PRESS RELEASE: Ronald B. Borngesser to retire as OLHSA CEO, Susan Harding named as successor

December 5, 2016 – Pontiac, Mich. –– OLHSA, A Community Action Agency, announced today Ronald B. Borngesser, chief executive officer, will retire in early 2017 and Susan Harding, currently early childhood director at OLHSA, will assume the role on December 12, 2016. 

Throughout his four decades with the organization and 18 years as CEO, Borngesser’s focused, kind, and firm leadership has been an essential part of the positive change OLHSA has influenced in so many lives. Under his guidance, the organization has grown to employ 400 staff members and provides more than 197,000 services annually to vulnerable Oakland and Livingston County residents. Before being appointed CEO, Borngesser’s roles at OLHSA included personnel manager, division manager for human resources and information systems and deputy executive director. He has also led change with positions on regional and state group boards, including president of Michigan Community Action, chairman of Oakland County Human Services Coordinating Council, president of the Rotary Club of Pontiac and president of United Way of Oakland County. 

“I am thankful for the many experiences, memories and connections made during my 42 years with OLHSA, making it bittersweet to end this chapter of my life and begin the next,” said Borngesser. “I know Susan will continue the great work OLHSA does every day. With strong program knowledge, excellent management experience and a passion for helping others, I am confident she will be an outstanding CEO. I look forward to celebrating the organization’s future accomplishments under her guidance.” 

Harding will become CEO of OLHSA after 20 dedicated years at the agency. In her most recent role as early childhood director, Harding has earned many accomplishments including securing the Early Head Start/Head Start grant for 2016 through 2021. The new grant allowed for a program redesign which took into consideration community needs and led to the adoption of new strategies, including a change from half-day to full-day classes. Harding also obtained additional funding as well as cultivated new partnerships during her time as early childhood director. 

"The opportunity to lead OLHSA, an organization that has a longstanding reputation for empowering and improving local communities, is exciting,” said Harding. “In my new role as CEO, my focus will be increasing OLHSA’s impact by nurturing the relationships we have with more than 100 partners and establishing new, impactful connections. I truly believe our communities are stronger when we work together and support one another.” 

Harding’s focus on strengthening communities has been prevelant throughout her time at the agency. Previous to serving as early childhood director, she was the director for community and economic services, deputy director for resource development, associate director for asset development and assistant director for the SEED pilot program, which allowed Head Start students to begin savings accounts. 

Outside of OLHSA, Harding lends her support and expertise as a member of the Michigan Head Start Association legislative committee, a member and implementation subcommittee chair for the Results Oriented Management and Accountability (ROMA) Collaborative and a member of the Oakland Schools Great Start Collaborative Strategic Leadership Group.

About OLHSA:

OLHSA is a Community Action Agency improving the quality of life for people facing crisis while strengthening families, communities, seniors and youth since 1964. Over 197,000 services were provided in 2015 in the pursuit of helping people and changing lives. www.olhsa.org

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Media Contacts:

Ashley Yocum | 248.209.2623 (work) | 570.259.1394 (cell) | ashleyy@olhsa.org

Amy Lafnear | 586.219.1557 |amy@siren-pr.com