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Darrell Gordon  

CEO at Wernle Youth & Family Treatment Center and Youth Development Expert; Leadership & Diversity Trainer

Darrell Gordon has exhibited extraordinary leadership and determination in the social service and business sector environment since serving as CEO/President at Wernle Youth & Family Treatment Center, a nationally recognized residential treatment facility serving severely neglected and abused youth primarily in Indiana and Ohio. Darrell’s dynamic personality and ability to motivate himself and others helps to direct his team of staff and children to the 2005 Achievement of Excellence Non-Profit Organization of the Year Award. He has successfully acquired COA accreditation as a provider for cost-effectiveness and exemplar outcomes. Darrell has transformed the organization and increased net assets in his 13 years by 154% from $3.7 million to $9.5 million. He has led an organization that was truly struggling to one with a positive national presence. Under his leadership, in 2014 Wernle was chosen as 1 of 3 national finalists for the 2014 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen award for extraordinary improvement to facility quality of life and operations. To add to Darrell’s success at Wernle, in 2016 he secured two of the largest charitable gifts in the nation to a social services agency, totaling over $3,000,000.

Darrell is also an author, releasing his first book in 2018 entitled Change Does Not Occur In A Flash. He has appeared on many national talk shows, news broadcasts, and commercials discussing topics on youth development, student-athletic success, dealing with change, organizational development and the need for character. Darrell also serves as a national public speaker on topics such as Diversity Training and Leadership Empowerment for Change.

Darrell Gordon was a former starting outside linebacker on the 1988 National Championship Notre Dame Football Team. In 2003, Darrell received The National Williams D. Reynolds Award by the Notre Dame Alumni Association for performing exceptional work with youth for the betterment of the quality of life. In 2005, Darrell also received The Exceptional Service Award by The Chase College of Law for exhibiting the ideals of Chase through daily contributions in service to the community. In 2006, Darrell was the recipient of the top 20 Distinguished Minority Notre Dame Alumni Exemplar Award. In 2008, Darrell received the Notre Dame Law Association St. Yves Award for devoting substantial time and effort in the practice or support of social justice law. In 2014, He was chosen as 1 of 25 top executives in the state of Indiana to participate in the 2015 Journey Fellowship. In 2015, Darrell was the recipient of the Center for Leadership Development Minority Achievers award for excellence in Business & Industry and the IARCA Excellence in Service Award. In 2016, Darrell was awarded the highest honor in the State of Indiana, the Sagamore of the Wabash award, from Governor Mike Pence (now Vice President of the United States). In 2019, Darrell was the recipient of the 2019 Champion of Diversity award from the Indiana Minority Business Magazine.

Darrell earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business and a Master’s degree of Science in Administration from Notre Dame, a Juris Doctorate from Northern Kentucky University’s Chase College of Law, a Certification in Fund Raising Management (CFRM) from Indiana University School of Philanthropy, and Strategic Perspective in Nonprofit Management from Harvard Business School Executive Education Program.

Speech Topics

He has experience as a keynote speaker on a variety of topics about change including:

Keep Your Head Up: Finding Motivation and Inspiration in These Troubled Times

Who's in Charge Here?: Developing The Skills To Become a Strong Leader

Go Team!: Finding Success Through Effective Teamwork

When The Going Gets Tough:Dealing With Adversity and Overcoming Life's Challenges

You Are The Future: Developing Successful Youth and Nurturing Tomorrows Leaders

I'm No Different Than You: Overcoming Stereotypes Through Understanding Cultural Diversity

Performance Enhancers: Coaching High Performance People and Helping Others Find Success

You're Worth-Priceless: Enhance Your Worth by Developing Strong Character Traits

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