At the beginning of next year, Mary Sue Tanis, the founder and current leader of Youth Challenge, will be stepping out of her role of 42 years as Executive Director. She’s not retiring! Mary Sue will still very much be a part of YC, but will transition from her current position to focus on Planned Giving and Major Gifts.
“I’m excited to serve Youth Challenge in a whole new way,” said Tanis. “With countless opportunities ahead for these amazing children and teens, I am extremely happy to be able to play a role in securing our mission going forward.”
Over the past 18 months, the Youth Challenge Board of Trustees and members of our Board of Advisors have helped craft a plan to ensure an exceptional candidate was found to replace Mary Sue. Chris Garr, YC’s Director of Program Services, was voted unanimously by the Youth Challenge Board to serve as the next CEO & Executive Director. Ken Kasler, Chief Operating Officer, will continue to work in tandem with Chris to ensure the YC mission and services stay strong.
“I’ve held a deep passion for YC since first volunteering at the age of 12,” said Garr. “That passion has never waned, and I am proud to serve our families in this new capacity, alongside a staff of dedicated and caring professionals that are second to none.”
As Chris transitions to this new office, other program staffers will be shifting roles and responsibilities internally to keep YC running smoothly. We will be utilizing the talents, skills, and heart of program staff Sarah Perez-Stable, Mackenzie Vecchio, Megan Smith, Laurel Sweet King, and others to cover all areas of program operation.
To all of the YC volunteers, participants, donors, and families thank you for being a part of Team YC as we enter this new chapter in our history.