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NORMAL — A Bloomington man with experience in health care and human  services administration and in higher education has been named acting CEO of an agency that assists people with disabilities.

Gregg Chadwick, chief operating officer of Marcfirst, has been named acting CEO of the agency as its board of directors searches for a replacement for Laura Furlong.

Furlong, 55, announced in December that she would retire on June 28 after 25 years with Marcfirst, including the past six years as CEO.

"He's had a lot of responsibility for the organization (Marcfirst)," Marcfirst board Chairman Sam Lewis said Wednesday of Chadwick. That responsibility and his previous work experience meant he was a "natural" for the acting CEO position, Lewis said.

Lewis said the board hasn't set a date for naming a new CEO but added, "I feel good about where we're at."

"Gregg has fabulous skills and great knowledge of the organization and he will be a great asset during the transition," Furlong said.

Chadwick, 56, began his career in 1986 and most of it has been in medical practice management for small, independent to large, hospital-owned systems. He has lived and worked in McLean County for 22 years, has served on the Heartland Community College board since 2002 and has been that board's chair since 2009.

In July 2018, he joined Marcfirst as COO.

"I was at the point in my career where I was looking for different opportunities and career challenges but wanted something that would be a good fit for my background and experience," Chadwick explained. "The logical place to look was human services."

"Laura has done a fantastic job helping the agency plan for her departure," Chadwick said. "It will be difficult to replace Laura but we're in good shape. We're going to keep moving forward."

Chadwick said that during the interim, he will have responsibilities for both the acting CEO and COO positions. Lewis said Chadwick's salary will remain the same.

Services of Marcfirst, 1606 Hunt Drive, Normal, include the SPICE (Services for Parent Infant and Child Education) program, the high school transition program, the Supported Employment Program and the Residential and Day Programs.

Marcfirst, which serves about 800 children and adults each year, has 150 full- and part-time employees and a budget of $6 million.

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Contact Paul Swiech at (309) 820-3275. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_swiech

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Health Reporter

Health reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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