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Get to Know our CEO: An Interview with Brett Loftis


Brett Loftis, our Chief Executive Officer, is celebrating 10 years of growth and success with Crossnore Communities for Children. Since he came to Crossnore in January of 2013, our organization has grown in innumerable ways. In the past decade, Brett has led the agency through a successful merger with The Children’s Home in Winston-Salem. And we’ve opened an office in Hendersonville. Brett co-created and co-founded the Center for Trauma Resilient Communities. The number of children served annually with Crossnore has grown from 133 to 941. The number of staff at Crossnore has more than doubled. The agency has become increasingly known and recognized as a leader in the field of Child Welfare.

Additionally, Brett has grown his personal family by adopting a teenager from foster care. He has served his local community well as the former chair of the local Rotary Club. And at present, he’s a board member of the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System.

To be around Brett is to see and hear about his vision for better outcomes for all people. Crossnore is so grateful to benefit from the wisdom and leadership of Brett Loftis.

What is your educational background?

I have undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Political Science from Furman University. I also have a Law Degree from Wake Forest University School of Law.

What brought you to Crossnore?

I will never forget where I was when I first read the ACES study. I had been representing children who had experienced trauma and knew in my mind that these long term effects existed. But I did not have the language for it yet. This study affirmed what I had felt was true for and further impacted the direction of my career. A recruiter from Crossnore reached out and shared about the position and the search committee. At that time, I had heard about Crossnore, but had not yet had the chance to visit. I had always been interested in the residential model of care and was quickly interested in the position.

What is something that shaped you as a teenager?

I met Oprah when I was in 10th grade! I have always been drawn to leadership. So in the 10th grade, I represented my school in the state leadership conference and then represented the state of South Carolina in the world leadership conference, which was held in Chicago. It was there that I met Oprah and got to hug her. It was also during this time in Chicago that I saw a Picasso piece and fell in love with art for the first time.

What do you love about children?

I’ve always preferred kids to adults. I love kids’ capacity and willingness to learn and change. Kids are more interesting than adults too.

What are your favorite ways to spend time with kids?

I love coaching soccer and basketball. I coached even before I was a parent and have continued ever since. I love coaching soccer the most.
I also love to go to camp with our kids. Every year of my adult life I have spent a week volunteering at camp. It is the same camp I went to as a child. My birthday always falls on the week of camp, and for years I have been around kids and friends at camp on my birthday.

Tell us about your family.

I am the middle child- I have an older sister and a younger sister. I am also a first generation college graduate. Growing up, my parents often let people who needed a place to stay, stay with us. They taught me about advocacy from an early age. As of January, I have been married to Sally for 20 years. We are parents to three boys- Will, Elijah, and Lawson.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

I like to read. I read a lot. I am also going back to school. This semester I will be starting an EDD program to receive a Doctorate in Education in Leadership.

What is something people might not know about you?

I am relatively artistic. I like to paint and draw. I also did community theater recently and enjoy singing at my church.

What are some things that you love?

I love animals because they are empathy teachers and awareness teachers. Dogs are my favorite animal. I have a dog named Rocky who comes to work with me. The staff are always so excited to see Rocky. I am also a new pickleball player, which I’m really enjoying. And of course nachos are my favorite food.

Where do you see Crossnore going in the future?

I would love to see Crossnore established as a national name, especially in the area of trauma and resilience. My passion now is about helping helpers; so that they don’t sacrifice their own wellness. Crossnore can make a bigger impact by supporting other organizations and communities and teaching them how to do resilience well.

What do you love about Crossnore?

I really love how Crossnore thinks about children & families holistically- minds, bodies, and spirits instead of a set of circumstances. Crossnore also values important activities and experiences such as sports and the arts.