Dr. Ed Knight, President and CEO of Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services (PCHAS) since 1997, has announced his retirement, effective December 31, 2017. His current 20 years of outstanding service, combined with ten prior years from 1973-1983, will mark 30 years of service to PCHAS upon his retirement.
Dr. Knight knew all his life he wanted to be in a “helping profession,” especially one that empowers people to overcome dysfunctional family origins. He studied psychology in college and earned master’s degrees in both counseling and social work. Later in his career, he earned a doctorate in management and organizational development.
When he was drafted after college, he became a U.S. Army social worker. Following his service in the army, Dr. Knight began his distinguished career at PCHAS’ predecessor organization, Presbyterian Children’s Home and Service Agency. For ten years, from 1973 to 1983, he served as one of the agency’s social workers, and later as director of its Itasca campus.
When Dr. Knight left Presbyterian Children’s Home and Service Agency in 1983, he served as Hendrick Healthcare Systems’ Director of Social Work Service and Case Management for 15 years until 1997. Dr. Knight recently stated, “I learned a lot about management by working in health care, but now I can’t imagine being any place else but PCHAS.
He returned to another predecessor organization, Presbyterian Children’s Services, in 1997 and during this pre-merger time launched the Foster Care Program, which today is combined with Adoption and active in several Texas communities. In 2002, Dr. Knight shepherded the merger of Presbyterian Children’s Home and Presbyterian Children’s Services and became the first President and CEO of Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services. Remaining entrepreneurial, collaborative and forward thinking, he regularly pushes the 114-year-old organization to remain viable and an industry leader.
During Dr. Knight’s 20 years of leadership, the number of clients PCHAS serves each year has increased from less than 1,000 in 1997 to 3,400 today.
At its October 28-29 meeting, the PCHAS Board of Trustees’ Succession Planning Team named David Thompson, who currently serves as the agency’s Chief Operating Officer, to succeed Dr. Knight as its next President, effective January 1, 2018.