Goshen Valley Trees

Goshen CEO Named Georgia Titan 100

Goshen Valley CEO, Zach Blend, named a recipient of the 2023 Georgia Titan 100

Titan CEO and headline sponsor Wipfli LLP are pleased to announce Goshen Valley CEO, Zach Blend, as a 2023 Georgia Titan 100.

The Titan 100 program recognizes Georgia’s Top 100 CEOs & C-level executives. They are the area’s most accomplished business leaders in their industry using criteria that includes demonstrating exceptional leadership, vision, and passion.  Collectively the 2023 Georgia Titan 100 and their companies employ upwards of 118,000 individuals and generate over $36 billion dollars in annual revenues. This year’s honorees will be published in a limited-edition Titan 100 book and profiled exclusively online. They will be honored at an awards ceremony on April 27th, 2023, and will be given the opportunity to interact and connect multiple times throughout the year with their fellow Titans.

“The Titan 100 are changing the way that business is done in Georgia. These preeminent leaders have built a distinguished reputation that is unrivaled and preeminent in their field. We proudly recognize the Titan 100 for their efforts to shape the future of the Georgia business community. Their achievements create a profound impact that makes an extraordinary difference for their customers and clients across the nation.” says Jaime Zawmon, President of Titan CEO.

Zach Blend has served as Chief Executive Officer of the Goshen Valley Foundation since January 2016. 

Zach has 12 years of experience working for Goshen Valley within all aspects of the organization. Under Zach’s executive leadership, the Goshen Valley Foundation has grown to include four operating agencies (Goshen Valley Boys Ranch, Goshen New Beginnings, Goshen Homes and Goshen Therapeutic Services) that are all focused on a specific demographic within the Georgia state foster care system. Zach has a BA in Sociology from Rollins College, a Graduate Certificate in Christian Studies from Fuller Seminary, and an MBA from Reinhardt University. 

“I certainly appreciate the opportunity to be recognized by Titan 100 as one of Georgia’s Top Senior Executives. My ability to lead successfully is in large part due to the amazing team I have the privilege to work alongside at Goshen Valley. Through their sustained efforts, Goshen’s influence and ultimate impact on the state’s foster care system has risen steadily in recent years. We work diligently to ensure that best business practices are in place, resulting in our overall effectiveness when considering the scale and sustainability of our growing mission." - Zach Blend, CEO

Blend will be honored at the Titan 100 awards on April 27th,2023 at Zoo Atlanta: Savanna Hall.  One of the city’s most treasured historic buildings, the 1921 building has been revitalized by Zoo Atlanta for its new life today.  As home of the Atlanta Cyclorama for more than 90 years, the building is famous for its grand scale and neoclassical architecture. This unique cocktail-style awards event will gather 100 Titans of Industry and their guests for an evening unlike anything that exists in the Georgia business community.

“On behalf of all the partners and associates at Wipfli we congratulate all the Titan100 winners. It’s an honor to recognize this diverse group of leaders in the Atlanta community. We appreciate the lasting impact each leader has made, and continues to make, in building organizations of significance both in Atlanta and abroad. Your ingenuity and creativity have set you apart, and the honor of being seen as an industry Titan is richly deserved,” says Bill Boucher, Partner at Wipfli.


An Evening with Goshen 2022

An Evening with Goshen

An Evening with Goshen 2022 kicked off on December 8th at Woodstock City Church with guest speaker, football and baseball star, Brian Jordan.

Brian Jordan on stage at an Evening with Goshen

This evening gala is a platform for Goshen Valley to come together with community leaders, business owners, and families to raise money for the families and foster youth that we serve while enjoying a beautiful night of entertainment with friends.

As guests arrived, they perused the silent auction items and took part in the delicious turkey dinner provided by Center Cut Catering. VIP guests gathered around hors d'oeuvres as they met and chatted with Atlanta sports great, Brian Jordan. They received a photo op and a signed copy of his children's book "The Mystery Behind Doggy Lane." Once dinner was served, Goshen Valley CEO, Zach Blend, kicked off the event with the announcement we had been waiting for...

