Non-profit picks new president

Robert Labatch has been appointed as the new president of Hope Enterprises by the organization’s board of directors.

Labatch previously was the vice president for day programs at the non-profit since 2014 and has a background in social work, which can help him lead the organization.

“I’ve always been someone who wants to help, what better place than at Hope?” he said. “To be able to come here and work here and now be the president, it’s awesome.”

By having experience working for the organization over the last couple years, he is able to help move the goals and vision of it along, he said. He hopes to help continue to integrate its clients into the community, provide individualized experiences for them and sustain community support.

He said he wants to continue to be an ally and community leader in the area for people with disabilities.

“My vision and mission matches exactly those types of things Hope has been doing over the years and take that into the future,” Labatch said. “My goal is continue to be an advocate in the community for Hope and the people we serve.”

Hope provides services to people with disabilities, such as job training, housing, day programs and therapy opportunities. It strives to create supportive and responsive programs to its seven-county region.

He is replacing President Jim Campbell, who held the position for 17 years and is retiring at the end of the year.

Labatch said Campbell has been instrumental in assisting him through the transition into the position. He sees Campbell as a great mentor for him.

Campbell said he is confident in Labatch’s abilities to lead the organization through its next chapter.

“It will take strong and consistent leadership to guide the agency in its attempt to meet the diverse needs of those served by Hope,” he said.

Laura Bryson, Hope board of directors chairwoman, said she saw Labatch’s passion and understanding of the organization that made him a good candidate for the position and led to a smooth transition.

“(Labatch) has the passion, knowledge and enthusiasm to effectively serve as the leader of Hope to provide safe, innovative, quality services for all the individuals and families we serve in the region,” she said.

The board members are looking forward to working with him to help move the organization into the future, she said.

Before Labatch’s time at Hope he worked for 16 years at Lycoming-Clinton Joinder Program in the city and PerformCare in Harrisburg.