Member Update March 2, 2016 - Georgia HOPE Welcomes a New CEO
Dalton, Georgia – February 11, 2016 – Georgia HOPE, a local, community-based provider of counseling services welcomes Nikki Raymond as the company’s new CEO, effective February 8, 2016. Ms. Raymond will be stepping into this role, which has been held by the agency’s co-owner Tanya Smith since 2006. Under Ms. Smith’s direction, Georgia HOPE evolved from an agency providing services to a handful of clients to a strong, state-recognized agency serving over 3,000 clients across 14 counties. Ms. Smith will remain a very active part of Georgia HOPE as the Managing Partner, and will join the Founding Partner, Mary Wise as an advisory board member.
Nikki Raymond is no stranger to Georgia HOPE. Over the past seven years, Ms. Raymond has served in several leadership roles at the agency, most recently as the VP of Operations. She holds Masters degrees in Business and Psychology in addition to 15+ years of experience serving children and families in inner-city and rural communities. Ms. Raymond possesses an exceptional blend of education and experience and is well equipped to move Georgia HOPE forward in its mission.
Additionally, Ms. Ramyond played an instrumental role in the company attaining NCQA accreditation as a Patient Centered Specialty Practice. Ms. Raymond accomplished the project in a time frame that placed the agency as the second accredited PCSP for Behavioral Health in the nation, the first for the state of Georgia, and the first in the nation for Level III, which is the highest level awarded for accreditation status. Another project Ms. Raymond championed is school based behavioral health services. Her advocacy, at the State and local levels, for serving children in school settings resulted in Georgia HOPE being selected as one of three private agencies awarded a grant for school based services in Georgia, which is currently being implemented in two Murray County elementary schools. Ms. Raymond states, “I’m honored to be granted the opportunity to lead this wonderful agency. I believe wholeheartedly in the mission and I have unwavering faith in its potential because of the qualified, passionate people that I have the pleasure of working with.”
This marks the first time in the history of the company to elect someone outside the partnership as CEO. Tanya Smith, outgoing CEO states, “While I have treasured my tenure as CEO of Georgia HOPE, I am most excited about the direction the agency is taking and have the utmost confidence in Ms. Raymond to do amazing things with and for Georgia HOPE, its stakeholders, staff, clients, and community partners.”
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