By Lee Chottiner
The Jewish Family & Career Services has hired a Louisville clinical psychologist to be its next chief executive officer.
Dr. David L. Finke was chosen following what the agency described as an “exhaustive” eight-week national search. He will start on Sept. 13.
Finke succeeds Deb Frockt, who resigned earlier this year after two years of service.
A community professional with 26 years of experience in clinical psychology and administrative management, Finke comes to the JFCS from Bellewood & Brooklawn (formerly Uspiritus), a residential treatment facility, where he served as vice president of residential programming.
“I am excited and appreciate this opportunity to join the dynamic team at JFCS,” Finke said in a prepared statement. “JFCS was founded to meet the needs of refugees resettling in Louisville in 1908 and today serves the broader Louisville community with a trauma-informed approach so well.”
A trauma-informed approach in the human service recognizes the impact of traumatic symptoms in the client’s life, whether they are refugees from war-torn countries, single parents supporting family or someone caring for a loved one with catastrophic condition.
As the CEO, Finke will provide strategic leadership to JFCS as it provides its core services: career support, counseling, family strengthening, Jewish life, older adult services and microenterprise development.
“He brings it to the next level,” said Lucy Love, JFCS director of mission advancement.
Karen Sherman, who co-chaired the search committee, said Finke’s background as a clinical psychologist, though attractive, was not the only reason he was chosen.
She said he Finke has experience leading an organization through times of change, interacting with people from many backgrounds, being a key listener and collaborating with partners.
“It’s an absolute bonus that he has that skillset [in psychology],” Sherman said, “but he brings so much more. He was the whole package for us.”
Sherman said the search committee received approximately 80 resumes from candidates of many different backgrounds.
“We had rabbis; we had people in healthcare; people in the not-for-profit space,” she said. “We had a wide variety of applicants, and many of them were significantly qualified.”
Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Finke graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and Michigan State University, where he earned his Ph.D in clinical psychology. He has been in private practice since 1995.
In addition to his work at Bellewood & Brooklawn, he co-chairs the Bounce Coalition, multi-agency community collaborative that implements trauma-informed practices in schools, courts, health care systems and other public and private sector agencies.
He and his wife, Helene, live in Louisville and are members of The Temple. They have three sons: Cole, Jacob and Max.
In a prepared statement, Mike Fine, president of the JFCS board, thanked Sherman and the other co-chair, Linda Shapiro, plus all the members of the search committee, for “shepherding us through a diligent, professional and efficient search which led us to David – an excellent CEO candidate who is already familiar with and respected in the communities JFCS serves.”