(PRESS RELEASE) Bethany Christian Services, a global nonprofit committed to bringing and keeping families together, has announced the appointment of Chris Palusky as President and CEO.
Palusky, scheduled to join Bethany on Tuesday, January 2, 2018, is assuming the role from Bill Blacquiere, who has held the position for 12 years and has played an instrumental role in Bethany's evolution, helping to strengthen child welfare services here in the United States and developing countries around the world.
Palusky began his career at World Relief and most recently served as US Vice President of Private Funding and Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs at World Vision, a global Christian humanitarian organization partnering with children, families and their communities to tackle the causes of poverty and injustice.
He brings over 20 years of nonprofit experience to Bethany, having implemented and established multi-site teams that have flourished and grown to meet the needs of vulnerable populations around the world. As Bethany's President and CEO, Palusky will be responsible for developing long term strategy and direction, leading innovative change, and building impactful relationships and partnerships for one of the largest global Christian social services organizations.
"Having supported children and families in crisis for nearly 75 years, Bethany is one of the most well-respected organizations throughout the world, so I'm honored by the opportunity to join an exceptional staff of caring professionals committed to aiding vulnerable children," Palusky said.
"During his 31 years with Bethany, Bill Blacquiere has established a legacy of compassion that has led the agency to provide critical support to developing countries seeking to introduce or fortify their own child welfare programs," Palusky continued. "With more than 153 million vulnerable children around the world, there is much work left to be done, but through Bill's leadership at Bethany over the past decade and the devotion of the agency's generous donors, the possibility of supporting these children is stronger than ever. I look forward to working with my new colleagues as we continue to build on his legacy."
Fifty candidates applied to lead Bethany after Blacquiere announced his plan to retire effective December 31. After an extensive vetting and interview process, Bethany's Nominating Committee unanimously selected Palusky based on his track record of success with nonprofit organizations dedicated to humanitarian efforts.
"Bethany's heart is for children and we want to continue serving as a driving force of positive change for families around the world," said Garth Deur, Board Chair for Bethany. "Under Bill's guidance, Bethany has expanded its influence on countries hoping to enable children to remain in their home country with loving families. It's remarkable how much progress has been made in this area and the prospects for continued growth on such efforts moving forward.
"We are grateful for Bill's years of leadership and are confident that Chris is the ideal candidate to take the mantle and lead the organization for years to come."
To facilitate the transition, Blacquiere will remain with Bethany through the first part of 2018, providing counsel to Palusky as he settles into his new position.
"In my time with Bethany, I have seen many things change both inside the organization and within the field of child welfare services," said Blacquiere. "I have seen the shift to open adoption and a better understanding for the importance of the adoption triad - consisting of the child, birth parents and adoptive parents. I have seen our global programs grow to aid those in-country who need it most and I have seen continued dedication to provide loving homes for vulnerable children. As I prepare for my final weeks with the organization that has become a part of who I am, I know the amazing team we have assembled will ease Chris's transition."
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