Doug Stadter

Center for Youth & Families Inc.

City: Little Rock
Category: Nonprofit Executive of the Year
Year: 2008

More than 30 years of experience in planning, budgeting and operating human services organizations in Arkansas helped make Doug Stadter the right choice as president and chief executive officer of the Centers for Youth & Families.

Stadter became head of the organization, which provides a variety of behavioral health services and prevention programs for children and youths aged 2 to 21, in 1998.

Today, it serves more than 8,000 children and family members in Arkansas each year.  Its programs help parents, runaway and homeless youths, foster children and foster parents, emotionally and behaviorally disturbed youths, impoverished youths, children of incarcerated parents, learning disabled youths and pregnant and parenting teens.

Stadter said his background provided good preparation for his current job. He has been a budget analyst with the state Department of Finance & Administration, director of financial management for community services with the Department of Human Services' Division of Mental Health, director of outpatient services at Charter Hospital and director of operations at Counseling Associates Inc. in Conway

Stadter said he believes in maintaining a culture that understands change and the need for continuous improvement and flexibility.

"But the care and safety of the kids come first," Stadter said. "Sometimes it appears we're not making any progress," he said, "but I just go to one of our programs and see the kids. That makes it all worthwhile."

Stadter's background in budgeting has helped keep the nonprofit, which employs 325, on a sound financial footing and allowed it to expand its services. During the past year, it opened a 23-bed psychiatric residential treatment facility in Monticello and established the Arkansas School for the Deaf PRIDE program, which offers classroom education and mental health therapy to deaf students.

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