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Guilford Child Development Announces New CEO

Guilford Child Development announced Wednesday the appointment of Maria Layne-Stevens as its new Chief Executive Officer effective November 1, 2019. Layne-Stevens, who has served as the organization's Chief Operating Officer since November 2018, will succeed current President and CEO Robin Britt, who is retiring in October. Guilford Child Development selected Layne-Stevens after a nationwide search led by a team of current Board Members and Winston-Salem based search firm Buffkin Baker.

Board Chair Al Lineberry made the announcement to agency employees late Wednesday afternoon.

"Following an extensive search process and working with an incredible committee, it is my extremem privilege to announce that the Board of Directors of Guilford Child Development made an offer for the Chief Executive Officer to be, and she has accepted," he said.

Layne-Stevens, who first joined Guilford Child Development in 2014 as Director of its Head Start program – the largest in the state -- steps into the CEO role with more than 25 years of experience in strategic planning, fund development, communication, and expertise in nonprofit leadership. A long-time advocate for young children and families, Layne-Stevens has been heavily engaged in national and state level initiatives involving early childhood education and under-served populations, has led multi-million dollar Head Start programs across the nation, and has held key roles with organizations like the National Head Start Association and the North Carolina Head Start Association.

Prior to joining Guilford Child Development, Layne-Stevens was the Head Start Program Manager for Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo in California, and the Child and Family Services Director for Coastal Community Action, Inc. in Newport, North Carolina. She also served in Director and Deputy Director roles with Lawrence County Community Action Organization and the Lawrence County Domestic Violence Task Force in Ironton, Ohio. Since joining Guilford Child Development, Layne-Stevens has been instrumental in the development of the agency’s programs and staff, successfully growing the budget by $3.5 million over the last five years and securing capital funding in excess of $3 million to build new facilities and complete major renovations at four facilities since 2015.

Robin Britt praised Layne-Stevens for her compassion, leadership, and vision saying, “Some people have a vision, and some people know how to make things happen as well. That is Maria,” he said. “Maria is one of the most creative people I know. She’s got more passion than anybody I know. Maria cares, Maria has vision, and Maria knows how to make things happen.”

Britt also praised the Board of Directors for its selection, stating Layne-Stevens is “the best leader they could have ever chosen.”

Britt will assist Layne-Stevens during her transition, and will continue to assist GCD with special projects after his retirement in October. Guilford Child Development is grateful for the passion and dedication he has demonstrated during his 21 years with the agency.

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