“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
This Benjamin Franklin quote, adorning a paperweight on Lee Mitchell’s desk, is a gift from his wife. Mitchell recently joined The Barry Robinson Center team as director of finance. And this quote offers a hint into his leadership philosophy.
“I like teaching and helping people grow in their roles,” Mitchell said. “I really enjoy encouraging employees to learn and take advantage of new opportunities. It’s important to explain why we’re doing something, rather than just telling someone to do it. Everybody’s smarter when they understand the bigger picture.”
If you expect a director of finance to take pleasure in spreadsheets and data, Mitchell fits the bill. But he goes much further in his role, as he looks for ways to care for residents and staff.
“A former co-worker called me an enigma,” he chuckled. “One definition of the word is ‘different from what someone expects.’ I guess that’s me.”
With more than 30 years in hospitals and behavioral health settings, Mitchell brings a depth of knowledge and experience that will help the Center continue to improve the lives of children and families.
Mitchell comes to the Center from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where he has been a financial consultant for a couple years. During his career, he served as chief financial officer for health care facilities in Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio, Arkansas and Missouri.
At the Center, Mitchell reports directly to CEO Rob McCartney. McCartney and Mitchell know several behavioral health colleagues in common, and they talked a couple times about a role at the Center. Mitchell said McCartney successfully recruited him while sharing the Center’s mission and resident-focused care.
Mitchell fills a key position in program planning, financial analysis and trend forecasting. He’s working closely with department directors on budgets and projects. Although much of his experience has been at for-profit businesses, he embraces the Center’s non-profit mission.
“Our number one job is to return children to their family safely,” he said. “We want to ensure we have the right staff, who are well-trained, to care for our children and teens, and to positively impact their lives.
“When you take care of residents and staff and do what’s right, you’ll have a great program,” he added.