Rushing, Burke CEO of 29 Years Retires

This week, Susan Rushing, CEO of Burke, was honored and celebrated at her retirement reception. After 39 years of service and 29 years as Burke Chief Executive Officer, Rushing was showered with appreciation and adoration.

Colonel Howard Daniel, Jr., Chair of Burke’s Board of Trustees presented a Board Resolution to acknowledge Rushing’s significant accomplishments at Burke and for the mental health and developmental disability community. Rushing was recognized as a diligent, effective, and knowledgeable advocate for services for individuals with developmental disabilities, mental health issues, and substance use problems. She has worked to expand the scope and quality of care available to citizens throughout the East Texas area. Col. Daniel announced that the board and staff of Burke would plant a tree in the fall of 2019 in her honor.

Dawn Glover of State Senator Robert Nichols’ office presented a State Senate Resolution to honor Rushing’s work and dedication. State Representative Trent Ashby presented a flag flown over the State Capitol in Ms. Rushing’s honor. Both legislators expressed their gratitude of Rushing’s work in serving the constituents of their districts.

Rushing not only served as the CEO for this multi-county, multi-faceted organization; she was deeply involved in many state and national boards and held membership in numerous professional and community organizations. Rushing has served as representative to the Professional and Technical Advisory Committee of Joint Commission. She is past Chair of the Board of Directors of Mental Health Corporations of America and the Executive Directors Consortium of the Texas Council of Community Centers.

Her leadership is characterized by her emphasis on innovation, collaboration, and staff development. Her skills in maintaining successful relationships with Burke’s Board of Trustees as well as state and local leaders facilitated the center’s success. She is valued by her staff not only for being strategic in her focus for the center but also as being a warm and supportive mentor.

Colleagues describe Rushing as visionary, compassionate, and utterly brilliant. Her achievements extend well beyond the role of administrator. Because of Susan Rushing’s contributions, Burke is recognized as a statewide leader in grant funding, client services, and community focus.

Rushing says, “It marks the end of my career at Burke, but it doesn’t end my care and commitment for the mission of Burke, the people of Burke and the people that we serve. It’s a great way to look back and see how far we’ve come, and I realize while I’m being celebrated, I didn’t do this by myself”.

Rushing will be missed, but Burke is so thankful to have had a remarkable leader with so many outstanding contributions that will live on in the center’s future work.

Starting July 1, Melanie Taylor will begin her position as CEO. She has been with Burke for over 30 years and has recently served as Deputy CEO after being Burke’s Chief Administrative Officer for 15 years.