Centerville-based Graceworks Lutheran’s CEO to retire

Willis Serr II

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Willis Serr II

The president and chief executive at Gracework Lutheran Services, a large Centerville-based nonprofit, plans to retire.

Willis O. Serr II said today that he plans to step down March 1 after more than 30 years with the organization, including 23 years as CEO.

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“Graceworks has played a central and meaningful role in my life … but now is the right time for me to phase into new roles and relationships,” Serr said in a statement. “I believe that the most significant work that has been accomplished under my leadership has been the clearer definition and infusion of Mission, Values, and Vision into the organizational culture of Graceworks.”

The nonprofit operates Bethany Village, one of the largest senior living centers in the region, as well as a network of social and health care services including Consumer Credit Counseling Service, Graceworks at Home, Graceworks Enhanced Living, Graceworks Housing Services and Once Around Shop and Emergency Assistance Program in Preble County.

According to Graceworks, since Serr became executive director in 1995 and then CEO, the number of Graceworks employees has grown from 706 to 1,171 and total assets have grown from $63 million to $169 million.

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In addition, the company said over the past decade Serr oversaw more than $60 million in expansion work at Bethany Village retirement community in Centerville.

Other growth includes the launch of its home care business line, Graceworks at Home, which started in 2010, as well as the under-development Crescent Crossing assisted living suites at Bethany will open in early 2019.

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