Boys and Girls Homes Announces New President
McNeil Chestnut, chairman of the Board of Trustees for Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina Inc., announced recently that Gary Faircloth has been chosen as president of the organization, succeeding Bill Thompson Jr., who retired in November.
Chestnut stated that "the Board, through its search and executive committees, has worked diligently to find a successor for the president," said Chestnut.
"We are happy to have found an individual with the qualifications and history with the Homes that Gary has to lead it through its next period of service to children."
Faircloth, who currently resides in Michigan, becomes just the sixth permanent leader of the Homes. Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina Inc. was formed as a home for boys in 1954.
Later, services for girls were added, and the agency became Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina Inc.
Today, the Homes provide both residential and foster care/adoption services to children ages birth to 21.
Faircloth has a unique relationship with the Homes in that as a youth he was a resident of Boys Homes.
After graduation from high school and college he returned to the Homes as an employee, working directly with the children and later in development and planned giving.
In 1970, Faircloth married Betty Engen, whose parents Eugene and Leola Engen operated a local eating establishment, Penn's Grill, in nearby Whiteville and whom he met while living at the Homes. They have two sons, Brad and Travis.
Faircloth says he and Betty have worked together as a team in all their ventures, and it is that closeness that has allowed them to experience happiness and success in their work, family, and community. Faircloth graduated from Hallsboro High School in 1966. He received an associate degree from Southeastern Community College near Whiteville in 1970.
In 1972 he graduated from East Carolina University with a bachelor's degree in social welfare with a composite in juvenile correctional services.
In 1982 he attended and received certification from the National Planned Giving Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Memphis, Tenn. He completed studies with the Southeastern Trust School of Campbell University in 1989 and attended the Institute for Healing Racism, becoming certified as a trainer in 2002.
Faircloth was director of social, group life, and educational services for Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina Inc. from 1973-77; was co-owner/operator of Penn's Grill in Whiteville from 1977-80; civic club coordinator, director of planned giving, director of development for Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina Inc. from 1980-88; trust officer/ business development for United Carolina Bank from 1988-90; vice president for Starr Commonwealth Schools in Albion, Mich., from 1990 to 2002; and currently is co-owner/operator of Captain Luey's Calabash Seafood Restaurant in Battle Creek, Mich.
Faircloth says he and Betty are excited about returning to North Carolina after several fruitful years in Michigan.
"We are really looking forward to returning to North Carolina and rejoining the Boys and Girls Homes family," he says.
"Boys and Girls Homes played an important role in my life and in the lives of thousands of otherwise 'on-the-street' children since its founding by A.D. Peacock. Sad to say, the need for the Homes is greater than ever.
"The abuse and neglect of children still permeates each community in each state throughout our country. I appreciate this opportunity and look forward to working with the board, staff, and our supporters in offering comfort, guidance, and support to the children who come into our care."
Faircloth is expected to take over the leadership of the Homes from Interim President Becky Wray this summer.
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