THE PRIVILEGE OF BEING ABLE TO HAVE DREAMS, IDEAS AND GOALS COME TO FRUITION, IS THE CORE OF WHAT WE ARE ABLE TO EXPERIENCE BECAUSE OF THE FREEDOMS THAT ARE OURS IN AMERICA.

- Denise Burnett Stewart

SMALL BUSINESS DRIVES THE AMERICAN ECONOMY. IT THRIVES AND SURVIVES NO MATTER WHAT MAY BE GOING ON IN THE MAIN ECONOMY.

- Dick Gadomski

UNLESS WE PROMOTE ENTREPRENEURSHIP, WE WILL NOT HAVE AN EXCITING BUSINESS ATMOSPHERE IN OUR COUNTRY.

- Allen B. Morgan, Jr.

PATRICK W. LAWLER

YOUTH VILLAGES
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Master EntrepreneurPast President

Patrick W. Lawler is chief executive officer of Youth Villages, one of the largest private providers of services to troubled children and their families in the country. Under his leadership, Youth Villages has established an array of specialized treatment programs operated by an effective team of more than 2,700 employees in 72 locations across 12 states and the District of Columbia. Youth Villages’ mission is to help children and families live successfully.

Since 1980, Mr. Lawler has served as CEO of Youth Villages, which has grown from serving 25 youth daily to 4,500, offering hope to more than 22,000 children and families each year. With an emphasis on the importance of family, program intensity, outcome measurement, community-based services and being accountable to families and funders, Youth Villages’ area of service has expanded across Tennessee, and to Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina, Florida, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Georgia, Indiana, New Hampshire, Oregon and the District of Columbia.

In 2006, U.S. News & World Report recognized Mr. Lawler as one of “America’s Best Leaders” in conjunction with the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

In 2009, Harvard Business School completed a case study examining Youth Villages’ growth and impact, and exploring the organization’s innovative treatment approach, use of research in program development and targeted growth strategies. The case was written for inclusion in an HBS course called “Leading and Governing Highly Effective Nonprofit Organizations,” which teaches what it takes to be an organization that does innovative and highly effective work. Mr. Lawler is a frequent guest lecturer at Harvard Business School and Columbia University about the Youth Villages approach.

Also in 2009, the White House cited Youth Villages as an example of “effective, innovative non-profits” that are “high-impact, result-oriented” organizations. The White House listed Youth Villages with three other organizations that offer “promising ideas that are transforming communities.”

Mr. Lawler’s entire career has been spent working with society’s most vulnerable children. He began as a counselor at Tall Trees Guidance School when he was 18 years old and then worked at the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County for five years before becoming CEO of Youth Villages.

Description of Business:

Headquartered in Memphis, Youth Villages offers help and hope to over 22,000 emotionally troubled children and their families each year from 72 locations in 12 states and the District of Columbia. Founded in 1980, the nonprofit organization offers intensive in-home services, residential treatment, foster care and adoption, transitional living services, mentoring and crisis services. Youth Villages employs more than 2,700 people and has drawn national recognition due to its use of clinically proven treatment models that produce industry-leading success rates.

Year Business Founded:

1980

Year Inducted:

2003

Thoughts on Entrepreneurship:

“Entrepreneurs and especially nonprofit entrepreneurs have a knack for recognizing opportunities that benefit others. With limited resources, but a passion to make a difference, they bring together committed, caring staff and volunteers to create an environment where people’s lives are enhance forever. Entrepreneurs often make one organization, once cause, one dream, their life’s work.”

For More Information: http://www.youthvillages.org