John Farrimond has accepted the position as president and CEO of Siskin Children’s Institute and will begin his new role on Jan. 2, 2013. Mr. Farrimond visited Chattanooga this week to meet with Institute board members and staff.
Board of Director’s President Scott LeRoy said a board appointed presidential search committee reviewed an impressive pool of potential candidates to fill the president’s position. “We were pleased with the number and quality of the applicants,” said Mr. LeRoy. “After a series of interviews with John, the committee knew he was the right person to lead the Institute into its next chapter. He brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, energy and vision to the organization.”
Mr. Farrimond has an undergraduate degree from Missouri State University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Since 2005 he has served as a senior executive at The Help Group in Los Angeles. Founded in 1975, The Help Group is a comprehensive system of schools and programs that serves children with special needs related to autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, ADHD, developmental delays, abuse and emotional problems. His multifaceted background will serve him well as he assumes the presidency of the Institute.
He is no stranger to the field of special needs. “My father was the director of Special Education, and my mother was a speech pathologist in the Illinois public school system,” said Mr. Farrimond. “They planted the seeds of my career. I am grateful to be in a field where my efforts have a positive impact on the lives of children with special needs and their families. The ability to continue what has become my life’s work at Siskin Children’s Institute fills me with great energy.”
When he made the decision to apply for the position, Mr. Farrimond said he began researching and learning more about the Institute and was impressed with its scope and mission. “The Institute is an extraordinary organization,” he said. “It is a wonderfully dedicated community—faculty, staff, board of directors, volunteers, governmental and philanthropic partners—all working together to open doors of opportunity for the kids.”
Mr. Farrimond and his wife Ruth have numerous relatives across the South and so are looking forward to their relocation to Chattanooga with their eight-year-old daughter. “While fond of Los Angeles, Chattanooga is a vibrant, forward moving city—a warm and welcoming community where we look forward to raising our family and becoming involved,” he said. “Our love of outdoor recreation, the arts, museums and unique restaurants will be a great fit for us here in the Scenic City.”
“John is an outstanding professional who is passionate about helping children and their families. I know the Institute’s future is bright with him at the helm,” said outgoing President and CEO Jerry Jensen who has been with the organization for seven years. Last March, Mr. Jensen announced his plans to leave the Institute at the end of 2012 to move back to his native Kansas City to be closer to family.