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Gil Levy named new KIDS Center executive director

KIDS Center Executive Director Gil Levy
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New KIDS Center Executive Director Gil Levy

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- KIDS Center announced Monday its national search for a new executive director has ended with the selection of Gil Levy.

Gil succeeds Shelly Smith, who left KIDS Center in October after leading the organization for the past 11 years. 

Gil will be joining KIDS Center on Feb. 3, 2020, from Austin, Texas. He comes to KIDS Center with over 20 years of leadership experience in the nonprofit child and family services sector.  Most recently, he served as the Executive Director of Jewish Family Service in Austin. 

“Throughout the extensive search process, we were impressed by Gil’s track record of community engagement, staff development, and strategic organizational decision-making. On behalf of the Board of Directors, we congratulate Gil on accepting this exciting opportunity.  We look forward to working with and supporting Gil in both his new job and home,”  said Dave DeRose, Regional Commercial and Business Banking Manager, U.S. Bank, and Chairman of the Board of Directors for KIDS Center.

 “I am thrilled to be joining the KIDS Center team," Gil said. "Keeping our children safe is so important, and I am honored to have the opportunity to play a part in this critical work. I’m looking forward to being in Central Oregon and becoming a part of the community. I’m so impressed by the people I met as I explored this position. The level of dedication and support for KIDS Center from staff, board and community partners is remarkable, and I’m very excited to get started.”

Gil has a Masters of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin, and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Texas. He served as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Travis and Williamson Counties Federal Emergency Food and Shelter Program and has served on the State of Texas Emergency Food and Shelter Program State Set-Aside Committee. 

In 2007, Gil was the recipient of the Margaret Slack Award from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America recognizing his professional excellence. 

About KIDS Center:

Built by the community and for the community in 1994, KIDS Center is dedicated to the prevention, evaluation and treatment of all forms of child abuse. In a child-friendly environment, KIDS Center provides comprehensive child abuse evaluations to children who may have been abused, seeking to find out what has happened and supports a path to healing through family support and therapeutic services.

KIDS Center works to prevent child abuse from happening in our community through education, training, media campaigns, and events all designed to empower individuals to create a community where no child is abused. In 2018, KIDS Center served nearly 3,000 children and families in Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson counties, at zero cost to them.

Information about KIDS Center, including services provided and annual reports, can be found at

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