Bankston takes over as new Gladden House leader
Updated: Apr 9
A new year brings new leadership for Gladden Community House with the hiring of President/CEO Nick Bankston.
Nick joins Gladden after the retirement of former President Joy Chivers, who stepped down in September after 15 years of service.
Nick is a dedicated public servant and thought leader on issues facing Columbus neighborhoods. He most recently served as the City’s Project Manager of Neighborhood Transformation Strategies, where he oversaw neighborhood revitalization planning and implementation efforts in Linden and the Hilltop. The strong legacy of strengthening the well-being of families in the Franklinton neighborhood and surrounding community is what will inform Nick’s vision for the future of Gladden.
“We want to build on this strong foundation and increase our capacity to serve by stabilizing families and positioning them to prosper,” he said. “Poverty is a generational crisis, and to effectively disrupt the cycle, we must take a holistic approach that impacts both family and community.”
As Franklinton continues to change, the chance to helm a historic organization that has been a constant for more than a century is what drew him to the role.
“Gladden’s story of resiliency and legacy of transforming lives is what drew me to the organization,” he said. “In a transforming neighborhood, Gladden is well-positioned to advocate for the most important element of community—the people.”
A passionate and driven community leader, Nick has dedicated his career to public service, previously serving as the Director of Community Affairs for the Office of the Mayor. In that role, Nick managed a public campaign that secured $950 million in bond funding for critical capital improvements for Columbus’s residents. His commitment to community is exemplified in his board service. Currently, Nick serves on the board of directors of the Reeb Avenue Center, St. Stephens Community House, and the Neighborhood Design Center. He previously served on the boards of the Columbus Urban League as President of the Columbus Urban League Young Professionals, Rickenbacker-Woods Foundation as Vice-Chair, and Greater Columbus Sister Cities International.
“We want to build on this strong foundation and increase our capacity to serve by stabilizing families and positioning them to prosper," he said. "Poverty is a generational crisis, and to effectively disrupt the cycle, we must take a holistic approach that impacts both family and community."
A proud graduate of East High School and a lifelong resident of Columbus, Nick is a champion for the people of Columbus and determined to make an impact in his community. Nick holds a B.A. in Philosophy from The Ohio State University, is a proud graduate of the African American Leadership Academy, and has been recognized as an Emerging Leader by Who’s Who in Black Columbus. He is a 40 Under 40 Honoree, was named a Future History Maker by Radio One Columbus, and was also honored with the 2019 Boy Scouts of America – Simon Kenton Council Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award. He is married to his beautiful and accomplished wife Habiba K. Bankston; they reside on the Near East Side in the historic King-Lincoln District.