(NORCROSS, GA)— HealthMPowers today announced the retirement of President and Chief Executive Officer, Christi Kay. Kay is retiring to spend more time with friends and family, travel and pursue personal interests but will continue to support the organization in a consultative role on special projects and new initiatives.
“Stepping down as President has been an incredibly difficult decision given the amazing staff, the expert board and the truly collaborative partners I have been blessed to work with over the years, notwithstanding the incredibly important work we are doing,” said Kay. “But it is also because of these people that I feel comfortable with my decision and know that the organization will continue to flourish and make a difference. I know for certain that the organization has the necessary skills and talents in the board and staff that is needed to continue with great success, and I will watch enthusiastically from the sidelines as the organization and the team continue to excel under new leadership.”
Kay joined HealthMPowers as a consultant during its inaugural year in 1999. She was appointed President and CEO by the Board of Directors in 2004. She has worked tirelessly to connect donors, state resources and partners to address children’s health.
“Christi has been incredibly instrumental to the organization’s evolution,” said Andy Isakson, Co-Founder. “Christi has led our staff, formed partnerships with strategic organizations and built strong relationships with our funders, all for the benefit of the schools and communities we serve. Over the years, we have grown under Christi’s leadership to become a national leader in school and community health.”
The organization experienced significant growth under Christi’s transformative leadership:
- Evolved from an elementary school program providing three lessons in eight schools, to an organization serving childcare centers, K-12 schools, out of school time providers and communities
- Increased the operating budget from $524K to $6.6M
- Quadrupled staff to over 50 full- and part-time employees
- Established key partnerships over the years with Emory University, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation and numerous other state and national organizations
- Leader in developing state and national trainings, including expanding training for early care education and providing training to every school in Georgia
- Directly impacted the lives of more than one million children and adults in Georgia – improving health behaviors, fitness levels and the policies, procedures and environments that directly influence their lives
- Has provided SNAP-Ed programming, technical assistance and impact to underserved schools and communities for 12 years
“Over the last 20 years, Christi has been a tremendous asset to the growth of this organization,” said Mary Johnson, Co-Founder. “HealthMPowers would not be the success that it is were it not for Christi’s leadership. Her dedication, enthusiasm and tireless hard work for the health of Georgia’s children will truly be missed.”
“Christi has dedicated her career to improving children’s nutrition and fitness with great success,” said Loreal LeGate, Board Chair. “She is beloved by the HealthMPowers organization and is a respected leader in the public health and education sectors. The Board of Directors recognizes Christi’s many achievements and leadership over her 20 years at HealthMPowers. While she is stepping down from the President and CEO role, we are very pleased she will continue to consult with us on major grants.”
The Board of Directors recruited The Georgia Center for Nonprofits to oversee the search and hiring of a new President and CEO. The process is underway, and a new hire is expected to be announced later this summer.