Cedar Lake CEO to retire

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By Jacquelyn Stoess Hack

When CEO Jim Richardson joined Cedar Lake in 1977, the non-profit served 28 individuals.

Today, Cedar Lake Inc., an agency with a span of services and care ranging from individuals with mild disabilities to the community's most medically fragile residents, includes 30 locations in the Louisville area.

And after 34 years with the organization, Richardson plans to retire.

“It has been my privilege, and honor, to work as Cedar Lake’s chief executive,” Richardson said.  “I appreciate the opportunity that Cedar Lake gave me as a young professional back in 1977, and all the successive years of faithful support, trust, assistance and guidance that has made my tenure at Cedar Lake so productive, and so professionally and personally rewarding.”

During his tenure, Cedar Lake has advanced to become a leader in the field of care for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

When Richardson joined Cedar Lake in 1977, the organization has a $500,000 budget. 

Today, Cedar Lake’s three operating divisions have a service capacity of 320, with an annual operating budget in excess of $22 million.

Business First recently ranked Cedar Lake as the Louisville region’s eighth largest nonprofit organization.

Cedar Lake was founded in 1970 by parents of individuals with intellectual disabilities who rejected bleak institutional care and insufficient community options.

Cedar Lake's three divisions  include a long-term residential healthcare and rehabilitation agency, an array of community-based housing and support services, and a foundation for fund-raising, endowment management, public relations and charitable support for indigent and needy individuals served by Cedar Lake.

Tim Moody, chairman of the Cedar Lake Inc. board of directors, said Richardson has transformed Cedar Lake into one of the nation's premier non-profit organizations serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  

"His capabilities have been exceeded only by his high personal commitment to our residents and the excellence of their care," Moody said.  

During Richardson’s tenure Cedar Lake Lodge formed Cedar Lake Foundation to supplement uncertain government funding and help stabilize the future financial security of the organization, as well as to aide indigent residents and clients.  

Dr. John G. Hubbard, a Louisville urologist, chairs the Cedar Lake Foundation. Hubbard said as the father of a Cedar Lake Lodge resident, he sees firsthand how  Richardson’s standard of excellence and his passion extend throughout Cedar Lake.

Richardson also established the Cedar Lake Residences division during a time when it was  uncommon for adults with intellectual disabilities to be integrated into the community.

He secured 10 grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the acquisition and construction of new apartments and homes for low-income persons with disabilities.

Richardson embraced the importance of strategic planning and fostered the use of assessment and planning to guide Cedar Lake in adapting and expanding its service system to better serve aging and medically fragile adults and to develop a broad array of services. 

Today, Cedar Lake’s span of services and care extends from those with mild disabilities to the most medically fragile, and spread over 30 locations in Jefferson, Oldham and Henry counties.

Active in community and professional affairs, Richardson held the position of president in the La Grange Rotary Club, the Louisville Civitan Club, the Kentucky Association of Private Providers, and the Lutheran Social Ministry Association of Indiana and Kentucky; he was also appointed by Governor Patton to serve on the Kentucky Commission on Services and Supports for Disabilities. 

His board service included the American Network of Community Options and Resources, the Oldham County Chamber of Commerce, the Kentucky Association of Homes and Services for the Aging and the PNC Bank regional advisory board.

Richardson future plans include spending more time with his family and five grandchildren, as a part-time management consultant and serving as an advocate for families of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

An executive search, led by Louisville-based The Oliver Group, has commenced the process to find Richardson’s successor.

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