As Gladney continues to be an advocate for the Adoption Tax Credit, I believe others will benefit from reading Jedd Medefind's "The Adoption Tax Credit Saves Money" opinion published in the December 7, 2017, print edition of the Wall Street Journal.
Gladney Appoints Mark Melson as President & CEO
Long-time leader announces retirement; Board lauds Frank Garrott’s leadership tenure saying Gladney positioned well for the future
Gladney Press Release
(FORT WORTH, TX, December 1, 2017)—The Gladney Center of Adoption, a national leader in adoption services for 130 years, announced the appointment of Mark Melson to be the institution’s President and CEO. Gladney’s Board Chairman Christopher Dezzi said Melson’s presence as a current and established Gladney leader offered a unique opportunity for a seamless transition to the position. Frank Garrott, who has an extraordinary record of success furthering the Gladney mission, said he had been contemplating retirement since late summer and informed Dezzi about the decision last month.
In a letter to Gladney’s supporters and staff, Garrott described his 10-year tenure at the organization as a “challenging, wonderful and joyful” period of time.
“It has truly been an honor and privilege to work with everyone in the Gladney family,” said Garrott, “and people are right when they tell me, it’s the best job in the world. “There’s a time for everything, and for me, it’s a time to take up the next challenge and move on to the next chapter of my life.”
Dezzi praised Garrott’s accomplishments, saying his compassion, dedication and wisdom were vital during some opportune and critical moments in the organization’s history.
“Not only has Gladney grown its mission to place thousands of children in loving homes,” said Dezzi, “he has also established innovative and far-reaching outreach efforts, such as the groundbreaking Pathways program as well as the Next Steps initiative that supports birth mothers. In addition, we have expanded our mission with the creation of both AdoptED and Gladney University. Frank has an extraordinary legacy here, and we will miss him personally and professionally.”
Dezzi said Melson’s appointment will be effective January 1, 2018.
“Mark Melson is the right man at the right time for Gladney,” said Dezzi. “Our board has been focusing on all the issues related to future planning and succession. Mark was recently appointed as the Chief Operating Officer for Gladney. His service in that position as well as his work as Vice President for Development proved his solid operational and leadership abilities. We all look forward to Gladney’s next generation of leadership and growth under Mark.”
Garrott said he hopes to “travel the world” after leaving Gladney, and he pledged to continue supporting Gladney and its mission.
“It will be hard to leave,” said Garrott. “I love Gladney. The agency provided for me personally because I am a Gladney parent. There are no words for the gratitude that I feel. When visualizing the end of the year, I know when I walk out the door, there will be a lump in my throat the size of a grapefruit.”
Melson expressed his appreciation for the appointment.
“It’s an honor to stand on the shoulders of those who came before me and lead this great organization,” said Melson. “After almost 10 years at Gladney I have seen how adoption has touched the lives of thousands of families, and as a Gladney Parent I have personally witnessed the miracle of adoption in my own home. I’m excited about our future and building on Gladney’s great legacy.”
About the Gladney Center for Adoption
Based in Fort Worth, Texas, Gladney is a not-for-profit organization that since 1887 has placed over 31,000 children internationally and domestically in forever homes and served over 38,000 birth parents. The agency also maintains the largest, most comprehensive maternity home in the United States. For more information, visit our website or call 817-922-6000. The heart and soul of our mission is- a place where hope is born.
The Gladney Center for Adoption is 130 years old in 2017! We celebrated all year long by sharing fun and interesting adoption facts about our history and culture. Because November is National Adoption Month, we're bringing you the top 3.
Topics: 130th Anniversary
An Adoption Story
Gratitude is what I feel towards Gladney and Superkids when I look at my 14 year old son. It has been just a year now since we adopted him. He was 13 ½ years old and had been on the shared list for years, available for adoption, but lost in the crowd. He had virtually no chance of finding a family.
- Construction of Gladney's current campus officially commenced with a groundbreaking ceremony on this day 17 years ago. The new campus complex includes offices, a visitors center, community center, a building for counseling services and a residence hall for expectant mothers. Gladney welcomes guests to walk through the visitors center and absorb the 130 years of adoption history.
- Much of the movie based on Edna Gladney’s life, Blossoms in the Dust, is fictitious. There may have been a Tony; Mrs. Gladney had no adopted sister who committed suicide; and she had no child herself who died at a young age. If you’d like to know more about Edna Gladney and her life, we recommend reading “Texas Adoption Activist Edna Gladney: A Life and Legacy of Love” by Sherrie McLeRoy.
