Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches CEO Mike Cumnock Announces Plans To Retire
Batesville — Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches Chief Executive Officer Mike Cumnock has announced plans to retire at the end of 2013, culminating a 28 year career with the organization. As CEO, Cumnock is responsible for oversight of the day-to-day administrative operations, staff management, and fundraising. In addition he and his wife have had an affiliation with the Ranches since its inception in 1976.
“It has been a great honor and privilege to represent the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches.” Cumnock said. “My goals throughout my time here have been to improve the situation for the young men and women we have assisted. I don’t believe there is a more noble and worthwhile effort than caring for young people.”
“Announcing my retirement plans now will allow the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches Board of Directors the time necessary to evaluate and select the next person fortunate enough to lead the efforts of this organization.”
Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches Board President Doc Holladay said the board is working to define a thorough process for review of candidates, interviews, and a national search for the next chief executive officer. Cumnock also serves as President of the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch Foundation, an office in which he has served since its inception in 2005.
“Cumnock has done an amazing job in the past 17 years as CEO of continuing the organization’s focus of meeting the needs of our children,” said Holladay. “Mike is an incredibly effective servant leader. We will deeply miss his insight, wisdom and dedication. I have every belief, though, that the direction he has set for the organization will be continued well into the future. While the assets of the Ranch have grown significantly under his leadership, the true measure of his legacy is the impact on the lives of the thousands of kids who have either resided at the Ranches or who have gone through Ranch sponsored outreach programs.”
Mike Cumnock has been the Ranch CEO since June 1995. He first joined the Ranch staff as Director of Professional Services in 1985. He received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, a master’s in social work from the University of Arkansas Graduate School of Social Work and a master’s in business administration from UALR’s Executive MBA program.
“This decision was made after a lot of prayer and reflection,” Cumnock said. “I am excited for the future of the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches. I know its mission and purpose will carry on, and the program will continue to have a positive impact on the young people of our state. We have been blessed to have the support of Arkansas’s Sheriffs, and thus we have advocates in all 75 Arkansas counties looking out for our kids.”
Cumnock and his wife, Sarah, have a daughter, Mara. The Cumnocks have also served as house parents for a residential childcare program and have had 13 foster children in their own home.
The Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches was founded as a group home over 37 years ago by all 75 sheriffs of Arkansas. Its mission is to address, remedy, and prevent child abuse and neglect by creating safe, healthy homes for children. The Ranch now has three residential campuses across the state and can serve as a home to 90 children, and more than 1,200 children have called the Ranch home since its founding. Children ranging in age from 6 to 17 are admitted to the Ranch and can remain in the program until they complete their post-secondary education and are stable. The average length of stay for a child at the Ranch is three to five years. Children live in cottages with five to seven other youth and a primary houseparent, usually a married couple. All the children attend public school, receive counseling, and work together as a family unit. They may also work on our farms with various livestock and crops. CEO Mike Cumnock says, “Our goal is to provide loving care with therapeutic intervention, because we believe it is better to build a child than to repair an adult.”