Lighthouse Selects Paul Haffner as New CEO
Unanimous Endorsement Follows Wide-Ranging Search
July 14, 2016: Lighthouse Youth Services is proud to announce that its Board of Trustees has chosen Paul Haffner as the organization’s next President and Chief Executive Officer. Haffner will succeed Bob Mecum, Lighthouse’s current President and CEO, on August 22, 2016.
Haffner, an attorney with Calfee, Halter & Griswold, LLP, is a proven leader and community advocate. He is currently the Board Chair of the Cincinnati Nature Center, a member of the board of the Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services, and a member of the Leadership Cincinnati Class 39. He chaired the then record setting Golf Classic in 2011 for Ronald McDonald House and chaired the record setting Annual Fund in 2015 for the Cincinnati Nature Center.
“I am so excited to join the team at Lighthouse as we work together to end youth homelessness in Cincinnati by 2020. The agency’s staff does amazing work, and the positive impact of its many services is well-known,” said Haffner.
The selection of Haffner caps a search process facilitated by Gilman Partners, a respected search firm which specializes in placing executives. A large initial prospect pool was narrowed by stages to a group who interviewed with the Lighthouse Board’s Search Committee, and then a final meeting with board leadership.
“Paul is the best choice from a deep pool of interested and highly qualified candidates,” said Richard Haffey, Chair of the Lighthouse Youth Services Board of Trustees. “He’s a successful executive with a unique skill set. Even more importantly, he’s a great fit for Lighthouse. We’re delighted that he’s accepted the position.”
Bob Mecum, who will retire from the CEO post on December 31, 2016, expressed confidence in the board’s choice, “Paul has what it takes to secure the future of Lighthouse and will support the agency as it navigates the new and best ways to serve children, youth and families in need.” Mecum has served as CEO of Lighthouse since 1978. He began his Lighthouse career as Director of the Lighthouse Runaway Shelter in 1976. Mecum and Haffner will work together during the transition.
The transition process is expected to go smoothly following three years of diligent and conscientious succession planning by Lighthouse leadership.
Paul Haffner Bio
Haffner is an attorney with the law firm of Calfee, Halter & Griswold. He represents clients in commercial and public finance, information technology matters and merger & acquisition transactions. He also counsels clients on general corporate issues, insurance and risk management, and government affairs. Haffner received his B.A. in Government from Dartmouth College and his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati. Prior to joining Calfee, Haffner was an attorney and Sr. Vice President at Great American Insurance.
Haffner is a member of Leadership Cincinnati Class 39 for 2015-2016. He is a Director of Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services and Board Chair of the Cincinnati Nature Center. He has served as the Director of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, Ohio Chapter.
Haffner lives in Mariemont with his wife, Karri, and their twin teenagers, Grace and Gus.
About Lighthouse Youth Services
Mission: advance the dignity and well-being of children, youth and families in need
Lighthouse Youth Services is dedicated to providing the best services and compassionate care to children, youth and families in need. The agency is a nationally recognized innovator in services for youth and families in crisis, foster care and adoption, mothers and babies, homeless youth and young adults, and youth involved with the juvenile justice system. Lighthouse also provides opportunities for learning and achievement for all students as well as housing options for young adults learning to become self-sufficient.
Lighthouse Youth Services was a fulfillment of the dream of a group of citizens from the Baptist Women’s Fellowship in Cincinnati and others who sought a better future for young people and families. The agency was founded in 1969. Lighthouse opened the first group home for girls in the state of Ohio the following year. In 1986, Lighthouse opened Ohio’s first private corrections facility for youth. Lighthouse Youth Center at Paint Creek is a national model for juvenile correctional treatment reform.
In 2013, Lighthouse announced an initiative to end youth homelessness in Cincinnati by 2020. Construction began in June 2016 on a four-story 65,000 square foot housing and service complex for homeless youth on Iowa Avenue in Walnut Hills. It will include 28 individual bedrooms, 39 apartments, a resource center, heath care facilities, and a street outreach team.