Episcopal Children’s Services CEO announces retirement


Following a long career of public service and leadership, Chief Executive Officer Connie Stophel has announced her retirement from Episcopal Children’s Services (ECS), the second largest nonprofit in Northeast Florida. Stophel has informed the board of trustees of her decision to retire at the end of the year.

Since 2003, Stophel has been leading ECS as the chief executive officer; however, her career with the agency spans more than 30 years. With most of her professional career dedicated to Episcopal Children’s Services, the agency has dramatically increased its revenues from $13 million to $98 million and expanded the service area to 14 counties in Florida after humble beginnings of a single child care center in 1966.

Stophel’s commitment to excellence, superb leadership and dedication to innovation are only exceeded by her passion for the mission of creating opportunity for the children served by the agency to reach their full potential in life.

Episcopal Children’s Services continues to be recognized as one of the largest nonprofits in the region and the expansion of its programs proves the commitment to excellence and quality. The work of the agency is consistently recognized by the Office of Head Start, demonstrating the agency’s dedication to quality and effective programs and services.

“I am grateful to have served the Northeast and Central Florida community for more than 30 years and I am excited about the future of Episcopal Children’s Services,” Stophel said. “I am still and will always be invested in the mission and will work to ensure that all children reach their fullest potential.”

Upon learning of Stophel’s planned retirement, the board developed a search committee and has retained a national search firm with experience placing nonprofit leaders in large, leading organizations similar to Episcopal Children’s Services. The search process is underway with the goal of having a new CEO in place no later than January 2024.

Episcopal Children’s Services serves more than 27,000 children and their families in 14 counties in Florida. ECS offers School Readiness, Head Start and Early Head Start programs in St. Johns, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam, Marion, Dixie, Gilchrist, Lake, Levy, Citrus and Alachua counties.

ECS uses research and best practices to help families ensure their children enter school ready to learn. Talented, dedicated teachers and staff work proactively with children from birth to age 5 and their families to build a strong educational foundation.


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