Achieving excellence

Lee Fisher is making a difference in children’s lives.

Fisher, who serves as president and CEO of the Centers for Families and Children, knows about public service. The former Ohio attorney general, state senator and state representative has been at the helm of the center since 1999. It is a nationally known family service nonprofit organization that employs 300 professionals and has an operating budget of more than $16 million.

It serves children, youth, adults and families throughout Northeastern Ohio at 10 sites in the areas of child care and early childhood education, behavioral health care, interventions for youth at risk and a nationally recognized fatherhood program.

Under Fisher’s leadership, the center has focused its work in five major areas: strategic planning and positioning, capacity building with a focus on quality and outcome measurement, public policy leadership and advocacy, staff leadership development and revenue generation and financial sustainability.

The center initiated the most comprehensive strategic planning process in its 34-year history and has significantly increased its focus on doing what it does best and what the community needs most. As a result of this focused strategic positioning and consolidation, the center has closed more than 15 programs and offices, and has reinvested in the depth, breadth and quality of its remaining core services.

During the past five years, each of the center’s core services has received awards for excellence and innovation. For example, it received the “Helping Hands Award” for stepping in to provide emergency and long-term mental health services to thousands of citizens in East Cleveland when a major mental health agency suddenly closed its doors.

By applying proven leadership techniques, Fisher is making the center more effective in its efforts to help with community needs.

How to reach: Center for Families and Children, (216) 432-7200