A Twin Cities nonprofit leader with a record of success has taken the helm at the Metropolitan Center for Independent Living (MCIL). MCIL has announced the hiring of Jesse Bethke Gomez as the new executive director February 9. He succeeds longtime leader David Hancox. “
Jesse brings unparalleled leadership in nonprofit administration combined with a commitment to lead MCIL in new directions and community partnerships to advance the lives of all people with disabilities throughout Minnesota,” said MCIL Board Chair Ellie Emanuel.
Bethke Gomez is enjoying his new role. “I have met so many wonderful people who believe in and support the mission and work of MCIL, it is truly an honor to serve as executive director of Metropolitan Center for Independent Living,” he said.
Bethke Gomez brings extensive leadership experience and success to his new post. Most recently he was vice president of university planning and advancement at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul.
Prior to his position at Metropolitan State University, Jesse served as president of CLUES, (Comunidades Latinas En Servicio). During his 16 years leading CLUES, the nonprofit grew to be a nationally recognized agency for its work in responsive health care including behavioral health to newcomer communities. CLUES helped 9,000 job seekers obtain employment. Client visits grew by to more than 38,000 visits annually. One of the highlights of his time at CLUES was its new building that is co-located with the Mexican Consulate on East Seventh Street in St. Paul.
“Jessie’s numerous awards and educational background are equally impressive,” said Emanuel. He is currently serving on the Minnesota Judicial Selection Commission, following his appointment by the Minnesota State Supreme Court and Chief Justice Lori S. Gildea. He is listed among the 100 Influential Healthcare Leaders in Minnesota by the Minnesota Physicians publication. He was among the 100 leaders who participated in the first Hispanic Policy Summit held by the White House in 2011.
Bethke Gomez holds a master’s degree in management and administration specializing in strategic leadership from Metropolitan State University. He is a national Kellogg Fellow, and is an alumnus from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill as an Emerging Leader in Public Health.
“It is truly a great honor to be selected as the next executive director for Metropolitan Center for Independent Living, whose board of directors, and staff are deeply dedicated to making an extraordinary difference for all who are served by this most impressive and important organization. I am looking forward to working with the board, staff and all who contribute to the success of MCIL,” said Bethke Gomez.
Bethke Gomez said he considers his new post to be an honor. He was attracted to the job at MCIL by the organization’s mission. “MCIL has a mission that aligns greatly with my life purpose,” he said. “The mission of MCIL is to assist people with disabilities to fulfill their desire to lead productive selfdetermined lives. Throughout my life and in my career, I have worked to advance the connectedness all people have with one another.”
The new executive director is very familiar with disability issues on a personal and professional level, as he grew up with siblings with disabilities. In his professional life he has worked to advance more responsive services for people with disabilities. Previously, as president of a behavioral healthcare organization he worked with very diverse populations.
He and the MCIL board and staff look forward to advancing MCIL in assisting more people in meaningful ways throughout the metropolitan area. “We also look forward to also reaching more diverse communities too,” Bethke Gomez said. “We also look forward to MCIL actively collaborating with people and organizations in advancing our collective work together in further meeting the needs of people.”
MCIL is a member of the Minnesota Association of Centers for Independent Living (MACIL). Bethke Gomez said, “We look forward to continuing to being part of advancing the purpose of MACIL which is to advocate for the independent living needs of Minnesotans with disabilities, to develop new resources, identify and provide access to existing resources which provide the services needed so persons with disabilities may live independently in the situation and community of their choice.”