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Kevin Roach Recognized With Crain's 40 Under 40

Crain's Detroit Business, 09/02/2018

They’re builders. Their raw materials may be steel and concrete, or power cables, or scrap metal. Some use spreadsheets, or sensitive negotiations, or simple sweat. They’re building the actual buildings that will define Detroit’s skyline for decades to come. They’re building their own businesses, or building up the businesses they’ve been hired to lead. They’re building durable, supportive communities. And as they put people back to work, get them into homes, and help the next generation grow and thrive, they’re building metro Detroit’s future. We think you should know who they are.

Each day, Methodist Children’s Home Society serves 150 of Michigan’s most vulnerable children and families through residential care, foster care, adoption and independent living services for youth aging out of the foster care system.

At the helm is Kevin Roach, who, as an adoptee himself, has keen insight into the power of family and feels called to help the most fragile children — those dealing with a host of issues, including abuse, neglect, mental health challenges and low academic achievement. 

With that comes a certain complexity. While MCHS grows to help more children, ultimately Roach would like to witness a time when the home’s services are no longer necessary. Until then, he is rolling up his sleeves as executive director, building a staff whose expertise helps children overcome early traumas and grow into healthy young adults. 

In the three years since Roach came on board, the organization’s operating budget has increased by 53 percent with the addition of more services and more community engagement. Plans are underway to double the average number of children served per night from 30 to 60 in the residential program. He’s also implemented evidence-based treatment models to ensure stronger outcomes for children and families.

Roach credits others for his success and the growth of MCHS: his mother and father who adopted him at age 5 and instilled virtues of integrity, hard work and responsibility; a number of mentors who have guided him in his role as a leader; his own wife and children; and a staff he looks to for expertise, guidance and support. 

“Many of us may not have gone through what our children and families have experienced. It doesn’t mean we can’t empathize with feeling lost, scared or hurt, experiencing some level of pain, or being let down by those we entrusted,” Roach said. “The human side of the business is critical.”

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