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Continuing record growth, funding, and impact, Gladden Community House announces interim leader as President & CEO announces plan to step down

Gladden Community House (Gladden) is launching a search for a new leader to take over the 118-year-old organization after President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nick Bankston informed staff, donors, and partners that he would step down effective July 31, 2023.

Bankston has served as President and CEO of the Columbus-based nonprofit for two and a half years. In that time, Gladden has distributed over $1 million in emergency rental and utility assistance to stabilize over 200 families; transitioned Gladden’s 4-star rated preschool to become tuition-free for low-income families; increased revenue by 30%; and rebuilt an after-school program that resulted in a 65% increase in students' reading scores. During his remarkable tenure as President & CEO, Nick Bankston has been a visionary leader, guiding Gladden through a period of unprecedented progress. Under his stewardship, the organization has flourished, leaving an indelible mark on the lives of countless individuals and families.

“It has been my honor to lead this historic and dynamic organization,” Bankston said. “The success we have achieved is due to the dedication of Gladden’s 40 incredible employees who serve our neighbors with integrity and passion. These past two and a half years have made me a better leader, and I will cherish all of the work and the impact we have made together.”

A proud native and champion of Columbus, Bankston’s career prior to Gladden spanned government, business, and nonprofit leadership. He is dedicated to his career in public service and will continue to serve the community on Columbus City Council.

"On behalf of Gladden Community House’s Board, we are deeply grateful for Nick's immeasurable contributions to the organization. His exceptional leadership and unwavering dedication have set the stage for our continued success," said Jeff Blendick, Board Chair of Gladden Community House. "We are eager to continue our work as a home for all, stabilizing families and empowering communities, with Nick’s successor and Gladden’s capable leadership team.”

To ensure a seamless transition, Gladden Community House has appointed Mardi Ciriaco as the interim President & CEO, effective August 1, 2023. Ciriaco has been an integral part of Gladden as Vice President of Community Services for 33 years and possesses an intimate understanding of the organization's goals, programs, and community dynamics. With Ciriaco's extensive experience and commitment to Gladden's mission, the organization remains steadfast in its commitment to supporting the community and fostering growth. Gladden’s Board has initiated a search for a new Gladden President & CEO.

Gladden Community House will continue its unwavering commitment to youth development and early childhood education, housing and family stabilization, and senior outreach during this transition.

About Gladden Community House

Gladden Community House is a settlement house located in the heart of Franklinton on the near west side of Columbus, Ohio which has served the community for over 118 years. Our mission is to strengthen the well-being of Franklinton’s children, families, and community and build a thriving equitable neighborhood. For more information on Gladden Community House, visit or follow us on LinkedIn.

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