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Executive Director Jess Schload Announces Retirement, Board Chooses Successor

Jess Schload will leave the position December 31.  Current Director of Programs will assume the Role January 1, 2020

 Mount Sequoyah Center, Inc. has announced today that Jess Schload will retire as Executive Director and that the Board of Directors has appointed Emily Gentry to succeed him in the role.  Through a reorganization, Gentry will become the President and Chief Executive Officer.

Schload joined the nonprofit education and retreat center in May 2016.

Gentry has held a variety of roles since joining the organization in 2012, including interim CEO.  Most recently, she has been the Director of Programs.

Schload’s final day as Executive Director will be December 31, 2019.  Gentry will begin the job on January 1, 2020.

“I am proud of all that we have accomplished in my tenure at Mount Sequoyah,” said Schload.  “The Mountain is in the very capable hands of the staff; I have a deep appreciation for the hard work they put into caring for the campus and its mission.  I have had a long career with non-profit conference centers and this one is truly unique and special.”

“We appreciate the leadership, vision, and guidance that Jess has provided this organization during his time here,” said Mike Ross, Chairman of the Board of Directors.  “Mount Sequoyah was a different organization three years ago.  Jess has been instrumental in shaping Mount Sequoyah into the vital and welcoming community resource that it is today.”

“Furthermore, the Board has great confidence in Emily’s ability to take over next year,” Ross said.  “The decision to promote from within is the right choice for Mount Sequoyah.  Emily knows the organization well and has exhibited great leadership through Camp Sequoyah and our children, youth, and adult programs.”

Gentry said, “I am honored and humbled by the confidence the Board has in me.  We have a lot more growing to do and I am excited about the opportunities we have in Northwest Arkansas,” Gentry said.  “I know how vital a culture of teamwork is to our success and I am thrilled to share the leadership of Mount Sequoyah with my colleagues.”

Rebecca Liles, Director of Hospitality, has been promoted to Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.  She will serve over the guest services, culinary, housekeeping, and maintenance departments.  Current Director of Development, Christina Karnatz, has been appointed Vice President of Development, Communications, and Marketing.