GAINESVILLE, Ga. (January 26, 2022) — Barbara Hicks Fleming has been named the new executive director of Center Point, a 55-year-old nonprofit serving Gainesville-Hall County youth and families with mental health and teen pregnancy counseling, drug prevention services, mentoring, and religion education classes.

The announcement was made today by Staci Tunkel, chair of Center Point’s board of directors.

Fleming, 56, had served as the organization’s interim director since the departure last year of former executive director Mark Mobley. She becomes the ninth executive director in Center Point’s half-century history, most recently following Mobley and longtime director David Smith, who served from 1992 until his retirement in 2019.

Fleming also has a long association with Center Point, having led its merger in 2016 with the Teen Pregnancy Prevention nonprofit that she oversaw for several years as its executive director. Since the merger, she had served as Center Point’s director of program development.

“I look forward to carrying on the legacy that my dear friend David Smith established so many years ago to serve our community’s youth,” Fleming said. “Young people and their families need our steadfast help and support now more than ever during this exhausting pandemic.”

Board chair Tunkel said Center Point recently completed an operational assessment to help prioritize and expand its services. She praised Fleming for taking an active role in the review process while continuing to lead the organization during the search for a new leader.

“With her passion and years of nonprofit experience, Barbara has the full confidence of our board to expand our outreach services to address the community’s ongoing mental health crisis in addition to partnering to improve high school graduation rates in this area,” Tunkel said.

Center Point was founded in 1967 by four area churches with the mission to supplement and broaden religion education for local youth. While the agency provides support to the Gainesville City and Hall County school systems, it operates independently as an AdvancED-accredited academic program.

Through the years, the original Center Point mission evolved with the hiring of a team of educators and licensed clinical psychologists, therapists, and social workers.

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