By Ken de la Bastide Kokomo Tribune
---- — There is new leadership at the Robert J. Kinsey Youth Center, but the new director has been working at the youth center since 1993.
Jeff Lipinski was named the new director of the Kinsey Youth Center last week and his promotion from assistant director was approved by the Howard County Council on Tuesday.
Brent Kelley, who served as the director for the past five years, resigned to become the director of the YMCA in Logansport.
Kelley, who also started work at the Kinsey Youth Center in 1993, was appointed director when Jan Weaver left in 2008.
“I’ve always worked at Kinsey,” Lipinski said Wednesday. “I worked for Brent [Kelley] for 20 years. He was an excellent leader and did a lot of good things for children.”
Cathy Cullison, another 20-year employee at Kinsey, was promoted to the position of assistant director.
Circuit Court Judge Lynn Murray, who oversees operations, said Kelley’s leaving was a personal decision when the opportunity became available.
“He did such great work for us,” she said of Kelley. “As I told their search committee I hate to see him go. Your gain is our loss.”
Murray said Howard County is fortunate enough to fill Kelley’s position with two people who have worked at the center for two decades.
“We had two excellent candidates,” she said. “Jeff [Lipinski] has been assistant director since the Kinsey Youth Center opened and has lots of positive strengths. Cathy (Cullison) has been working with Howard County youth for 20 years.”
“It’s more responsibilities,” Lipinski said of his new position. “It’s not about me. It’s about being a leader and getting all of the staff on board. We have an excellent staff. The goal is to do the best for the children.”
Lipinski said as assistant director he helped Kelley formulate the budget for the Kinsey Youth Center in the past.
The Howard Circuit Court, Robert J. Kinsey Youth Center was established to provide Short-Term Secure, Non-Secure Emergency Shelter Care, and Long-Term Residential Care for juveniles who are ordered detained or sheltered by the court through wardships. These services will be provided through Secure/Non-Secure Detention, Emergency Shelter Care, Long-Term Residential Treatment at both the pre- and post-adjudicatory stages and throughout wardships and post dispositional secure commitments.