Maryhurst— Kentucky’s longest-running provider of care to children and families impacted by abuse and trauma —today announced that CEO Judy Lambeth will retire, effective June 2020. Paula Garner, currently Maryhurst’s chief operating officer, will take over as CEO upon Lambeth’s retirement.
Lambeth began at Maryhurst as a student intern in 1974, and she held various therapeutic and administrative positions at the agency before becoming CEO in 1990. During her tenure, Lambeth oversaw Maryhurst’s transformation from a single-service residential facility to the $19-millon, multi-program provider of counseling, residential treatment, therapeutic foster care, and independent living services that it is today.
“Judy has been the most dedicated advocate for children in Kentucky that I have ever known,” said Cynthia McClellen, chair of Maryhurst’s board of directors. “Thousands of children and families impacted by trauma have benefitted from Judy’s compassionate leadership, and we’re excited to carry on in her tradition of innovation as Maryhurst continues its transformational work in the community.”
In addition to launching community-based services and instituting trauma-informed care at Maryhurst, Lambeth has represented Maryhurst in child welfare working groups with legislators in Frankfort. Her advocacy for reform has helped ensure the needs of Kentucky’s children remain a priority.
“I will always carry Maryhurst in my heart,” said Lambeth. “A bit of my life’s work is contained in each college acceptance letter – each family reunited. I feel proud every time I’ve had the chance to know a child who comes to us feeling worthless but leaves knowing her strength. Together, the Maryhurst community has achieved such incredible things, and I can’t wait to see where Paula leads the agency next.”
Garner, herself a 22-year veteran of Maryhurst, has acted as the agency’s COO since 2016. She holds master’s degrees in social work and business administration. Under Garner’s leadership, Maryhurst’s future-focused work will prioritize stability and independence for all youth overcoming trauma, as well as continued growth in the agency’s community-based counseling service that offers wellbeing resources to families facing crisis.
“I’m thankful for Judy’s mentorship over the years,” said Garner. “I’m confident that Maryhurst can continue to grow and further impact children and families, making great strides in ending the cycle of abuse in our state and setting up future generations for resilience, wellbeing and independence.”