Justin Fox Burks
The Urban Child Institute's headquarters on Jefferson.
The Urban Child Institute's (TUCI) board of directors has named Gary Shorb, the retiring CEO of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, as its new, permanent executive director.
The move comes in an era of change for the nonprofit agency. TUCI had long been criticized in the community for sitting on a large investment fund but giving little of it to Memphis charities that actually help children ages 0-3 years, the group of children on which
TUCI focuses its research work.
But in less than a year, TUCI has announced new leaders and a new gifting strategy to get more money into the Memphis community. Gene Cashman, TUCI's founder and longtime executive director, and board chairman Dr. Hershel "Pat" Wall retired from the agency in December. Le Bonheur Children's Hospital CEO Meri Armour has since been serving as TUCI's interim executive director.
“Gary Shorb is well respected in the community and has an impeccable reputation for honesty, transparency, partnership and hard work,” TUCI board chair Jill Crocker said in a statement. "Gary is one of the great leaders of Memphis and we are thrilled that he agreed to lead The Urban Child Institute. He will continue his work to bring our community together to better serve our children and our city.”
Shorb has served as Methodist's CEO since 2001 and joined the nonprofit health care company in 1990.
He serves on the boards of Memphis Tomorrow, the Memphis Bioworks Foundation, Healthy Shelby, People First, Committee for Economic Development, Governor Haslam’s Scientific Advisory Council, the University of Memphis Board of Visitors, and the Tennessee Business Roundtable.
He is past chairman of the Overton Park Conservancy, chair of Memphis Fast Forward and he serves on the board of the publicly traded Mid-America Apartment Communities (MAA).
“I am honored to serve as executive director of The Urban Child Institute," Shorb said in a statement. "Urban Child’s mission of promoting health and well-being for children and their families is a natural fit with my history of working in health care.
"I’m glad to continue working to improve our community in this next phase of my life. I am very committed to doing all I can to help children and families. I had hoped to continue involvement in community health work after leaving Methodist and this allows me to do just that.”