Gainesville-Hall County nonprofit Center Point will further its 55-year-old commitment to student and family success with its new executive director Barbara Hicks Fleming at the helm.
Fleming’s transition from interim director — a position she assumed last year following the departure of the organization’s former executive director Mark Mobley — to a more permanent leadership role was announced Wednesday, Jan. 26, by the board of directors.
The ninth executive director in Center Point’s history, Fleming’s ties to the organization are longstanding, having served as director of program development following its 2016 merger with the Teen Pregnancy Prevention program, which she oversaw for several years, according to a press release.
Fleming, 56, said she is eager to follow in the footsteps of longtime director David Smith, who served from 1992 until his retirement in 2019.
“I look forward to carrying on the legacy that my dear friend David Smith established so many years ago to serve our community’s youth,” Fleming said. “Young people and their families need our steadfast help and support now more than ever during this exhausting pandemic.”
Founded by four area churches in 1967, Center Point operates out of two Hall County offices — its longtime headquarters near Gainesville High School and an office in Oakwood — and serves more than 10,000 youth and families with a “wide spectrum” of support services and programs. As an AdvancED-accredited academic program, the organization’s team of educators and licensed clinical psychologists, therapists and social workers also provide support to the city and county school systems.
With Fleming’s passion and years of nonprofit experience, Fleming “has the full confidence of our board to expand our outreach services to address the community’s ongoing mental health crisis in addition to partnering to improve high school graduation rates in this area,” the organization’s board chair Staci Tunkel said in a statement.