- Mrs. Gladney was succeeded by Walter Delamarter as the Executive Director of Gladney, because in the words of Mrs. Ruby Lee Piester, "no woman could have followed her." Delamarter had a masters degree in social work from the University of Illinois and was on the boards of several welfare groups.
- By the early 1920s, the Texas Children's Home and Aid Society (nka the Gladney Center for Adoption) was the leading child placing organization in the state of Texas.
- Mrs. Ruby Lee Piester began group-counseling sessions for young residents to get to know and better understand each other.
- Buildings were constructed on the 2300 Hemphill Street campus one at a time, as funds were raised for a particular building. Construction highlights included:
- Marks Hall, now The Graham Building, home to The Gladney Fund, 1954.
- Dining Room, 1964.
- Johnny Mitchell Maintenance Building, 1976.
- Horlock Auditorium, 1977.
- Fair Dormitory, 1977.
- Nina Reese Counseling Center, 1977.
- Blakemore Education Building, 1977.
- Ruby Lee Piester Dormitory, 1980.
- Sproesser Wynn Dormitory, 1984
- I.Z.T. Morris, 1887-1914;
- Belle Morris, 1914-1920;
- Roy Stockwell, 1920-1927;
- Edna Gladney 1927-1960;
- Walter Delamarter, 1960-1963;
- Ruby Lee Piester, 1963-1984;
- Eleanor Tuck, 1984-1988;
- Michael J. McMahon, 1988-2007; and
- Frank Garrott, 2007-2017.
8. The movie about Edna Gladney’s life, Blossoms In The Dust, generated so much publicity and attracted so many birth mothers that some babies slept in dresser drawers for lack of crib space.
9. The Texas Children’s Home and Aid Society (nka the Gladney Center for Adoption) never intended to be an orphanage. Instead, it was a "handling home," where children were accepted for adoption placement and cared for until the right homes could be provided for them. If you’re interested in starting your adoption journey, please request Gladney’s free Adoption Information Packet.
10. Mrs. Ruby Lee Piester joined the staff as director of social services in 1960. In 1963, she was named executive director, a position she would hold for more than 20 years.
Topics: 130th Anniversary
Gladney Center for Adoption Named an Official Charity Partner of the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon Set for Sunday, November 5, 2017
“Gladney is proud to serve as an official charity partner of the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon”
Gladney Press Release
(New York, NY, October 25, 2017)--Gladney Center for Adoption announced today it is an Official Charity Partner of the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon. The race will take place on Sunday, November 5, 2017. The Gladney team consists of eight runners from Texas who all have special ties to adoption.
“Gladney is proud to serve as an official charity partner of the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon,” said Frank Garrott, President and CEO of Gladney Center for Adoption. “This opportunity offers a unique and wide-reaching platform for our runners to raise awareness and funds that benefit Gladney’s mission of creating bright futures through adoption. Through your support, you will confirm that each aspect in the journey of adoption is significant. From expectant mothers experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, unsure of their next steps; to children waiting in state foster care and international orphanages, longing for families to adopt them; to couples who desire to open their homes and start or grow their families.”
More than 350 official charity partners will be part of the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon. In 2016, 9,000 charity runners raised $36.1 million during the marathon on behalf of hundreds of not-for-profit organizations in New York City and across the nation. Since the inception of the official charity partner program in 2006, $235 million has been raised.
Gladney Center for Adoption is a national leader in adoption. Celebrating its 130th year in operation, Gladney is a pioneer and an important voice for improving the lives of children, adoptive families and birth parents. The organization believes every child deserves a loving and caring home and is leading the charge in advocating for foster care adoption throughout the country. In the U.S., there are 120,000 children in foster care legally free and waiting to be adopted.
The Gladney team fundraising page can be found here.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Gladney Center for Adoption as an official charity partner of the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon,” said Michael Rodgers, vice president of development and philanthropy for New York Road Runners. “Participants in our official charity partner program run for causes that are important to them, while raising critical funds that directly impact hundreds of charity organizations. We are inspired by the thousands of runners who take part in this program and wish them all the best as they begin their incredible journeys to the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon.”
The 2017 TCS New York City Marathon will feature a world-class American and international professional athlete field, charity runners, and thousands of runners of all ages and abilities. More than 10,000 volunteers help to support participants across the 26.2-mile race route, which touches each of New York City’s five boroughs and is lined with more than one million neighbors and guests.
