News and Press
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.
Center Point needs your help to successfully wrap up the ongoing fundraising campaign for our facility improvement and expansion program.
We are so close (yet so far!) to raising the remaining money to meet our $1.1 million goal thanks to an anonymous donor who is pledging $200,000 in return for another $200,000 in matching funds toward our expansion campaign. If successful, the total donation amount of $400,000 would bring our campaign to a successful close.
Fundraising for our ongoing expansion campaign was launched nearly two years ago to help us open a new 5,600 square-foot location on Atlanta Highway in Oakwood in addition to improving our longtime location across from the Gainesville High School campus. Donations will go directly toward enhancing our services to area high school youth and their families while creating a safer environment at both of our sites.
We are currently operating in about one-third of the new South Hall facility, where our counselors and interns share office space. The remainder of our Center Point South building remains to be built out to provide additional space for counseling, education, training and community meetings. Upon completion of the expansion campaign, Center Point projects reaching and serving another 3,000 youth for an annual total of more than 10,000 students throughout Hall County.
To donate and help us meet the challenge grant, please mail us a check to 1050 Elephant Trail, Gainesville, GA 30501. Or simply visit our website at Centerpointga.org to contribute online.
Center Point supporter Becky Gurr recently passed away.
A career educator, Becky taught students throughout Southwest Georgia before coming to Gainesville High in 1986 as assistant principal. She held that role until her retirement in 2000.
Becky was a strong supporter of Center Point, serving on the Board of Trustees for 19 years. In 2014, Center Point established the Rebecca Gurr Fund in recognition of her dedication to its religious education program.
The family requests memorial donations be made to Center Point in her memory.
Center Point was featured in the August 17th edition of the The Times. Under discussion was the agency’s current expansion into South Hall County. You can read it here.