This year's Evening with Goshen was centered around a new and exciting venture that Goshen Valley is thrilled to announce: the Goshen Family Resource Center.

The Family Resource Center will serve as a hub for clinical therapeutic services, family and parenting supports, life skills coaching, and so much more. All of these services will be available to the community at a central location in Canton, GA.

Our goal is to raise $500,000 to fund the renovation and launch of this new Family Resource Center in 2023, and An Evening with Goshen was the start to this campaign.

With fundraising in mind, we introduced our evening's title sponsor, Eric Baker, with Eric Baker and Associates. Eric's mission as a real estate agent is much bigger than himself. He helps everyone find home by donating a portion of every home commission to neighbors in need and community organizations like Goshen.

Eric then introduced our guest speaker: Atlanta Sports Icon, Author, and Philanthropist, Brian Jordan.

On stage we sat down at chatted with Brian. We heard stories from his childhood, and of course about his incredible sports career. The overarching message we can all take from Brian is this: keep working hard, because there is always someone out there who is better than you. This was a message he graciously shared with all 40 of our boys and staff at Goshen Valley Boys Ranch earlier in the evening.

Before wrapping up the evening, Goshen Valley Alumni, Edward Tsui had a special message for the audience. He spoke about his years spent at Goshen, the big Goshen family he will always have, and the opportunities and goals he has ahead of him in law school at UGA. Next, he turned his focus to the audience and said...

"I am here because of your love, your time, your resources, and your choice to partner with Goshen. I thank God every day that I have the opportunity to be a part of this organization, and I thank God for you all and your investment in me and in Goshen." - Edward Tsui, Goshen Valley Alumni

Wrapping up the event, Aaron Vincent with Vincent Financial Group, shared his own message, reminding us to be grateful and to be generous with what we have.

We echo that message today as we look back on a wonderful Evening with Goshen. We are so grateful to all of you who joined us and who made this event possible. As we fly through this holiday season, we take this moment to say thank you so much for your generosity and for your support of Goshen Valley and for things to come.

An Evening with Goshen 2022


3 Goshen Alumni Videos

Robert sharing his story
 

Goshen New Beginnings exists to lead older foster youth into thriving independence. We offer support in education, employment, and life skills, all while allowing youth to slowly transition from family-modeled living to independent life. Over the past few months we celebrated three young men completing our Goshen New Beginnings program!

Zach is a junior at Georgia State University. He has overcome a great deal of trials in his life, and is pursuing a career as a sales manager. He is leaving Goshen with his own car, an emergency fund, a support family, and a stable job. When asked about what sticks out about Goshen, Zach said “I don’t know where I’d be without Goshen. When I think of Goshen, I think of family.” Click here to watch Zach share more of his story. 

Sebastian has grown into a healthy young man in his 4 years since coming to Goshen. He entered foster care when his mother called DFCS to take him. Sebastian credits the mental health therapists at Goshen for a lot of his growth. Sebastian says that his therapist “helped me with forgiving my family and my personal issues.” Sebastian is excited at the chance to share his story with others, hoping that it inspires more people to become foster parents. Click here to watch Sebastian share more of his story.

Robert is currently at Basic Training for the United States Army, making him the 10th Goshen alumni to serve in the United States Military. He grew up moving around frequently, and says he had a hard time trusting people. Robert says that at Goshen he found stability, and he found a lot of great people that he can trust. “I think I’m leaving Goshen with a family, and it’s a big old family!” Click here to watch Robert share more of his story.

Thank you for making stories like their possible. These 3 young men, and the 115 youth in our care today, have much brighter futures because of Goshen's loyal donors and partners. Thank you all for being part of the Goshen Family!


A Letter from our CEO.

To our Goshen Family,

People often ask me what makes Goshen special. My answer is that everything starts with relationships. Trust is born out of relationship, respect is born out of relationship, and belief in one another is born out of relationship.

