Big Brothers Big Sisters CEO resigns

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Last edited 12:24 p.m., Nov. 25, 2020

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks CEO Ashley French has resigned from the nonprofit, effective today.

Susan Mellentine, BBBSO's development director, said French's resignation was voluntary as she's pursuing a position outside of the nonprofit sector. French also serves as mayor of the city of Strafford, though Mellentine said her position with the municipality was not a factor in her decision to exit the nonprofit.

“Ashley has done an admirable job during her tenure as CEO,” said Courtney Brown, the nonprofit's board president, in a news release. "She has guided the agency through challenging times and we greatly value her dedication to the mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters and her contributions to the agency."

French has led the nonprofit since 2016, when she succeeded six-year CEO Katie Davis, according to Springfield Business Journal archives. French previously served as chief development officer for the western Missouri operations of the American Red Cross.

She's credited with helping BBBSO launch its Impact 1000 initiative to serve a thousand children in the community, as well as guiding the organization through the COVID-19 pandemic that has prevented "bigs" from meeting with "littles," according to the release.

The nonprofit's board is developing a succession plan for French's successor.

BBBSO has an operating budget of $1.1 million and 13 employees, said Mellentine.