Cathy Gray

After more than 25 years leading Cedarcrest Center for Children with Disabilities, President and CEO Cathy Gray plans to retire late next spring or early summer, the Keene nonprofit organization announced Thursday.

“Cedarcrest has been so fortunate to have Cathy at the helm for the past 25 years. Her exceptional commitment to the children and the staff is commendable,” Cindi Coughlin, immediate past chair of the board of trustees, said in a prepared statement. “Her excellent leadership has helped the organization evolve to meet the changing medical complexity and needs of the children while maintaining its strong reputation in NH and neighboring states.”

In addition, Coughlin noted, “Cathy is also highly regarded across the state for the regional leadership she has provided for workforce development. She will be greatly missed by many and leaves a legacy that others will carry forward.”

Located on Maple Avenue, Cedarcrest serves people with disabilities from infancy to age 21 through a residential program and a school.

Gray announced her retirement plans Wednesday at the end of Cedarcrest’s 73rd annual meeting, held via a YouTube livestream, the organization said in a news release, noting that she had notified the board of trustees of her decision.

The board will immediately begin looking for her successor, with the help of executive search firm WittKieffer, according to Coughlin.

“Our goal is to find a talented CEO who will continue Cathy’s legacy, move the organization forward and assure Cedarcrest is here for years to come,” Coughlin said in the release. “We look forward to continuing to work with Cathy through next spring and [will] celebrate her dedication to the children at that time.”

In announcing her upcoming retirement, Cedarcrest touted a host of accomplishments under Gray’s leadership. They include but aren’t limited to the introduction of respiratory therapy, electronic medical records and telemedicine; the modernization of Cedarcrest’s organizational structure; and several facility upgrades. Among them was an 11,000-square-foot addition and a new playground.