Community Concepts Hires CEO to Lead Strategic Change

Michael Carey, Board Chair of Community Concepts of Lewiston announced today the hiring of Shawn Yardley as its next Chief Executive Officer: “The Board of Directors of Community Concepts is delighted to have been able to attract a leader of Shawn’s caliber. Shawn is a proven, transformational leader who shares our commitment to helping people build the knowledge, skills, and assets to move out of poverty.”Shawn Yardley

Shawn Yardley said, “I am honored to have been selected to join the great staff at Community Concepts. I am attracted by the organization’s mission, and the work that its dedicated staff members do every day. We have a great opportunity to serve people struggling in today’s economy and help them achieve self-sufficiency, but also to engage with our communities to work together to create conditions that will help lift people out of poverty. I look forward to joining the team.”

Yardley has a statewide reputation for leading successful efforts to address complex issues. Lewiston City Manager Ed Barrett said, “Shawn is a great leader who combines wide-ranging management experience with a commitment to helping people. I have seen how Shawn leads change in an organization with his energy and the trust he engenders in colleagues and partners.” When serving as the Bangor City Manager, Mr. Barrett hired Yardley and worked with him for seven years. Yardley is an original member of the Public Health Work Group that worked for four years to develop Maine’s public health infrastructure.

Most recently serving as Director of Community Services at Penobscot Community Health Care, Yardley spent almost a decade as Director of the Bangor Health and Community Services Department, was the Executive Director of the River Coalition in Old Town, and spent 17 years with Maine’s Department of Human Services where he served as the Regional Program Manager for Penobscot, Piscataquis, Hancock, and Washington Counties. Yardley has a B.A. from the University of Maine, and MS and MBA from Husson University.

Mike Aube, CEO and President of Eastern Maine Development Corporation says, “Shawn is an extraordinary leader whose career has been devoted to developing successful partnerships for the benefit of the Bangor region and Maine as a whole.” Shawn has been repeatedly elected to serve on the State Coordinating Council for Public Health since its inception, and in 2006 he was appointed by Governor Baldacci to the inaugural State Homeless Council, an appointment he continues to hold today.

The appointment of Yardley came as the result of a national search, during which time Cathy Kidman has served at Community Concepts’ interim CEO. “We are grateful and appreciative of Cathy’s fantastic leadership,” said Carey. “She led staff and volunteer leaders in setting a strategic direction for Community Concepts and positioned the agency for the successful search. The Board of Directors of Community Concepts and I are very excited for what the future holds.” Yardley will officially join Community Concepts in the week of September 28th.

Founded in 1965 and celebrating its 50th year, Community Concepts, Inc. is a private, non-profit community action organization serving central and western Maine. Its mission is to provide leadership, education and support to build thriving individuals, families and communities. The agency provides a broad spectrum of services to individuals and families, under the guidance of a volunteer Board of Directors. Community Concepts has set a strategic direction to improve its ability to help people move out of poverty and achieve self-sufficiency by: building knowledge, skills and assets; reducing the burden of poverty; and improving the quality of life in the rural and urban communities we serve.