First Step Home names new CEO

The region’s only addiction recovery center serving single, married, pregnant, and women with children has chosen veteran clinical and administrative officer Cassidy Lekan to lead the agency.

Cassidy Lekan

“We are thrilled Cassidy Lekan is bringing her practical and academic experiences to lead our team of dedicated staff serving women in our residential and intensive outpatient treatment programs,” said Brent Dapper, board chair. “The selection committee was fortunate to meet a number of very inspiring candidates and we are confident that Cassidy is the right person to build upon the legacy of retiring Margo Spence.”

Spence announced her retirement effective Jan. 20, after leading the agency for over 21 years.

A Cleveland native, graduate of University of Dayton with a master’s in social work from the University of South Carolina, Lekan comes to First Step Home from Transitions, Northern Kentucky’s leading nonprofit evidence-based, person-centered substance use disorder treatment and recovery agency.

From Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio, Lekan joined Transitions in 2016 as clinical treatment director advancing to vice president and chief clinical director. At Northern Kentucky University Lekan is an adjunct instructor in the Master of Social Work Program. In Ohio, she is licensed as a Supervising Independent Social Worker (LISW-S) and a Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor (LICDC).

“What excited us about Cassidy was her background and experiences in social services, most recently as vice president and chief clinical officer of Northern Kentucky’s Transitions,” said Angie Hater, board vice chair and co-chair of the selection committee. “Cassidy’s understanding of the needs of women seeking addiction recovery, and her vision for the opportunities, while understanding the challenges ahead in today’s environment, is what sold us.”

As a volunteer, Lekan is a grief support group facilitator with Fernside. she serves on the board of directors of the Northern Kentucky Agency for Substance Abuse Policy (ASAP) and is member of the current Leadership Northern Kentucky Class.

Founded in 1993 and based in Walnut Hills, First Step Home is the only addiction treatment center in Greater Cincinnati allowing children, up to the age of 12, to live with their mothers while they are in treatment. It provides a continuum of care to women with substance use disorder. The selection committee was assisted by The Yunker Group, the Cincinnati-based management and search firm that works exclusively with nonprofit organizations.

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