Beech Acres Parenting Center introduced Laura Mitchell as its next president and CEO. Mitchell will lead Beech Acres as it builds upon 42 years of “progressive innovation” under the guidance of Jim Mason, who is retiring in June.
“I’m excited to embrace this new calling as President and CEO of Beech Acres Parenting Center and build on the achievements of the past 42 years under Jim’s leadership,” Mitchell said. “I look forward to being a part of the effort to help more children, families and caregivers unlock the power they already have to fully thrive during these challenging times.”
Mitchell’s lifetime of service has been centered on helping children become successful. Her passion for families, children and community are seen to form a perfect fit with the contemporary parenting agency’s innovative, successful track record of helping parents and communities raise children who can thrive in today’s complex and confusing world.
Since 2017, she has served as superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools, Greater Cincinnati’s largest and Ohio’s third largest school district. She had previous roles as deputy superintendent, program manager, principal and teacher over a period of 27 years.
Mitchell is already a member of the Beech Acres family having served on the Beech Acres board of directors since 2016, and her familiarity with its people, programs, and the community position her for a seamless transition to accelerate the agency’s growth. Her first day with Beech Acres in this new role will be June 15.
“Laura and I enjoy an authentic relationship, and we share a hopeful vision for the well-being of children, their families, and the institutions that serve them,” Mason said. “Her compassion for others and strength-based leadership style will leverage Beech Acres’ positive culture to achieve greater levels of community impact than ever before.”
Mitchell has a special understanding of the challenges faced by many of the families and children Beech Acres serves. As superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools, she sees the personal struggles children bring into the classrooms and has witnessed firsthand how Beech Acres’ unique, holistic strength-building approach can make a real difference in their lives.
A Beech Acres search committee conducted a nationwide search after Mason announced his retirement last year.
“We are looking forward to the next chapter of Beech Acres,” said Jenny Franta, the board chair for Beech Acres. “Laura’s passion for children and families, business acumen in leading complex organizations, her combination of strategic thinking and inspirational executive leadership, and her commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion make her the ideal candidate to lead Beech Acres.”
Jim Mason led the former General Protestant Orphan Home through its transition from a 19th-century orphanage to the 21st-century parenting center it is today. He received numerous awards and recognitions for his forward-thinking approach to children and families. According to Beech Acres, under his leadership, the organization “deepened and expanded its mission, inspired by his vision which focuses on intentionally building upon children’s strengths.”