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  • Writer's pictureTravis Hoewischer

Joe Gottron named new President & CEO



After an extensive search, the board of directors for Gladden Community House is pleased to announce our next leader. 


After a rewarding career leading teams in technology, healthcare, and banking, combined with extensive board service and non-profit fundraising leadership, Joe Gottron becomes Gladden’s 12th President and CEO, effective April 22. Joe replaces Nick Bankston, who led Gladden through the complex challenges of the COVID pandemic and post-pandemic, focusing on operations, fundraising, and colleague recruitment & engagement. 


A dynamic, people-focused leader, Joe has served in senior leadership roles for BOK Financial, Heartland Bank, Cardinal Health, Huntington National Bank, and IBM. Throughout his professional career, he has served on a variety of boards and has played a vital role for numerous non-profit organizations, including Reading Partners of Tulsa, American Heart Association, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Franklin County, Gahanna Jefferson Public Schools, Columbus College of Art & Design, American Red Cross, and Bowling Green State University.


From high school through college and throughout his professional career, Joe has been unwavering in his commitment to making a difference in the community. His dedication to serving the community has been the cornerstone of his career. Given Joe’s unique experience, coupled with Gladden Community House’s rich history and reputation for community service, it is a “perfect fit,” according to Joe.


“The more I learned about Gladden's history and mission, the more energized I became,” he said. “What Gladden Community House does every day for Franklinton and the surrounding areas is impressive, heartwarming, and absolutely essential.”

Joe credits his experience working at IBM, his first stop out of college, with shaping his approach to people leadership, building collaborative teams, and contributing to a positive culture. IBM also encouraged employees to give back to the community.


“IBM’s core values at the time were: respect for the individual, excellence in everything we do, and superior customer service. Those three core values were complemented by a culture that flourished on innovation, integrity, accountability, teamwork, trust, loyalty, growth, and community,” he said. “Other beneficial learnings at Huntington, Cardinal Health, Heartland, and BOK Financial built upon my IBM experience. That blended set of experiences was invaluable to learning the true meaning of diversity and chemistry of thought, styles, experiences, and brainpower. It also gave me a better appreciation for the value and power of inclusion.”


“The board could not be more pleased with the invitation to Joe to serve as our 12th president,” said Jeff Blendick, Gladden board chair. “Joe brings experienced servant leadership, an ability to manage a multifaceted organization, and a genuine sincerity to the role. We are extremely excited to introduce Joe to Gladden, our colleagues, and the community. We are focused on continuing to serve the Franklinton and surrounding communities with the best programs and services.”


“On behalf of the board and our Gladden colleagues, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to our long-tenured colleagues—Mardi Ciriaco and Kevin Ballard," Blendick added. “On top of her usual responsibilities, Mardi has also been our interim CEO and has been a stabilizing influence, continuing to drive Gladden forward and ensure the seamless execution of our programs and those whom we serve. Kevin also took on more responsibility for our grants and financials. Their hard work over the last nine months ensured no disruptions to our programs and services. We are immensely grateful.”


Gladden Community House has proudly served the Franklinton community and beyond since 1905. Through various programs—including a five-star-rated preschool, youth sports, family services, food pantry, senior outreach & engagement, and other essential services—it positively impacts more than 15,000 families annually. For more, visit www.gladdenhouse.org.

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