June 1 2022 (Peoria, IL)- After 42 years of dedicated service, President and CEO of Easterseals Central Illinois, Steve Thompson, has announced his plans to retire effective August 31, 2022. Effective immediately, Melissa S. Riddle will step into the role of President assuming responsibility for all aspects of Easterseals operations. To support the transition, Steve Thompson will continue in his role as CEO through the end of August.
“It has been a remarkable privilege to be a part of an organization focused on ensuring that every child is given the opportunity to reach their full potential. I have been honored to work alongside our dedicated staff, tireless volunteers and an extraordinary Board of Directors.”Steve Thompson
Steve Thompson began his career at Easterseals in 1981 and has served as President and CEO since 1986. During his first year, the organization served 875 individuals. In 2021, Easterseals Central Illinois served more than 5,000 families across its six locations. Thompson has been widely recognized as an exemplary leader and known for consistently making the needs of children with disabilities and their families his first priority. His life’s work, and that of his wife Morene, has been driven by a steadfast belief that every child deserves the best.
“I am proud of the positive impact Easterseals has had in the lives of children and families in Central Illinois for the past 103 years. Going forward, Easterseals is committed to sustaining and growing that impact,” shared Steve Thompson. “During the past year, Melissa Riddle has demonstrated a passionate sense of purpose and the skills to advance our mission. I’m confident that Easterseals will thrive under her operational expertise and leadership.”
Melissa Riddle joined the executive leadership team at Easterseals in 2021 as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to that, Melissa served as President and Chief Financial Officer of the Children’s Home Association of Illinois. During her 17 years with Children’s Home, she gained extensive knowledge in nonprofit management and the delivery of services for children and youth.
“I am grateful to so many children and families who have shown me that the “best” is not a destination but a never-ending pursuit. In this spirit, I know that the best is yet to come for Easterseals Central Illinois. With an excellent staff, high-quality programs, exemplary boards, generous donors, committed volunteers, and a strong endowment, Easterseals will continue to be recognized as a trusted and caring organization far into the future.”Steve Thompson