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Gordon J. Simmons, RHA CEO, Retires After Remarkable Career

Jeanne Duncan, President of RHA Health Services will take the lead as RHA's new CEO

Asheville, NC – October 19, 2017

Gordon J. Simmons, CEO of RHA Health Services and Pace Health Companies, has decided to retire at the end of October 2017 after twenty years of service and leadership, capping a remarkable career in the health care industry.

RHA Health Services provides a broad array of person-centered, integrated, and high quality supports and services focused on children and adults living with behavioral health and substance use challenges and intellectual and developmental disabilities across North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. Corporate offices are located in Raleigh NC, Asheville NC, and Atlanta Ga. New leadership will work to continue his legacy as Jeanne Duncan, President of RHA Health Services, will take the lead as the new CEO. The current CFO, Nick Sulaiman, will assume the role of President.

In 1997, Mr. Simmons joined RHA Health Services, Inc., in Asheville, NC, as President and CEO. He worked with the management team to build upon the existing organization and to identify and execute strategic initiatives. He instilled in the team the goals of following the principles of quality resident and client care, producing solid financial performance, and generating growth of the business.

During his visionary tenure, RHA Health Services’ annual revenue has increased tremendously and currently employs over 5,000 staff and operates over 400 locations. He is also the most recent winner of the Steve Jordan 2017 Lighthouse Award given at the NC Providers Council Annual Conference which is based on creative leadership, inspiring others, and a taking the lead in innovation at the community, state, and national level.

“I am very proud to have had the opportunity and privilege to be a part of RHA Health Services where commitment to excellence is embedded in the very nature and culture of the company. I look forward to watching RHA’s continued growth and expansion as we deliver quality care to our communities” says Mr. Simmons.

RHA Health Services is extremely grateful for Gordon’s years of outstanding leadership. He is highly respected and loved by the entire RHA family and has been an inspiration to both employees and to the people we serve. He and his wife Kathleen look forward to spending a lot of time at their home on the Jersey Coast. We wish them much happiness as they enjoy time with their four children and six grandchildren.

“An RHA without Gordon Simmons…that is really hard to even think about. His unwavering focus on quality is woven throughout our organization- it is the very fabric of who we are. Incredibly high standards, truthfulness, kindness, and compassion have made him a leader among leaders”, says Jeanne Duncan, President of RHA Health Services.

Media Contact
Debbie Valentine 
RHA Health Services 
Marketing and Communications 
dvalentine@rhanet.org 
919-803-2960 x 227

For more information about RHA Health Services visit www.rhahealthservices.org.


Here's What RHA Executives Had To Say About Gordon

I am so fortunate to have had a job I love and a mentor the caliber of Gordon. His unwavering focus on quality is woven throughout our organization- it is the very fabric of who we are. Incredibly high standards, truthfulness, kindness, and compassion have made him a leader among leaders. Gordon will of course be missed by the RHA family, but also by an industry where he has been an advocate for the people we support. I wish him the best that retirement can offer. May he always have a big fish on the line and a grandchild on his knee!
Jeanne Duncan, New Chief Executive Office, previous President RHA Health Services


One could never put into words the kind of person Gordon is and the type of culture he has created within RHA. The remarkable thing about his character is the way he has positively impacted so many people he has never come into contact with – including employees, clients, and the community. He has never once wavered on his principles to advocate for the people we serve. We hope to continue to build on his legacy.
Nick Sulaiman, New President & Chief Financial Officer, RHA Health Services


He is one of the toughest CEO’s around but the truth is his big heart is what founded, maintained, and has grown this company. Enriching the lives of the people we serve so they can live in their own communities as independently as they choose-that is his true passion. This will be his legacy.
Kathy Smith, PHD COO RHA Health Services, Behavioral Health


I have learned a lot from Gordon through the years. One of the items that sticks out the most is his focus on Quality, Financial Performance, and Growth-these three factors have contributed to the success of our organization and all go hand in hand. He taught us that quality should always be our top priority, “if you're not growing you're dying, but at the end of the day 'we have to pay the bills and feed the dog".
Jennifer Lineberger, COO RHA Health Services


Your influence and dedication at RHA truly made a lasting impact, and one that has changed the company for the better in so many ways. Not every leader can retire with such dignity, respect and a teary-eyed farewell from the whole organization. May you enjoy your grandchildren, and I wish you much happiness.
Denise Redfearn, Chief Information Officer


Gordon has taught me to avoid thinking about whether or not something can be done, but how to accomplish it. His leadership is about doing the right thing, taking care of relationships, and focusing on the people we serve. It was very easy to take ownership for the ethics of RHA when you know that shortcuts and suppression are anathema to the CEO.
Danny F. Fulmer II, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer


Thank you cannot begin to express my gratitude for all the lessons you have taught me. It seems like only yesterday, I started with RHA in our Concord area. No office, no staff, no consumers but a mission and passion for community-based services. The months turned to years in a blink of an eye! Each year brought exciting changes ,both professionally and personally, and with your support we met those challenges. You should retire with pride, not because you had a fantastic career but because your employees look up to you and want to be just like you when they retire. We are so excited for your new adventure!. Congrats!
Jill Lineberger Vice President of Operations, Behavioral Health


Gordon has inspired me as a clinician and a leader. Early on in my leadership role with RHA, I asked Gordon why he moved from direct care to leadership. His comment inspired me to continue my journey in the leadership role “Deb, when you lead you are helping others develop a vision and systems that translates to quality care touching many individuals.” I will always remember those words!
Debra Vuocolo, RN, BSN, Vice President of Operations Behavioral Health


RHA Health Services is extremely grateful for Gordon’s leadership and years of service to the company. He is highly respected and loved by the entire RHA family and has been an inspiration to both employees and to the people we serve. We wish them much happiness as they enjoy time with their six grandchildren.
Denise Turner, PHR SHRM,-CP & CPP, VP of HR


Quality, Quality, Quality, Quality....Financial Performance, and Growth. The sign of a strong leader is developing others to be good leaders.
Cindy Myers, VP of Operations


Gordon has touched thousands of lives by guiding us in growth, while ensuring quality, accountability and integrity. His heart and compassion has always been for the people of RHA.
Jan Herring, VP of Operations


My favorite quote from Gordon is “Facts Don’t Lie.” He always told me that whenever I have to present findings from audits or visits that may not be pleasant, just stick to the facts. The facts may not always be pleasant, but “facts don’t lie.” I have carried that message with me throughout the years.
Robin Correll, RN, DNP Vice-President of Nursing Services


Nothing is worse than missing a call with Gordon, because there was always a specific reason he was calling! I have learned a great deal from his leadership and have tried to apply his principles into how I do my job. “Safety, Quality and Financial Performance” will forever be ingrained in me. Thank you for your tremendous leadership!
Margaret Gartlgruber Senior VP of Operations Tennessee


Gordon’s leadership has been such an inspiration and I’m honored to keep him informed on our BH services in Western NC. His unwavering focus on high quality care, enduring relationships, and problem solving are themes that I hope to continue in my career. You will be incredibly missed!
Sandy Feutz, VP of Operations


Gordon brought an imposing physical presence for more than 20 years to RHA for which we all quickly learned was overshadowed by his caring and kind heart. He instilled his philosophy of client care always coming first into our organization. While he will be greatly missed, his philosophy and impact will live on with all of us.
Steven Cumbee, Vice President I.S. & Treasury
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