The Barry Robinson Center

The Barry Robinson Center, the nation’s only residential treatment program exclusively dedicated to serving military-connected youth and their families, has announced that Mandi Wines has been promoted to Vice President of Operations with immediate effect. After a nine-month exhaustive nationwide search, Wines, who has been with the organization for five years as the Clinical Director for the Girls’ Program, was chosen for the position.

Previously, Wines oversaw clinical programming, therapy assignments, communicated with families, and managed interns in the highly sought-after internship program at The Barry Robinson Center. In her new role, Wines will oversee clinical programming for the entirety of the residential program, as well as nursing staff, educational programming, nutrition, and campus infrastructure.

CEO Robert McCartney states, “Mandi is a tremendous leader. She not only understands the culture of competency, kindness, and fun at The Barry Robinson Center; she uses that culture to promote successful outcomes among our staff, our residents, and their families. We are fortunate to have such a talented team of executives to look towards when making these significant changes in leadership, and I am looking forward to the continued growth of all our programs as we maintain our steadfast commitment to the youth and young adults we serve through The James BarryRobinson Institute.”

As a twenty-three-year resident of Hampton Roads and a graduate of Eastern Virginia Medical School, Wines is deeply committed to continuing the remarkable success at The Barry Robinson Center. “I am incredibly proud of the work we do here, and I am humbled by the strength and determination of our residents and their families. This new role will allow me to continue to walk alongside the youth here as they heal and take the next steps towards successful futures, and I am grateful for the opportunity,” said Wines.

About The Barry Robinson Center

The Barry Robinson Center is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides a holistic environment that sets military-connected youth and their families on the path to healing. Our staff includes qualified and compassionate therapists, teachers, counselors, doctors, nurses, and dietitians. Our open, college-like campus on the border of Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Virginia, combines modern residential facilities with several original colonial-style buildings dating to 1933. This combination makes it one of the most beautiful and unique residential treatment centers in the region. Our campus provides a safe and serene setting for programs designed to help military-connected youth and their families overcome emotional and behavioral difficulties.

As one riffles through national headlines, the overwhelming number of articles discussing the demand for staff cannot be ignored. “Help Wanted” signs are in every window locally, and large billboards detail the employee benefits for a variety of companies as you maneuver through the traffic in Hampton Roads. Employees, depending on their skills, appear to have the luxury of being very selective in their career choices. Job seekers no longer have to settle; they are able to commit their time and energy to organizations that offer more—more benefits, more advancement, and more purpose.

While these other companies are struggling to fill vacancies, The James Barry-Robinson Institute (JBRI) has 95% of positions filled! So how is a nearly ninety-year-old nonprofit in Norfolk, Virginia, not only filling those vacancies but also filling them with exceptional candidates that see a future with the organization?

There are a few variables to consider:

The leadership is outstanding! While other firms post jobs on the standard job boards and websites and wait for calls, the team at JBRI seeks out candidates who not only have the qualifications but also understand the culture of the organization. A huge part of the mission at The Barry Robinson Center, JBRI’s residential program, is to serve military- connected youth and their families. Candidates who have an understanding of military life and the challenges military-connected youth often face arrive on campus, and they instantly find a connection to the incredible work being done. Jen Padavana, Director of Engagement, states, “We place our mission first. The youth and families we serve deserve to interact with a staff that puts the “why” into their role every day.”

The culture of the organization is central to its success! CEO Robert McCartney often says, “To work here, you have to be competent, be kind, and have fun!” While many companies might portray a similar ethos as they share smiling stock images on recruitment ads and talk about the family environment future employees may enjoy, the team at JBRI lives by the standard. Recently, employees were asked, “Why do you love working here?” for a simple video to obtain organic reactions in an impromptu setting. It was remarkable how, regardless of which department we were speaking to, the answers were very similar. They genuinely love their job, the mission-driven work they do, and the environment in which they work.

JBRI has enjoyed unprecedented growth over the last ten years! With the expansion of the Intensive Outpatient Program for teens and young adults as well as JBRI’s poverty initiative, Next Step To Success, aimed at helping teens in Norfolk realize their incredible potential, the organization not only seeks new hires but also looks within when promotions are made and new projects need an inspirational leader.

Prospective employees want to know they can look forward to new roles, professional growth, and, of course, competitive compensation. They trust that those opportunities can be found within JBRI; there is no need to look elsewhere.

At conferences and events, it is not uncommon for participants to ask questions about The Barry Robinson Center. They have heard about our program, our focus on care, and our many success stories and want to know more. As a nearly ninety-year-old nonprofit, we are eager to share our perspective with others and how they can also choose to put connection before correction. However, some of what we do can’t be put into words. The unspoken personal dedication within our team is what makes the organization special.

Upon walking back to my office this summer, Laura Chaney, our Director of National and OCONUS Relations, passed me in the hall. She greeted me with a smile, but Laura had that look—the look many have seen before—that she had a family that needed our help, and that was her focus. The file in her hand represented a mission. Within a matter of minutes, I could hear the halls buzzing with activity. This military-connected family was from outside the United States, and their child needed urgent acceptance into our facility. Within two hours, our clinical team reviewed the files for admission, the youth was assigned a therapist familiar with the unique needs of the resident, and their room was being prepared.

Throughout the next 24 hours, as we tracked the process of the case, we watched as our fantastic admissions team organized a myriad of details and reviewed flight options, determining whether the family would be coming in on a military flight or a commercial flight. When arrangements were settled, the second stage of the mission went into effect. Our Senior Vice President, Dr. Chuck Brooks, a remarkable man who has dedicated more than 50 years to the field, chose to collect the family personally from the airport. This type of personal connection is typical for Dr. Brooks, a man who makes you feel that you have known him for a lifetime and values the importance of a handwritten thank-you note. He acknowledges parents are making a monumental decision when choosing residential treatment for their child, and even after decades in the field and hundreds of admissions similar to this one at The Barry Robinson Center, the admission of each child should be taken with a renewed sense of hope and dedication to healing. So, when the flight was delayed by several hours, Dr. Brooks was still there, waiting for the exhausted family to arrive and helping them check in to their hotel around midnight. So, this family never had to question the next step; Laura had left a welcome basket in their room, letting them know she would be there in the morning to pick them up to begin the admissions process on campus.

After this type of admission is finalized, one could say “mission complete,” but it’s just the beginning. Connection and trust are continuous and central to our mission of improving the lives of children and their families. So, when others ask, “Why do parents choose The Barry Robinson Center?” or “What makes you different from other residential facilities?” The answer is often intangible. We are proud to say, “This is what we do and who we are.” Because in the end, one’s commitment and devotion cannot be measured.

Please contact us to learn more about our services or to refer a youth in need