Mark Melson has been appointed president and CEO of Fort Worth’s The Gladney Center of Adoption, a national leader in adoption services for 130 years, following the retirement of Frank Garrott, the organization announced Dec. 4.
Garrott, said he had been contemplating retirement since late summer and informed Gladney’s Board Chairman Christopher Dezzi about the decision last month.
In a letter to Gladney’s supporters and staff, Garrott described his 10-year tenure at the organization as a “challenging, wonderful and joyful” period of time.
“It has truly been an honor and privilege to work with everyone in the Gladney family,” said Garrott, “and people are right when they tell me, it’s the best job in the world. “There’s a time for everything, and for me, it’s a time to take up the next challenge and move on to the next chapter of my life.
“It will be hard to leave,” said Garrott. “I love Gladney. The agency provided for me personally because I am a Gladney parent. There are no words for the gratitude that I feel. When visualizing the end of the year, I know when I walk out the door, there will be a lump in my throat the size of a grapefruit.”
Dezzi said Melson’s presence as a current and established Gladney leader offered a unique opportunity for a seamless transition to the position.
Dezzi praised Garrott’s accomplishments, saying his compassion, dedication and wisdom were vital during some opportune and critical moments in the organization’s history.
“Not only has Gladney grown its mission to place thousands of children in loving homes,” said Dezzi, “he has also established innovative and far-reaching outreach efforts, such as the groundbreaking Pathways program as well as the Next Steps initiative that supports birth mothers. In addition, we have expanded our mission with the creation of both AdoptED and Gladney University. Frank has an extraordinary legacy here, and we will miss him personally and professionally.”
Garrott was the ninth person to lead Gladney during the organizatin’s 130 year history.
Melson’s appointment will be effective Jan. 1, 2018.
“Mark Melson is the right man at the right time for Gladney,” said Dezzi. “Our board has been focusing on all the issues related to future planning and succession. Mark was recently appointed as the Chief Operating Officer for Gladney. His service in that position as well as his work as Vice President for Development proved his solid operational and leadership abilities. We all look forward to Gladney’s next generation of leadership and growth under Mark.”
“It’s an honor to stand on the shoulders of those who came before me and lead this great organization,” said Melson. “After almost 10 years at Gladney I have seen how adoption has touched the lives of thousands of families, and as a Gladney Parent I have personally witnessed the miracle of adoption in my own home. I’m excited about our future and building on Gladney’s great legacy.”