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Executive Director John Bernhards to Retire

Executive Director John Bernhards recently announced to the IACLEA Board of Directors and the staff of his plans to retire at the end of this year, after almost 40 years of service in the association management profession.  The Board has accepted John’s resignation and is committed to a thoughtful, fair, and timely process to recruit another outstanding executive director. John, the Board, and IACLEA staff will strive to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible, and that the benefits and services you expect remain intact and top-of-the-line.

"As the Board determines the timeline and process for the search, I ask you to consider whether you or other exemplary campus public safety administrators may be the right leader for IACLEA. We will share a job description and application process with you soon," said IACLEA President Patrick Ogden.

John joined IACLEA as executive director in August 2019. Just six months later, COVID-19 began making headlines as the World Health Organization declared it a global pandemic in March 2020.  Since then, and throughout this time, John and the staff have quickly and adeptly shifted to operating virtually, which has saved the Association significant funding and resources.

“John has been a terrific asset in bringing IACLEA into sound fiscal territory, with a positive net on the books for the first time in the Association’s history,” Ogden said. Other highlights of John’s tenure include:

  • Creation and launch of the Online Education Center.
  • IACLEA’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Program.
  • The successful move of the in-person annual conference and Institute programs to virtual delivery.
  • Approval of IACLEA as an agency certifying body of the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Programs and services designed to provide thought leadership during the ongoing dialogue on police reform.
  • The recently awarded $100,000 grant to IACLEA from the U.S. Department of Justice COPS office, which will be used to invest in accreditation training and technical assistance for campus agencies.

John is still with us for a few more months, and he will continue to give his utmost to IACLEA until his retirement. “Campus public safety is near and dear to him, as his own father was in law enforcement, and his support of our Association has been unwavering,” Ogden said. “On behalf of the Board of Directors, we offer our colleague and friend John our heartfelt thanks for his vision, dedication, and invaluable contributions,” he added.

"I want to thank you for the wonderful support you have shown me in my time at IACLEA, to include our time together at the University of Delaware campus. I also am so very grateful to past presidents Eric Heath, John Vinson, and to IACLEA President-Elect John Ojeisekhoba, for their time, advisement, and inspirational leadership," Bernhards said. "And I also thank the entire IACLEA Board of Directors, too, for its leadership, support, and friendship.

"Following my service at IACLEA, my immediate plans are to spend time and travel with my wife, Bev; daughters Lindsay and Emily; and son-in-law Zach. I so look forward to time with my extended family and the many friends and acquaintances I have made over 40 years within the association world. Thank you for this opportunity to serve and God bless," Bernhards concluded.

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