The Beech Brook Board of Directors has announced the retirement of President/CEO Debra Rex, M.A., M.Ed., effective November 17, 2017, according to Philip M. Dawson, board chairman.

Rex joined the organization in 1991 and has served in a number of leadership capacities since then, becoming CEO in 2005 and adding the responsibility of president in 2013.

“During her 26 years at Beech Brook, Debra has guided the agency’s transition from a residential treatment provider to a community-based organization that offers a wide range of prevention and early intervention programs that protect children and strengthen families,” said Philip Dawson, chairman of the board. “She has also been a tireless advocate for our society’s most vulnerable children and families, ensuring that Beech Brook’s voice was heard at every level of government whenever the well-being of children and families was at stake. Although it was her heart and passion for helping children that led her into this field, it has been her tremendous talent for strategic thinking and planning, change management, and developing a culture of continuous learning and high performance that has allowed Beech Brook to navigate the changing and challenging world of behavioral health care. She will be greatly missed.”

Beech Brook Executive Vice President Thomas P. Royer, MPA, has been named president/CEO, also effective November 17. Royer has served the organization in many capacities since joining the staff in 1991, beginning in direct service positions with children and families and moving up through a number of leadership roles. Most recently, he has overseen all programs and services and represented Beech Brook externally with many groups and collaborators.

“As board members, we have great confidence in Tom’s ability to continue in Debra’s footsteps and guide this organization into the future. His range of experience and knowledge about all aspects of Beech Brook’s services and operations will make this a seamless transition of leadership,” said Dawson.

Rex will continue as an executive advisor on a part-time basis until January 19 and will be available after that on a consulting basis, as needed, to ensure a seamless transition.

Founded in 1852, Beech Brook is now in its 165th year of serving children and families. Last year Beech Brook served more than 15,000 children and families through programs including: child abuse prevention and early intervention; school-based mental health; outpatient counseling; foster care; family preservation; parent education; comprehensive sex education; divorce education workshops; community-based services for at-risk youth; and more.

Beech Brook is headquartered at 3737 Lander Rd., Pepper Pike.

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