The 2017 TCS New York City Marathon will be broadcast live locally on WABC-TV, Channel 7, and nationally on ESPN2.
About the TCS New York City Marathon
The TCS New York City Marathon is the premier event of New York Road Runners (NYRR) and the largest marathon in the world. Over 1,100,000 people have finished the race since its first running in 1970 with just 127 entrants and 55 finishers running four laps around Central Park. The race expanded to all five boroughs in 1976 and just celebrated its 40th year as a five-borough affair. Held annually on the first Sunday of November, the race features over 50,000 runners including the world’s top professional athletes and a vast range of competitive, recreational, and charity runners. Participants from approximately 125 countries tour the city, starting on Staten Island at the foot of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and running through the neighborhoods of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx before ending in Manhattan. The NYRR Youth Invitational at the TCS New York City Marathon covered 1.8 miles of the race course in Central Park, beginning near mile 24 and finishing at the famed TCS New York City Marathon finish line. More than one million spectators and thousands of volunteers line the city streets in support of the runners, while millions more watch the television broadcast in 175 countries and territories, including viewers in the New York area on WABC-TV, Channel 7, nationally on ESPN2, and via various international broadcast partners. The race is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, which features the world’s top marathons—Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York—and crowns the top professional male and female marathoners each year. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting, and business solutions organization, is the premier partner of NYRR and the title sponsor of the TCS New York City Marathon. The 47th running of the TCS New York City Marathon is set for November 5, 2017. To learn more, visit www.tcsnycmarathon.org.
Superkids is shining a light on two adoptive parents who have recently adopted children with Down syndrome. These moms are tireless advocates, and as a bonus, they are both Superkids volunteers! Lora and Michelle have graciously agreed to answer our questions about adopting a child with Down syndrome.
Sometimes in your life you find yourself doing something that you never imagined. Last week was one of those times for me. It all started a few months ago when Frank Garrott, CEO of Gladney, told me he wanted me to conduct a training in Bogota, Colombia for the National Colombian Adoption Unit. Before I could respond, he let me know that he had already promised the training to the officials and to go ahead and buy my ticket.
Topics: Colombia Adoption
- MGM paid Edna Gladney $5,000 for rights to her story which they then turned into the movie “Blossoms in the Dust”. She donated the money to the Texas Children's Home and Aid Society to help reduce the agency's debt. Each year generous supporters like you join us for the exciting annual North Texas Giving Day—this year it will be September 14, 2017 from 6 a.m. to midnight. Your generous support makes a meaningful difference.
- Because of her tenacity, Mrs. Gladney was known as "that Gladney woman" to members of the Texas Legislature. Being an #AdoptionAdvocate is still an integral part of Gladney.
- The Houston Auxiliary was the first support group of Gladney volunteers to formally organize. Today, Gladney has an entire development department and Gladney Family Associations that organize fundraising events for Gladney year-round. Check out some of their latest events.
- Texas Christian University, in Fort Worth, granted Mrs. Gladney an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 1957.
- In 2016, Gladney Adoptee, Alicia Taylor, rolled out Gladney Teen Outreach (GTO). GTO provides a community for teens & tweens, adopted or not, to connect and inspire one another while having fun, fostering lifelong friendships and furthering Gladney’s Mission of Creating Bright Futures through Adoption.
- Ralph Wheelwright, an MGM publicist, and his wife, adopted a baby girl from Mrs. Gladney in 1940. Inspired by Mrs. Gladney's devotion to the Texas Children's Home and Aid Society, he sketched out her life story and presented it to Louis Mayer, head of Hollywood's Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio. Wheelwright was paid $10,000 for the project idea.
- Former First Lady Barbara Bush, a Gladney grandparent, attended the agency's Centennial celebration in 1987 as a special guest.
- Cookies4Kids was created in 2010 by Chef Eric Justice, former Director of Culinary Operations for Pei Wei Asian Diner, after he attended the Gladney Cup golf tournament. All proceeds from the decadent double chocolate chunk oatmeal cookies benefit the Gladney Center for Adoption's humanitarian aid efforts.
- The first annual Gladney Cup golf tournament was held at the Colonial in Fort Worth in 1999. In 2017, The Cup will experience The Country Club in Brookline, MA. We are thankful for all of the players and sponsors at the 2017 Gladney Cup.
- Gladney began operating with an assumed name certificate as The Edna Gladney Center in 1987.
And those are your Gladney adoption facts for September. Stay tuned for more!
Topics: 130th Anniversary