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Hope Cottage names new CEO

Written by Mindia Whittier

The agency is the oldest nonprofit and non faith-based adoption agency in Dallas.

Hope Cottage, a North Texas nonprofit that transforms lives through adoption, foster care, education and parenting support, has named its new CEO.

Stephanie Bohan brings more than 23 years of senior management and fundraising experience to the role, succeeding Teresa Lenling, who had served as Hope Cottage CEO since 2020.

Dallas-based Hope Cottage is the only North Texas nonprofit with a full continuum of services to nurture the healthy relationships essential for families and communities to thrive. Founded in 1918 as a children’s home, Hope Cottage has connected thousands of children with loving forever families through adoption.

Bohan most recently served as the Director of Health and Wellness Services for Dallas-based Bonton Farms. Prior to that, she was the Executive Director of the Agape Clinic for 10 years.

“Stephanie has an impressive record of nonprofit leadership, faithfully shepherding organizations to a new level of growth,” said Andrea Carter, chair of the Hope Cottage board of directors. “But her heart for service is what truly sets her apart. We know she’s the right leader to guide Hope Cottage into its next phase of impact and visibility, for the sake of the children and families across North Texas.”

Bohan is adept at forming partnerships and connections that bring resources to those most in need. At the nonprofit organization Bonton Farms, she helped secure the funding and relationships to build the future Bonton Farms Wellness Center and developed a comprehensive health and wellness program that will give Bonton neighborhood residents new access to critical services when construction is complete.

During her decade-long tenure as Executive Director of the not-for-profit Agape Clinic, she oversaw the Dallas clinic’s expansion from a part-time, four-day-a-week operation to a full-time clinic with just under 18,000 patient visits annually. The organization was named Nonprofit of the Year 2019 by CNM (Center for Nonprofit Management) under her direction.

“I am so honored to be part of Hope Cottage’s work to ensure everyone can benefit from a safe, loving family,” Bohan said. “We know that a strong family connection has lasting positive effects on a person’s mental, physical and economic well-being. I can’t imagine more meaningful work.”

Bohan is currently pursuing a master’s degree in theology at the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Perkins School of Theology. As part of her course work, Bohan recently visited El Salvador where she met with leaders of Pro-Búsqueda, a nonprofit association for families of children who disappeared during the civil war in El Salvador in the 1980s. Thousands of children were kidnapped by the military and sold to adoption agencies.

“This experience is going to add another layer of empathy for me,” she said. “Seeing how honorably they treated the adoptive parents, the birth parents and the children – I can carry that with me at Hope Cottage.”

Prior to her work with Bonton Farms and the Agape Clinic, Bohan served as the Director of Development for the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance. She has also served as development director of the Alcohol and Drug Council of Middle Tennessee and St. Edward Church and School, both in Nashville. She is an active member of the Park Cities Rotary Club in Dallas and received the Club’s Cleve Clinton Community Collaborator Award in 2018.

Bohan holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America.

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About the author

Mindia Whittier