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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | November 16th, 2023 | Norfolk, Virginia
Announcing Our CEO Transition
After 35 years at the helm, our CEO Paul J. Atkinson, Sr. will retire on December 31, 2023. Throughout his years of steadfast leadership, Paul has been a true servant leader and guided Eggleston through several evolutions. While the departure of Paul will be felt by all who interacted with Eggleston over his 35 years, he has outlined a strategic transition that will allow his successor, President and Chief Operating Officer Harrison Misewicz, to confidently step into the role of CEO.
Paul has been on a path to make a positive impact on the world since his college days. While studying at Virginia Commonwealth University, he worked at the Richmond Cerebral Palsy Center as a special education teacher’s aide to financially support himself through school. When he joined Eggleston as the Executive Director in 1991, he inherited an annual revenue budget of less than $500,000 while serving 125 people with disabilities. Today, Eggleston provides services for over 1,700 individuals with an annual revenue budget of over $30 million of which 70% is allocated to wages and benefits to Eggleston employees with a priority of hiring individuals with disabilities.
Eggleston Board Chair, Jennifer Anders, sums up Paul’s relationship with Eggleston perfectly: “for 35 years, the name Paul Atkinson has been synonymous with the mission and vision of Eggleston. We are forever indebted to his tireless effort to help those with differing abilities get the services they need and provide them with meaningful employment.”
Paul’s focus on promoting awareness for Eggleston and advocating for those with disabilities led him to several leadership roles on a national level. His national board service includes being the Chair of SourceAmerica for several years, former president of the National Council of Work Centers, former president of vaACCSES, as well as appointments by Governors to serve and lead State-level boards and Commissions. His character and work ethic are known in tandem with his immense capacity for empathy and kindness. When remarking on the importance of kindness, Paul shared “never underestimate your kind words on another person. You don’t know what your words will do to another person.”
As the chapter of Paul’s tenure with Eggleston ends, we are ecstatic to embrace the future and continue forging ahead with Harrison Misewicz leading the way. As President and COO of Eggleston since 2022, Harrison shares he is “grateful for the opportunity to serve.” Harrison is a native of Washington D.C. who relocated to Hampton Roads to assume the position of COO. His daily responsibilities included oversight of all programs, implementation of strategic development goals that are set by the Board, management of customer relationships, oversight of employee actions, and operational compliance with local, state, and national regulations. His call to serve others started early in life with obtaining his Eagle Scout designation at age 14. Harrison attended the University of Minnesota for his BA in Communication Studies with a Minor in Political Science, and he later obtained his JD from the Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Since graduating law school, he has dedicated his life to the service of individuals with significant disabilities. Harrison has worked for both a Central Nonprofit Agency in AbilityOne and a large Nonprofit Agency that is affiliated with that network.
Approaching the final month and a half of Paul’s time with Eggleston, we look back at his 35 years of service with fond memories and a profound appreciation for his leadership, wit, compassion, and intellect. We would also like to encourage Eggleston friends, supporters, volunteers, and the general public to be on the lookout for a “Meet Our Leadership Team” event later in January to hear from Harrison on the vision for the future of Eggleston. Stay connected by signing up for our newsletter at egglestonservices.org and following us on social media.
To hear more from Paul and Harrison on the transition and what is going on at Eggleston listen to our recent WNIS Ask The Expert show using the links below.