PONCA CITY — The Board of Directors of the Edwin Fair Community Mental Health Center, Inc. announced the hiring of Jody Burch as the new executive director for the organization.

“After a thorough search, interviews, and discussions, the Board feels that Mr. Burch will be a great fit for the job and will be able to keep the organization moving forward,” said Brad Wicker, board president.

Burch has a background in nonprofit organizations, coming to Edwin Fair Center from the position of Executive Director/CEO of the Bartlesville Regional United Way. Before assuming the role of United Way director, he was in resource development. In five years at the United Way, he helpedraise over $11 million.

Prior nonprofit experience includes work at a drug and alcohol and domestic violence groups, and prevention work with a youth service organization. Burch was involved in the management teams of both organizations. He was often involved in direct service with school groups including organizing Red Ribbon week for the community, and teaching the Love and Logic program to teachers and parents. Before working in nonprofits, Burch worked as a youth minister for almost 12 years.

Burch graduated from Abilene Christian University in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications. He returned to ACU in 2011 and received his master’s degree in conflict resolution and reconciliation. Burch continues to work with the school facilitating classes for the master’s program in conflict resolution.

Burch is active in the Bartlesville community, serving as president of Ranch Heights Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization. Prior to working in Ponca City he was involved in many community groups dealing with social service and education issues.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to work in new communities and help make them a better place,” Burch said. “I am looking forward to see where Edwin Fair can be a part of that process.”

Burch resides in Bartlesville with his wife, Marcy. They have a son at Oklahoma State University, a daughter in high school and a son in elementary school.

Edwin Fair Community Mental Health Center has spent over 50 years helping others and promoting mental wellness. Since 1958, the organization has been assisting residents of Kay, Noble, Osage, Pawnee and Payne counties in Oklahoma with a wide variety of mental health services, all custom-tailored to meet community needs. Edwin Fair has a clinic located in Pawhuska.