Eden Health Care Services which includes Recovery of Hope has hired a new Chief Executive Officer.

In April, former Eden CEO, Kym Kaufmann was asked to take on the role of Deputy Minister of Mental Health, Wellness and Recovery for the Province of Manitoba.

Al Kehler, chair of Eden's board of directors, says having Ken Kroeker, who Kehler notes was a strong interim CEO, allowed the board time to conduct a thorough search. Through that process, Brad Unger was selected as the new CEO.

"Our search was for a person who could lead, who could lead strategically, who understood our ethos, who can actually speak to it, harness it, guide it, and lead it, and Brad answers those questions," says Kehler.

Eden Health Care Services was founded by the Mennonite Churches of Manitoba in 1957. Kehler says by 1967 Eden had built its health care facility in Winkler. Other services were added as the board realized a full range of services are required to deal will mental health illnesses and mental health challenges, not just a hospital. Since 1957, Eden has added a variety of other services, including, counselling services, housing, and employment, and expanded services to Steinbach and Winnipeg.

"The uniqueness of Eden is that we are still owned by the Mennonite Churches of Manitoba," says Kehler. "We are related to various government funding agencies, but we are not owned by them, we are owned by the Mennonite churches. We have a modest amount of income that we gain through contributions to our organization, and we have what we call a 'wrap around service,' it's not nearly adequate for the needs that we face, but it is an ability to speak to things from a wider perspective than most other organizations dealing with mental health that have focused in a more narrow way."

According to Kehler, Unger comes from an Evangelical Mennonite church background, has a deep faith, is a driven servant leader, thinks strategically, and is always looking on the horizon for what's coming.

"He has experience as an entrepreneur with business organizations, has a deeply collaborative approach to dealing with the challenges that we face, has a strong track record of engaging a wide range of other community-based and professional, and business organizations in the services that Brad has led to date. And Brad is a professional, so he understands the professional environment," Kehler adds.

Kehler says the board wants to give Unger a very strong board for him to work with. "We want to continue to build on the strong reputation that Eden has fashioned over the years. We want to continue to deliver very high quality services. We are continuing to probe for thoughtful direction as we shape our next 5 to 10 year strategy. And of course, we want to keep building capacity. And we want to deepen our relationships with various government ministries as well as community organizations...all of this is possible. The only limit is our imagination and our creativity, and we're looking forward to Brad helping us think that through."

Most recently, Unger served as Program Director for Recovery of Hope, the counselling therapy program of Eden. Unger comes with a mix of education, experience, and interests. He has a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from the University of Manitoba, and a Master of Arts in Christian Studies from Trinity Western University. He has led and supported staff for over fifteen years, in counselling, employment, and housing services.