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Gladney Center for Adoption Executive Profiles
The experience and solid leadership of Gladney's executives, along with the talent and dedication of our employees, help to make Gladney Center for Adoption a success.
Please select an executive's name to view biographical information:
- Frank Garrott, President & Chief Executive Officer
- Mark Melson, Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President
- Ellen Wilson, Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
- Heidi Bruegel Cox, General Counsel & Executive Vice President
- J. Scott Brown, Executive Vice President
- Heather Beasley, Vice President, Human Resources
- Nonya Jordan, Vice President, Development & Events
- Jennifer Lanter, Vice President, Communications
- Gongzhan Wu, Vice President, Managing Director, Asia
Frank Garrott joined the Gladney Center for Adoption as Chief Operating Officer in 2007. One year later he was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer, just the 9th person to lead Gladney throughout its illustrious 128 year history. Garrott had previously served nine years on Gladney's Board, but his affiliation with Gladney dates back much further – to 1987 when he and his wife adopted Phillip and four years later adopted their daughter, Hayden. They completed their family in 1993 with the arrival of their biological son, Sam.
Garrott sits on the Board of Children's Home Society of America, an affiliation of agencies that share a common heritage. He is a board member of Both Ends Burning, an organization committed to the mission that "every child deserves a family." Garrott was a founding board member of BraveLove, an organization focused on conveying the positive message of adoption to the public. He continues to serve on their Advisory Board. Previously, Garrott served on the Boards of Joint Council on International Children's Services and Christian Mission to the United Nations Community.
Garrott enjoyed a long career in business consulting and banking with Price Waterhouse, Citibank and Bank One in New York and Texas.
Garrott received his B.A. from Duke University and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.
I earned both my BBA and MBA from the University of North Texas and then worked as a financial consultant and in various fundraising capacities with North Texas not-for-profit organizations. Just before joining Gladney in 2008, I served for seven years as Director of Finance and Gift Planning for Harris Methodist Health Foundation and then as Chief Development Officer for Big Brothers Big Sister of North Texas.
I earned my BBA in Accounting from the University of Texas at Arlington. As a CPA, I spent time in Public Accounting, Banking and Oil & Gas before joining the Gladney Team. I have been with Gladney since 1999 and previously served as VP of Finance for the Gladney Fund. In 2006, I took the reigns of Chief Financial Officer for the Gladney Center helping ensure good financial stewardship of the resources entrusted to us and overseeing the facility management of the beautiful Gladney Campus. In addition to duties as the CFO, I also participate with the Gladney Fund Board in the long-term investment management of Gladney’s endowment.
With the support of my husband and three children, I have been blessed to have the opportunity to focus my professional attention on the long-standing mission of the Gladney Center to Build Bright Futures thru Adoption.
Heidi Bruegel Cox is the Executive Vice President and General Counsel for the Gladney Center in Fort Worth, Texas, and has worked as an attorney in the field of adoption for over 25 years. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and serves on the board as secretary for the National Council for Adoption.
As a child advocate, Heidi is active in educating the public and promoting legislative initiatives to protect children and support positive adoption practices, Heidi previously served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Texas Adoption Review Committee which examined the child welfare system, seeking solutions to remove barriers to adoption for children in foster care.
Heidi has also served on the board of the Texas Family Law Council, which supports the efforts of the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. Heidi will be inducted into the Adoption Hall of Fame at the National Council for Adoption Annual Gala this November in Washington, D.C.
I graduated from The University of Texas at Arlington with a BBA in Accounting. My wife and I have three children, two are married and they have five biological and six adopted grandchildren between them. We adopted our third child from Ethiopia in 2007 when she was 7 years old.
Prior to working at Gladney, I was Director of Finance for the Harris Methodist Affiliated Hospitals where my duties included the oversight of financial operations for six rural hospitals, physician office management, a physician billing service, and a mobile diagnostic imaging service.
I joined The Gladney Center for Adoption team in 1990 and was initially responsible for the organization, direction and control of the accounting department, physician contracting and relations, plant operations, purchasing, insurance, information systems, the security and telecommunication functions of the Center. I now oversee Gladney's Waiting Child Programs which were formerly known as our New Beginnings and inter-country adoption programs.
Heather Beasley, Vice President, Human Resources
Heather received her B.B.A. in Management Information Systems from Texas Tech University in 2001. In 2009, I received an MBA and Masters of Science in Human Resource Management from the University of Texas Arlington. Heather has been an active member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) since 2008.
After working in the Assisted Living field for 4 years, Heather became part of the Gladney Center for Adoption team in December 2005. She believes Gladney is an amazing organization to work for and is grateful to work with such a dedicated and passionate staff of professionals.
Heather's primary goal is to recruit and retain the most talented and passionate professionals and become the Adoption agency of choice for students as they graduate with their advanced Social Work and Counseling degrees. Her motivation at Gladney is to partner with staff to ensure they have the resources available to provide the best possible service and support to Gladney clients. Heather hopes the Gladney staff will continue to see Gladney as a fun, challenging, and rewarding place to grow in their careers.
Nonya is the Vice-President of Development and Special Events for the Gladney Center for Adoption and has been at Gladney for the past 15 years. Her primary responsibility is to serve the Gladney Family Associations around the country in planning and implementing their special event fundraisers that benefit the Gladney Center and nets more than $350,000 a year in support of Gladney’s on-going programs. These events can be anything from daddy/daughter dances to golf tournaments, fashion shows, luncheons, wine tastings or events at a theme park.
Her other primary responsibility is to plan the biennial Gladney Cup Golf Tournament, held at a former US Open venue around the country. This tournament not only raises awareness nationally about Gladney and adoption, but raises more than a million dollars to support Gladney. The next Gladney Cup will be held at The Country Club in Boston in September, 2017.
Nonya has a degree from Texas Tech University and has served on the boards of Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the YMCA of Greater Fort Worth, Junior Achievement, the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce – North Area Council, Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. and the Pat Green Foundation.
She and her husband, Dennis, have been married for forty-five years and have two daughters, Courtney and Natalie. All of their free time is spent spoiling their two grandchildren, Adison (12) and Kasen (3 ½) and Kam (1).
Jennifer Lanter, Vice President, Communications
Jennifer Lanter is the Vice President of Communications for the Gladney Center for Adoption and. Jennifer provides a unique and engaging perspective on the subject of adoption and has worked in the adoption field for over 16 years. In addition to her professional experience with adoption, Jennifer and her family adopted a precious little boy 10 years ago.
As a Fort Worth native, Jennifer Lanter received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Texas in Arlington. She began her career at the Gladney Center and has since dedicated her career to creating bright futures through the miracle of adoption.
Jennifer has extensive media experience and has worked with People magazine, Oprah Winfrey Network, Lifetime, MTV, Washington Post, New York Times and several other media outlets. Jennifer is passionate about public speaking and loves the message of hope and adoption across the world!
Gongzhan Wu, Vice President & Managing Director - Asia
I have been with the Gladney Center for Adoption since 1994. Before I joined Gladney, I was working for ESPN Sports Network as its Director of Mandarin Language Service. I did my undergraduate in the Shanghai International Studies University, formally known as Shanghai Foreign Language Institute before I came to U.S. in 1987. With a Fulbright scholarship, I attended Columbia University and obtained a Master of Philosophy in Political Science in 1989. In the past twenty-one years, I am responsible for Gladney's New York Office and running its Asia adoption programs from New York.