Strategic re-alignment taking place at B&GH

November 12, 2020

Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina President/CEO Ricky Creech recently announced the first phase of a strategic re-alignment at the nonprofit to address coming federal regulations.

“The landscape of childcare is changing and we are preparing for the future,” said Creech. “Our goal is to be a leading organization when it comes to meeting the federal regulations of the Family First Prevention Services Act and other regulatory bodies. This requires a re-alignment of our services and focus, and the first step in that process is getting the leadership team in place.

“I have been impressed by the staff’s passion and commitment they have for the children and families we serve,” he continued. “I have been blessed to come into an organization where it truly is a re-alignment of a team that was already present. These changes enlarge the tent of decision-making, thus creating an environment for shared leadership and shared vision to occur.”

Donna Yalch was announced as the Chief Program Officer after serving as Vice President for Community Based Services for several years. In her new position, she will add Residential Services and Admissions to her previous responsibilities which included family foster care, therapeutic foster care, adoption, confidential intermediary services, a teen moms program, C.R.E.A.T.E. Hope, Success Coach and Carolyn’s Kaleidoscope Child Advocacy Center.

Yalch, who started as a social worker, has been with B&GH for nearly 20 years. In addition to her work at B&GH, she has served in leadership positions with Benchmarks, an alliance of nationally accredited agencies committed to providing quality care, leadership, and accountability in services to children, adults and families in North Carolina. Earlier this year she was named to the Permanency Design Team for the North Carolina Child and Family Services Plan (CFSP).

Ray Cockrell was named Chief Mission Officer after serving as Vice President for Development. He will continue to oversee the Development Division while adding Spiritual Development, Volunteer Mobilization, the Country Store and Alumni Center to his responsibilities.

“Ray will be responsible for holding the organization accountable in protecting the mission, vision, values, heritage and identity in all that we do and say,” Creech said.

Cockrell came to B&GH in 2005 and is a Certified Financial Planner. In addition to his work, he is active in scouting and serving as a leader for scouts in Troop 26 in Wilmington. He has coached both his sons’ athletic teams and is active in his church and the Wilmington Optimist Club.

Mike Garrell was named the Chief Operations Officer. Garrell previously served as the Director of Development with a focus on grant writing and grant management. He will continue this work while overseeing day-to-day operations in a variety of departments across campus.

“I was adopted soon after birth, so I see this as a way to pay it forward to those who found a home for me those many years ago,” Garrell said.

Garrell joined B&GH in 2017. 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.

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

Thomas Academy Principal George Ward III adds the Chief Academic Officer title to his work with the public charter school located on the B&GH campus.

Ward joined Thomas Academy in late July from Pine Springs Preparatory Academy having previously served as the Director of the NC STEM Teacher Education Program. He has also served in school leadership positions for the Wake County Public School System. He holds a B.S. in Education from North Carolina State University and a M.S.A. in School Administration from Western Carolina University. He also received Educational Specialist certification from North Carolina State University in Educational Leadership and Administration.

“We are making sure every student has quality educational experiences,” said Ward. “That may mean that we have to change the way we are doing things and improve other things. I find it very important to get input from the students and to make sure that their voices are heard throughout the school in all aspects of their educational experience.”

These officials join recently named Chief Financial Officer Daniel Nolan on the leadership team.

“Daniel has more than six years of experience working as a Revenue Field Auditor for the North Carolina Department of Revenue,” said Creech. “I look forward to seeing him apply his knowledge to help us lay the groundwork for financial longevity. This will be crucial for B&GH to continue to provide health, healing and hope for all who come through our doors.”

Nolan will officially join the team on Nov. 16. Nolan holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Accounting from Guilford College where he minored in Business Administration and Money and 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.

A Chief Clinical Officer will also serve on the leadership team once named.

About Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina

Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina, Inc., has been helping children since 1954. Since then, more than 7,500 children have benefitted from the services of the not-for-profit, 501(c)3 agency. Its mission is to provide a comprehensive array of services for children and youth who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other family dysfunction. B&GH offers adoption, family and therapeutic foster care, free children’s therapy, as well as residential care on the campus at Lake Waccamaw. The campus features a SACS-accredited school with a middle and high school curriculum, vocational education, recreation facilities, farm, chapel and cottage life. As many as 320 children are cared for through the residential, community-based services, and school program provided by B&GH at any given time. B&GH operates its program, services and activities in compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws. B&GH is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation.