Brent Henry says goodbye to Gerard Academy

Published 8:25 am Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Longtime Gerard Academy Executive Director Brent Henry has announced he will retire on March 22, after 42 years with the organization.

Brent Henry

During his tenure with Gerard Academy, Henry has worked to create a culture filled wtih “love and compassion,” according to a Gerard press release.

His philosophy is, “that the workplace should be fun and a safe place for employees to be themselves and to grow. When people enjoy their job, they are more productive. They should love coming to work.”

Email newsletter signup

He believes this creates a better environment for the kids.

“Our product is growth, and at the end of the day, that is why I’ve stayed at Gerard for so long,” Henry said

Henry was hired with Gerard in 1973 while living in Mason City, Iowa. He was one of the first three people to work for the Mason City Gerard Academy. At that time, Henry said he didn’t know a thing about residential treatment programs.

Over the years, he took on more leadership roles with the organization and in 1989, Henry became director of group living for both Mason City and Austin.

In 1991, he and six other employees from Gerard of Iowa purchased the Gerard Programs, and one year later, Henry became the full-time program director for the Austin Gerard program.

In 1999, Gerard Programs became part of Nexus Treatment Programs and in 2003, Henry was named executive director for both Austin and Mason City.

Under Henry Gerard grew from a 30-bed program with a school in a garage-like building in 1999 to a 93-bed campus with a new school, full-sized gymnasium, and a community outpatient program that provides therapeutic care for children, teens, adults, and families in the region.

The success of the Gerard program included  several training programmings he developed over the years for the employees.

He plans to continue offering his trainings through the Austin Community Education program.