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Care to Learn hires new CEO

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Springfield nonprofit Care to Learn hired Krystal Simon as its new CEO.

Simon succeeds Doug Pitt, the nonprofit's founder who was serving as interim CEO, according to a news release. She's slated to start July 19, bringing nearly five years of experience at the Barnabas Foundation Inc., most recently as chief operating officer.

“Krystal has a passion for making a difference and a proven track record for fundraising excellence. She is a strong, enthusiastic leader with exactly the type of energy we’re looking for,” Pitt said in the release. “The board is excited to work with her and knows that under her dynamic leadership Care to Learn has the capacity to grow from a regional nonprofit to a national organization serving thousands of students in need.”

Since its founding in 2008, Care to Learn has met more than 1.5 million health, hunger and hygiene needs for children. It currently serves 38 school districts in the state and more than 102,000 students. The nonprofit most recently was led by Executive Director Christian Mechlin, who was hired in 2019. It’s unclear when he exited the nonprofit, and officials could not be reached for comment by deadline.

At the Barnabas Foundation, Simon oversaw a $5 million operating budget and 25 full-time staff, according to the release. Over the last five years, she led the fundraising of $7.6 million for the organization.

“I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to serve as CEO at Care to Learn. It’s an incredible organization with a wonderful mission," Simon said in the release. "My goal is to honor Doug’s legacy by expanding Care to Learn’s reach."

Simon in 2018 won the Top Sales/Marketing Professional honor for Springfield Business Journal’s Dynamic Dozen awards.

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