GREENSBORO Guilford Child Development, one of the county’s largest nonprofits, has named a new chief executive officer.

Maria Layne-Stevens will take over the job on Nov. 1 from Robin Britt, who is retiring after 21 years at the helm of the organization.

Britt called Layne-Stevens “the best leader they could have ever chosen.”

“Some people have a vision, and some people know how to make things happen as well. That is Maria,” Britt said in a news release. “Maria is one of the most creative people I know. She’s got more passion than anybody I know.”

The nonprofit has more than doubled enrollment in its Head Start/Early Head Start preschool programs over the past two decades, going from more than 600 children served per year to more than 1,400 last fall. They have also added a series of other programs, such as the Family Success Center and Nurse-Family Partnership.

After Britt announced his plans to retire last fall, the organization promoted Layne-Stevens to chief operating officer from her prior role leading the Head Start/Early Head Start program.

The idea was for her to take on some of Britt’s responsibilities and help manage his transition to retirement while it held a national search for Britt’s successor.

Board members did conduct that nationwide search, but ended up choosing Layne-Stevens.

She has served Guilford Child Development since 2014 and held a variety of leadership roles with nonprofits in other areas of the country before that.

Guilford Child Development also announced a director for its new High Point Opportunity Center, which opened in January.

Barbara Frye, the vice president of children’s initiatives at United Way of Greater High Point, will take on the role.

As director, Frye will be responsible for management, operations, and recruitment for the center, which helps low-income families become self-sufficient. The programs — which come with free child care — include GED, English as a second language, and job training programs.

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Contact Jessie Pounds

at 336-373-7002 and follow

@JessiePounds on Twitter.

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