Transformation in the life of someone who has experienced trauma doesn’t happen as a result of infrequent, fluid connections but through steady and consistent interaction. It happens through a caring person being present in the good times and the bad. It happens through establishing a healthy boundary of empathy without enabling.

In a time of challenging labor shortages, Goshen has been blessed with a called and consistent staff. If I could wave a magic wand I would allow each of you, who have made so much possible in the life of our ministry, to have the opportunity to shadow one of our house parents, foster parents, or case workers for a day. These men and women care deeply and individually for our kids. They make daily sacrifices and engage in the challenging work of seeing the children’s complex needs. As a result, deep, genuine, trusting relationships are forged. It is not by coincidence or by chance that our kids heal from their hurts, do better in school, and learn to establish healthy friendships. It is due to the example set for them and the grace that is extended to them when our team works together to ensure that they might live to their full potential.

Our story has been a good one thus far, but there is more to write. There are chapters on how Goshen can establish similar relationships with at-risk families through preventive services such as counseling and parent education. I also believe that there is a chapter in which Goshen serves teenage girls through the opening of therapeutic foster homes. Just as you have supported us this far, we will need you all with us on that next journey.

We’ve navigated uncharted waters in the past 18 months. We have been challenged, but we are stronger for it. Through it all you never left our side, and your constant presence has made all the difference. You have allowed the Goshen Valley Foundation to be built on rock, not on sand. A foundation built to last.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and the Happiest of Holidays,

Zach Blend | CEO Goshen Valley Foundation

 

DONATE TODAY


Goshen Valley Trees

Brasfield & Gorrie selects Goshen Valley as Nonprofit Partner of the Year

Brasfield & Gorrie selects Goshen Valley as Nonprofit Partner for their 2021-2022 Fall Fundraiser

After a month-long process which began with 13 nonprofit applicants, Brasfield & Gorrie has selected Goshen Valley to be their partner for their 2021 and 2022 fall fundraisers. This event and partnership have historically raised around $250,000 per year to support the chosen nonprofit’s mission.

As of 2019, Goshen launched a new program to target root cause issues surrounding foster care, providing mental health and therapy services to families at risk of experiencing a foster care placement in the future. This funding will allow Goshen Valley to scale this program and serve far more vulnerable families.    

Zach Blend, CEO of Goshen Valley, says, This is an exciting time in the life of Goshen Valley. As our direct care work with Georgia’s foster children enters its 23rd year, we are equally excited about the positive influence we can also have through serving at-risk families preventively. The support raised by Brasfield & Gorrie and their subcontractors will fund the progression of Goshen Therapeutic Services throughout the state’s northwest region. Our intention is to continue to serve foster children within our three operating agencies to the very best of our ability while being mindful of the root cause matters that create the need for such services. Easy access to therapy, family counseling and other support services is the first step in that process.”

This year Brasfield & Gorrie instituted a new process to select their nonprofit partner of the year. Thirteen non-profits were invited to complete an application, and five were selected to present to a leadership committee. The group was then narrowed down to three, and an employee vote determined the winner. Goshen Valley received 53% of the employee votes in this process. 

“In addition to the financial support our employees and trade contractors will provide, we will participate in service days on Goshen’s Ranch campus. We love getting our hands dirty,” said Brent Perkins, director of personal development at Brasfield & Gorrie. Perkins led the selection committee.

“At Brasfield & Gorrie we believe in building strong communities. We love being a blessing to others. Goshen’s work with boys in the foster care system, the therapeutic services offered to families, and their increasing focus on root cause education for families all line up with our values. We are excited to be a partner with Goshen Valley!” - Brent Perkins

Zach Blend compared residential foster care to running a construction business, but one where you can only build on the site of a previous catastrophe. “We do great work in residential care, but we also want to focus on root-cause. We want to stabilize families before the building collapses. This funding will allow us to expand our work in ways that will keep families strong before a foster care placement occurs. We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of Brasfield & Gorrie, and we are confident that many families will be strengthened and rescued as a direct result of this partnership.”

About Brasfield & Gorrie

Founded in 1964, Brasfield & Gorrie is one of the nation’s largest privately held construction firms, providing general contracting, design-build, and construction management services for a wide variety of markets. We are skilled in construction best practices, including virtual design and construction, integrated project delivery, and Lean construction, but we are best known for our preconstruction and self-perform expertise and exceptional client service. Brasfield & Gorrie has 12 offices and more than 3,200 employees. Our 2020 revenues were $3.9 billion. Engineering News-Record ranks Brasfield & Gorrie 22nd among the nation’s “Top 400 Contractors” for 2020. Brasfield & Gorrie is ENR Southeast's 2021 Contractor of the Year.


An Essay by GNB Youth, Quintavious Jennings 

Your past Does Not Determine Who You Are      

All I could remember was seeing the sun slowly creeping through the clouds as the officers put the handcuffs on me and escorted me to the back of the police car. I did not understand it then but being arrested and charged with several accounts would save my life. Life is full of experiences that will teach you lessons that you can either learn from or overlook. I chose to learn from every experience after this defining moment in my life. After that night, walking through doors took on a new meaning in my life and there are 3 doors that have made the biggest impact in my life: the Courthouse, the Regional Youth Detention Center and Goshen New Beginnings. 

The first door that I entered that made a big impact on my life was the door to the County Courthouse in November 2014. As a thirteen-year-old, African American young man, just the idea of facing a judge with such serious charges is terrifying. Yet, four months after being charged, I had to appear in court and meet face to face with a judge, as she would be the one to give me my official sentencing. I walked to the podium and looked up at her. She stopped, stared into my eyes and said,

“You are too young, and it is not too late for you to turn your life around, but you have to want it. I can’t want it more than you.”

She reduced my sentence and added a stipulation that with good behavior I could be released early to a program into the community. After that moment, I decided to change and break the cycle of my family going in and out of jail. 

The second door that I had to walk through that had a major influence on my life was the Regional Youth Detention Center. From the moment I walked into the RYDC, I realized that I never wanted to come back to a place like that. I saw young men get into fights and get beat up. Everything at the RYDC reminded me of what I wanted to get away from; gangs, fights, criminal activity, and pain. After being at the RYDC for three years, I finished my sentencing and was given the chance to go to a program that would help me achieve my goals. I went to a few programs, but it was not until I went to Goshen that I felt a true sense of family and acceptance. 

In July 2019, I entered through the third door that has helped shape me into the young man I am today, though I am still growing and evolving. Goshen New Beginnings is an independent living program that supports youth like me. I needed someone to believe in me and see past my story. I needed a group of people to believe in my dreams. I needed people that saw my pain but would help me work through the pain and not give up on me. I am so blessed to have found a community that has accepted me and is providing me with the tools I need to become better. I want to do better because I know that, typically people with my story end up back in jail or dead, and that will not be my ending. 

Six years ago, the chapters to my story were ugly and sad, but today I can proudly say that my past will not determine who I am or where I am headed. I have spent countless nights praying and asking God to help me turn my life around and show me the correct path to take. God has surrounded me with people who care about me, but I have learned that I need to do the work - for my past not to determine my future. My thought process, goals, and decision- making need to change, because it all starts with me, and I am worth it. Life is full of doors, and I will continue to open doors to new opportunities, happiness, and a story full of change, grace and second chances.


Back 2 School Campaign

As Goshen Valley approaches caring for 90 youth, the cost of back to school season is rising. Will you help us make the 2017-2018 school year a great success for those we serve?

Our goal is to raise $9,000 worth of gift cards and monetary donations to help kick start the school year. Whether it’s book money for a young woman at Reinhardt, a gas card for a boy driving to high school, or a clothing gift card so a child gets to pick their own back to school outfit, your donation will help our youth start the year with confidence.

Your investment into Goshen Valley has made a way for our young men and women to feel successful and important. Every gift will help us surround them with the peace and purpose needed to make the 2017-2018 school year the best they've ever had!

There are two ways you can give to the Back2School campaign:

1. To donate a gift card, please send them to our Canton office:
505 Brown Industrial Parkway
Suite 200
Canton, GA 30114

2.  If you would like to send a special gift to help our youth with purchasing new clothes, a haircut, and fresh supplies, use the donation form below.


Goshen Graduates- Defying the Odds

  • The statistics show that only 50% of youth in foster care will receive a high school diploma.
  • Only 10% of former foster youth will attend college.

Graduating high school is an accomplishment to be celebrated for any teenager, but especially for youth in foster care. We want to highlight the youth in our care that have achieved this great milestone while being away from their parents and family support. We are extremely proud of each of them and the next steps they are making! Each graduate is attending college and continuing to grow with peace and purpose.

Your investment into Goshen Valley has made a way for these young people to succeed. Every gift given was utilized to surround them with the safety of a home, love of a family and hope for the future. We hope you enjoy seeing the fruits of your support!

If you would like to participate in the $50 for 5 campaign you can give a special gift in honor of our graduates below:


Summer Needs: Comfort Kits and More

As summer approaches, Goshen Valley has a variety of ways that you can help our youth have an amazing summer break! We are highlighting “Comfort Kits” as a special current need, and we also have several other ways your small group, business, or family can partner with Goshen in this season.

Goshen Valley Boys Ranch is in need of six comfort kits. These kits are designed to help our boys feel at home during what can be a tough transition into foster care. Many of our boys have trouble sleeping, and we want to provide each house with a kit that can help. If your family or small group would like to put one together please let us know.

Suggested items:
Soft blankets
Sound machines
Lava lamps
Clock radios
Night lights
Essential Oils
Diffusers
Stuffed animals that shine stars on ceiling
Plush pillows
Weighted blankets

In addition to this special current need, below are additional ways that you can partner with Goshen over the summer to help our boys have an amazing summer break!

Summer needs:
Meals delivered to homes
Off campus rec trips for a house or the whole Ranch
Access to water activities (invite a house to your pool, take a house to the lake, etc)
Pressure wash a house
Paint a deck
Soccer goals
Kayaks
Paddles
Life jackets
Gift cards to use as event prizes

For more information, or to commit to one of the listed items, please email Evan Ingram: [email protected]


Goshen New Beginnings- A Story to Celebrate!

Goshen New Beginnings is our independent living program, helping youth in foster care find their purpose as they age into adulthood. Here is a story about Janesha, our first Goshen Valley female. She is in the final phase of the GNB program and we want to celebrate her growth into adulthood.

When Janesha came to our program she was very behind academically due to constant instability and the lack of good, consistent schooling. Despite her difficult start, Janesha recently obtained her certification as a state approved nursing assistant! Before passing the certification exam, when taking the CNA course, Janesha would host nightly study groups to ensure her and her classmates passed the daily quizzes. She was already showing the servant leadership we seek to build in our youth at Goshen Valley. After a lot of hard work she was able to buy a new car in December and started to look for a job in the healthcare field.

Not only did Janesha overcome the educational hurdles that were in her way, she also obtained a full time job. She excitedly called Jenny Harris, GNB Executive Director to share the news. She told Jenny, “Miss Jenny, I got a full-time job as a live in house parent working with adults who have Down’s Syndrome. Can you believe it Miss Jenny? I am now just like one of the Goshen staff!” Goshen Valley is so proud of Janesha and her continued efforts to thrive in her new role as an adult caregiver. Janesha’s boss has already reported that she is so caring and works hard each day to make sure she does her job with perfection.

Janesha’s story is one of overcoming the burden of setbacks in life that were outside of her control, to experiencing the blessing of being a successful and accomplished young adult. She is now passing on the blessing she received by helping others.