The Childhaven, Inc. Board of Directors has named Gary Hicks MA, LPC as Childhaven’s next executive director. Hicks will assume his duties on August 1, with his first day in the office being Monday, August 3. He will succeed Dr. Jim Wright, who will assume Emeritus status and will remain in an advisory role prior to retiring at year’s end.
Hicks is a graduate of the Memphis School of Preaching, earned his BA in Biblical studies from Amridge University, and his MA in Professional Counseling from Amridge University. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and currently serves as the Clinical Coordinator for the Walker County Children’s Advocacy Center. Prior to that he served as a Program Coordinator for the Northwest Alabama Mental Health (Adam Bishop) Center. He has received extensive training beyond his graduate degree in a variety of professional areas and is knowledgeable of the complexities and impact that trauma has in the lives of individuals. Hicks has extensive professional experience working with abused and traumatized children and their families.
In a statement from the board noted that Hicks has also served for the past nine years for the Pleasant Hill Church of Christ. "He is well respected within the church community, often being invited to speak on child abuse issues both at the congregational level and in conference settings such a the annual 'Polishing the Pulpit' conference," it said. He also has served churches in Castleberry, Ala., and in New Johnsonville, Tenn.
“I could not be more pleased with the board’s choice," said Wright. "Gary Hicks brings so many skills to Childhaven; knowledge from working daily within the child welfare system, broad clinical experience, informed in the principles of trauma informed care, and a churchman! I am looking forward to assisting him through the remainder of this year."