves as the leader for the scouts in Troop 26 in Wilmington. He has coached both his son's athletic teams and is active in his church and the Wilmington Optimist Club.

Mike Garrell

Chief Operations Officer


Mike GarrellMike Garrell is the Chief Operations Officer, overseeing the day-to-day operations of a variety of departments across campus.

Mike joined B&GH in 2017 as the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations responsible for writing grants. He was promoted to Development Director before taking on his current role.

A native of Columbus County, he attended Tabor City High School. He served 21 years in the U.S. Air Force with a specialty in missiles and satellite operations. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel and then became a defense and intelligence consultant to government agencies in Washington, D.C. for 12 years. He worked as a real estate agent for several years before returning to his country home in 2015.

Mike has a Business Management degree from NC State University and a Masters from Chapman University.

Daniel Nolan
Chief Financial Officer

Daniel NolanDaniel oversees the Finance Office, business development, utilization management & review, insurance billing, business contracts, audits & reviews, and investments.

He joined B&GH in November 2020 after more than six years working as a Revenue Field Auditor for the North Carolina Department of Revenue. During his time there, he was a co-founding member of the NCDOR's Business Intelligence Analytics Programs for Audit Selection where he assisted in the development of essential software and databases for audit initiatives. Daniel also served as a trainer across the state to implement those initiatives.

Daniel holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Accounting from Guildford College where he minored in Business Administration and Money & Finance. He is currently completing the coursework for a Master's Degree in Finance and Investment Management at the University of North Carolina - Wilmington with a projected graduation date of May 2021.

He has a longstanding family connection with the organization. His father was a B&GH resident from the age of 12 through adulthood. Both his parents served as house parents in the Civitan and Kiwanis Cottages and Daniel spent his early childhood on the B&GH campus.

George Ward
Chief Academic Officer

George Ward IIIGeorge oversees Thomas Academy operations, staff & faculty.

He has previously served as a principal, assistant principal and teacher in Wake County. He has also been involved in training STEM teachers throughout North Carolina and education policy work for the NC State Board of Education.

George earned his undergraduate degree in Middle Grades Education from North Carolina State University, a Master's Degree in School Administration from Western Carolina University and an Educational Specialist degree from North Carolina State University.

He enjoys streaming his losses in Fortnite with his super-sized Great Dane, Grayson, by his side in the recliner. He also occasionally catches a large bass while finishing at a nearby lake.

Courtney James
Chief Clinical Officer

Courtney JamesCourtney is facilitating the new clinical model at Boys & Girls Homes known as The Waccamaw Way.

She also oversees the residential and community-based clinical departments, the nursing/medical department and nutritional services.

Courtney joined Boys & Girls Homes in 2012 to complete her internship while working on her Master's of Social Work Degree. Since that time she has taken on increasing levels of responsibility as a Therapeutic Foster Care Consultant, Therapeutic Foster Care Supervisor, Director of Therapeutic Foster Care, Clinical Director, and Carolyn's Kaleidoscope Child Advocacy Center Clinical Mental Health Director.