FSGC leader announces retirement

brenda for websiteOne of northeast Kansas’ leading health care executives and advocates for children is retiring.

Brenda Mills, CPA, FACHE, will vacate Family Service & Guidance Center’s chief executive officer position on February 4, 2022, after 20 years as Chief Executive Officer and 32 years, total, with the organization.

“It’s been an honor and privilege to serve FSGC as Chief Executive Officer since January 2002 and as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer from 1989 to 2001,” Mills said. “Working with the board and leadership team, we have achieved major accomplishments in behavioral health services for children and families in northeast Kansas. I am proud of all we’ve achieved.”

Pat Riordan, Chair of FSGC’s Board of Directors, said the announcement came with mixed emotions.

“Brenda’s been such a strong leader for throughout her tenure,” he said, “and thanks to her leadership and vision, the agency is in an excellent place to move ahead from a position of innovation and strength.”

During Mills’ tenure as CEO, FSGC realized numerous successes, including:

  • Becoming an integral part of the Topeka health care community as well as a flagship behavioral health provider
  • Cultivating positive relationships with all area school districts to become an essential part of their behavioral health teams.
  • Growing from 130 staff members to 250.
  • Purchasing a building at 325 S.W. Frazier Ave., and constructing two new buildings at 327 S.W. Frazier to centralize the organization on one campus.
  • Creating the FSGC Foundation in 2007 and growing its corpus to $3.2 million.
  • Establishing several programs, including overnight crisis services, the Anxiety Treatment Program, the Children’s Autism Program and the Mental Health in Schools Program.

Mills said that there is never a perfect time for this transition but expressed confidence that now is the time.

“I’m leaving Family Service & Guidance Center in very capable hands and with some exciting initiatives on the horizon. New leadership and energy will be needed to propel us forward. Someone else will jump in and enjoy some immediate successes just as I did in my early years,” she said.

The Board of Directors has formed a search committee to select FSGC’s new CEO.

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Did you know?

Happy Bear, FSGC’s furry spokesbear, visits over 6,500 young children at dozens of schools and childcare centers each year to deliver an age-appropriate message about safety, self-protection and abuse prevention.