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OHU Announces Damon Cates as CEO

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After an extensive national search, One Hope United (OHU) announces the appointment of Damon Cates, EdD as its new President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Cates had been serving as Interim President & CEO since August 2023. 

“Four months ago, the OHU Board of Directors embarked on a search for the next President & CEO to increase access to quality early childhood education, improve child welfare outcomes, and expand mental health services,” said Chris Hoffman, Chair of the OHU Board of Directors. “We are delighted that our search led us to Damon Cates, who is the right leader for the job.”

OHU’s Board of Directors was impressed by Damon’s key accomplishments in his interim role, including his leadership on fundraising at the state and federal level, strengthening relationships with legislative leaders in Illinois, Florida and at the federal level, leading the organization through its COA accreditation process and initiatives to strengthen collaboration and teamwork throughout the organization, and helping shape and share the One Hope United story. Cates accomplished all this while continuing his role as Chief Advancement Officer.

“I’m thrilled that I will be able to continue to join you all in this fight to expand children and family services nationwide, build upon the strong legacy of the organization and lead us effectively toward our next generation of impact,” said Cates.

“Damon creates an atmosphere where collaboration and teamwork can flourish, which is what you need in an organization that relies on ingenuity and creativity to grow and thrive,” said Jerry Haralson, CEO Transition Committee leader and board member.

As a trusted children and family services provider, OHU has been asked to offer additional support in both Florida and Illinois. Under Cates’ leadership, OHU is ready to answer that call and meet the growing need for quality child-focused programming through The OHU Promise, a commitment to increase the number of children and families served from 10,000 to 15,000 by 2030, while growing revenue from $75 million to $125 million at the same time.

“Please join us in extending a warm ‘Thank You’ to Cates as he continues his impactful work for One Hope United through his new official role as CEO,” says Hoffman. “We look forward to continued growth and reach under his leadership.”

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