Ray Cockrell, CFP®
Chief Mission Officer
The Executive Committee of the Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina Board of Trustees has named Chief Mission Officer Ray Cockrell as Interim President/CEO of the nonprofit organization following the sudden, unexpected passing of President Ricky Creech.
“President Creech’s fearless leadership and passion for the youth and families in our care will be sorely missed,” said Board Chairman Dave Wyatt. “We keep his family in our prayers. We know that the children served by BGHNC were his priority and he would want the work to continue. We believe Ray is the right choice for the mission at this time.”
Cockrell joined the development team at BGHNC in April 2005 with a focus on planned giving and major gifts. He is a Certified Financial Planner and holds both a bachelor and master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. In addition to his work, Cockrell is active in scouting and serves as a leader for the scouts in Troop 26 in Wilmington. Cockrell is the President of the Wilmington Optimist Club, incoming Governor of the North Carolina East Optimist, and is an active member of his church.
Chief Residential Officer
Erika previously served as the Admissions Director and Residential Social Workers Supervisor before accepting the Chief Residential Officer position in early 2022.
Prior to coming to BGHNC, Erika worked for more than five years at the Columbus and Bladen County Departments of Social Services in Child Protective Services.
In addition to her time with DSS, Erika worked in mental health for over 10 years, starting as a one-on-one, she worked directly with clients before becoming a supervisor and providing Alternative Family Living which includes a client that lives in your home.
"From the day we are introduced to the youth, we are thinking about their future. We want to do everything in their best interest, providing the exact, personalized support they need to become the best version of themselves."
Chief Community-Based Services Officer
Donna Yalch oversees our Community-Based Services Division. Donna also founded the LAKE House, B&GH’s first ever program for teen mothers and their babies.
Donna is a graduate of West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree in social work. She has more than 20 years of experience in protecting children and strengthening families.
In 2001, Donna joined B&GH as a foster care consultant and, as a result, was introduced to two young children she and her husband, Joe, would later adopt. After the birth of their son, Adam, they welcomed Brandon and Megan into the Yalch family with open arms. Donna enjoys following Mountaineer football and spending time with her family.
Chief Clinical Officer
Courtney is facilitating the new clinical model at Boys & Girls Homes known as The Waccamaw Way.
She also oversees the residential and community-based clinical departments, the nursing/medical department and nutritional services.
Courtney joined Boys & Girls Homes in 2012 to complete her internship while working on her Master's of Social Work Degree. Since that time she has taken on increasing levels of responsibility as a Therapeutic Foster Care Consultant, Therapeutic Foster Care Supervisor, Director of Therapeutic Foster Care, Clinical Director, and Carolyn's Kaleidoscope Child Advocacy Center Clinical Mental Health Director.
Chief Administrative Officer
Alex oversees the Executive Assistant, HR Specialist, Medical, Grounds, Equine Therapy, and Maintenance as well as the Child Advocacy Center.
She began her service to Boys and Girls Homes as the Development Director before accepting the Chief Administrative Officer position.
Prior to joining BGHNC, she was a litigator.
"Throughout my career, I have seen firsthand the impact neglect, abuse, and trauma can have on a child as they grow into adulthood. I am thrilled to be a part of an organization that intervenes on behalf of children and provides the resources, skills, care, and stability they need to be successful."
Chief Financial Officer
Daniel oversees the Finance Office, business development, utilization management & review, insurance billing, business contracts, audits & reviews, and investments.
He joined B&GH in November 2020 after more than six years working as a Revenue Field Auditor for the North Carolina Department of Revenue. During his time there, he was a co-founding member of the NCDOR's Business Intelligence Analytics Programs for Audit Selection where he assisted in the development of essential software and databases for audit initiatives. Daniel also served as a trainer across the state to implement those initiatives.
Daniel holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Accounting from Guildford College where he minored in Business Administration and Money & Finance. He is currently completing the coursework for a Master's Degree in Finance and Investment Management at the University of North Carolina - Wilmington with a projected graduation date of May 2021.
He has a longstanding family connection with the organization. His father was a B&GH resident from the age of 12 through adulthood. Both his parents served as house parents in the Civitan and Kiwanis Cottages and Daniel spent his early childhood on the B&GH campus.
Chief Risk Management and Compliance Officer
John serves in a newly created but very necessary capacity as our Chief Risk Management and Compliance Officer. He has served BGHNC since 2005 in multiple positions including Director of Pastoral Care, Sanctuary Site Coordinator, and Continuous Quality Improvement and Risk Manager. He helped our organization achieve national certification in Trauma Informed Care and has played an instrumental role in organizational accreditation through COA. He is a graduate of Erskine College with a BA in Christian Education and holds a Master of Divinity with Counseling from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is currently pursuing a certification in Risk Management. In his free time, he pastors a local church and loves watching Clemson Football.
Chief Branding Officer
Lindsey was named Chief Branding Officer in July 2022. She brings more than a decade of experience in marketing, graphic design, stakeholder engagement and more. Starting her career as the Director of Public Relations & Marketing for BGHNC from 2012 until 2015, Lindsey then served in a variety of corporate roles at companies such as PPD/Thermo Fisher Scientific and Utility Management Services, Inc. She is thankful to have the opportunity to return to BGHNC and the non-profit space.
A graduate of Peace College, Lindsey holds a degree in Communication with a concentration in public relations and mass media. Originally from Whiteville, NC, she now lives in Wilmington with her husband, CJ, daughter, Callie and their dog, Tilly. In her spare time, Lindsey enjoys reading, swimming and spending time with family and friends.
Dr. Cathy Callihan Gantz
Principal of Thomas Academy
Cathy began on December 1, 2021, after spending more than 20 years with the Baltimore County Public Schools in a variety of positions including principal and assistant to the area assistant superintendent. She also spent 18 years as an adjunct professor with Notre Dame of Maryland University and more than two years as an administrator with Cumberland County Schools. She was a teacher in North Carolina for 19 years.
Cathy has been serving as the Coordinator for the Bladen County Substance Misuse Task Force and plans to continue supporting the task force as it is such a significant cause in the community. Community connection is something Cathy demonstrates with her own involvement. She is Vice President of the Lumber River United Way Board, a member of the Elizabethtown Rotary Club, president of the Elizabethtown Foxglove Garden Club, and a member of the Elizabethtown Baptist Church. An avid reader, she also participates in a variety of book clubs.
Cathy holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from East Carolina University. She earned a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education, Administration and Education Specialist and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Administration from Fayetteville State University.