The board of directors of Equest, a nonprofit organization that provides equine-assisted services to children and adults with disabilities and veterans with special needs, announces Myrshem George as its new CEO effective immediately. George will succeed CEO Lili Kellogg, who recently retired after a 28-year tenure at Equest.
"The CEO search committee, led by board member Tim Gavin, was unanimous in its selection of Myrshem. His extensive development and operations experience will uniquely position Equest for the future; stretching channel partnerships, developing new alliances while expanding our client reach in the community. Each of us look forward to working with Myrshem," said Lisa Laughlin, who along with Clint Haggerty, serves as board co-chair.
Described as a dedicated, determined, resourceful, strategic, creative and dynamic individual, who is committed to helping build thriving communities, George looks forward to bringing his expertise to Equest.
“I am humbled and honored to have been selected as Lili Kellogg’s successor, now leading the charge for this remarkable agency,” he said. “Following in Lili’s footsteps, it is my sincere hope to build upon past successes, while working to position Equest as a center of excellence in the equine therapy space. With a dynamic team, we will continue to develop and provide innovative services, in turn helping North Texans with diverse needs, find hope and healing through horses.”
Prior to Equest, George has held fundraising and operational positions within several non-profit agencies and universities, where he believes he has found his passion. He has served as the chief advancement officer, and most recently the chief operating officer, at Austin Street Center, where he spent the past four years in service to Dallas’ most vulnerable homeless neighbors.
As chief advancement officer, George handled all revenue-generating activities, including special events and individual, foundation, corporate and government funding. He also managed aspects that helped to advance the agency’s mission, including volunteer services, in-kind donations, data quality and integrity, and communications/public relations. Over his tenure at Austin Street, George grew the agency’s annual fundraising from $3.3M in fiscal year 2019 to $4.9M in fiscal year 2020, $8.5M in fiscal year 2021 and $7.9M in fiscal year 2022. As well, he also served as an integral part of the launch and successful completion of the “Help Them Home Capital Campaign,” garnering more than $18.9M through private support and New Market Tax Credits. This campaign led to the construction of the Austin Street Center for Community Engagement – a 60,000 square foot, ultramodern homeless shelter, and day service center which provides critical care for Dallas’ vulnerable neighbors. This Center began serving clients in June 2022, to which George then transitioned to head the Shelter’s daily operations as chief operating officer.
Before joining Austin Street Center in 2019, George served as the senior director of development for communication initiatives at the University of North Texas. Before transitioning to UNT, he worked at several other institutions of higher education and other nonprofits, such as Collin College, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Sacramento, the University of Washington and the University of the Virgin Islands’ Reichhold Center for the Arts.
George is a native of the United States Virgin Islands, St. Thomas more specifically, and has more than 22 years professional experience within the nonprofit sector, as an operational, administrative, and fundraising executive. He received his Master of Business Administration, concentrating in Human Resource Management from the University of Phoenix, AZ, complemented by a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing, and an Associate of Arts in Business Management from the University of the Virgin Islands.
Founded in 1981, Equest provides equine assisted learning, therapies and counseling to children and adults with physical, cognitive, sensory, coping and learning disabilities, as well as veterans who receive all of Equest’s services at no charge. The services provided include physical and occupational therapy, equine facilitated counseling and equine assisted learning, therapeutic carriage driving, therapeutic horsemanship and competition. With the help of 34 therapy horses, nine instructors, five therapists, five counselors, and 700 volunteers, lives are changed for more than 2,000 served annually. Equest was the first PATH International Premier Accredited Center in Texas and remains one of the largest in the country. Equest offers an engaging volunteer program that provides 30,000 hours of direct program service opportunities each year. www.equest.org