BrightStone Founder and Executive Director Retires, Names New CEO

Brenda Hauk, the visionary, founder, and Executive Director of Franklin-based nonprofit BrightStone, has announced her retirement. Hauk stated, “Serving our BrightStone citizens who have special needs and their families for the last 23 years has been the absolute joy of my life. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of working with so many dedicated staff, board members, community leaders, supporters, and families of loved ones with life challenges who inspired my work every day. Partnering together, we have made meaningful progress in the way adults who have varied intellectual and developmental needs are viewed and accepted by our world. We have established unprecedented solutions to help these adults lead more purposeful lives. I know BrightStone will continue to offer ‘the best life’ for each and every one touched by its existence.”

Earlier in 2022, Hauk announced her intention to retire to BrightStone’s Board of Directors, followed by staff and families. After a lengthy internal and external search, the organization has announced the appointment of 15-year BrightStone veteran Lee Rose to serve as the next CEO.

Mike Cairnes, Chairman of the BrightStone Board of Directors, noted the unanimous agreement of the Board to elevate Rose to the Chief Executive Officer position. “On behalf of the Board, I am pleased to have Lee Rose serve as BrightStone’s CEO following Brenda Hauk’s dedicated leadership. The Board is committed to the direction and future of BrightStone based on the foundation Hauk has built. Under the new leadership of Lee Rose, BrightStone will serve as an unmatched resource for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities in Tennessee for many years to come. I am confident in his ability to lead BrightStone to the next level of excellence at this pivotal time in our history as we continue to grow and serve the needs of more adults.”

Hauk expressed her passion for BrightStone and her commitment to the new CEO. “I am in full support
of Lee Rose and his capability to lead BrightStone into its exciting future. For the past 15 years, he has proven his dedication and ability to grow and lead BrightStone to a new level of excellence. I am especially thankful that he can carry BrightStone forward seamlessly and with great passion. As God is faithful to guide BrightStone’s future, God also continues to provide our needs!”

Prior to his new appointment, Rose served BrightStone under the title of Director of Operations, where he served on BrightStone’s Leadership Team, managed key staffing, budgetary, and operational functions, and directed the construction of BrightStone’s new, expansive Land of Dreams Campus that opened in November of last year. In addition to his role with BrightStone, Rose brings a wealth of experience from both the nonprofit and corporate sector. Previously, he served 5 years in the United States Army as an aviator with the 101st Airborne Division, and various executive leadership roles with Pearle Vision, KFC and DCI Management Group PLC. Rose will serve as BrightStone’s CEO during a critical growth period as their new campus completes more phases, grows student and staff volume, and develops residential home options for the first time in the organization’s history.

“It is an honor to lead BrightStone during this exciting and challenging time,” Lee Rose stated. “I look forward to building on the work Brenda has done the past 23 years to serve the needs of adults in our community with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I am committed to serving and fulfilling our mission, and creating a new era for BrightStone that will answer the growing need in our community to serve families left without solutions for adults with disabilities and their aging caretakers. With our new campus, BrightStone will become a household name for the residents of Tennessee.”

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