Eagle Ranch Appoints New Executive Director

Founder Eddie Staub to Guide Transition and Move into New Role

May 11, 2021, Flowery Branch, Ga. – Eagle Ranch today announced the appointment of John Shackelford to the role of Executive Director of Eagle Ranch, beginning in July.

Prior to joining Eagle Ranch, Shackelford spent 10 years at Chick-fil-A’s corporate headquarters, most recently leading Chick-fil-A’s Brand Planning team.

“We looked at a number of attributes for a new Executive Director, in addition to someone who would bring fresh ideas and build upon the solid foundation of the past 36 years. We believe John is that individual for our next season,” said Eagle Ranch Founder and current Executive Director Eddie Staub.

“First and foremost, John is a follower of Christ. He is humble, dedicated to serving others, and is extremely competent,” continued Staub. “The responsibilities given to him during his career with Chick-fil-A speak to his talent, creativity and business acumen.”

Staub will continue in a leadership position as Founder to guide Shackelford’s transition and launch Eagle Ranch’s new community facility, The James W. Webb Wings Center. Opening to the public in the fall, the center will serve individuals, families and others in the community through outpatient counseling, retreats and organizational mentoring.

The announcement is the culmination of long-term planning and a year-long search. The Eagle Ranch Board of Directors unanimously confirmed Shackelford’s appointment at the Ranch’s annual board retreat.

“I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to continue the strong legacy of faith, innovation and leadership at Eagle Ranch,” said Shackelford. “Chick-fil-A’s commitment to excellence, purpose, and servant leadership has helped prepare me to join the Ranch team. The Lord has grabbed hold of my heart towards Eagle Ranch’s mission, and I’m honored to lead the organization into this new season.”

Shackelford spent 10 years at Chick-fil-A in the corporate Marketing department. In his most recent role, he led Chick-fil-A’s Brand Planning team, responsible for the strategy driving all customer-oriented marketing messaging. Prior to Brand Planning, he was Team Leader for the Sponsorships and Events marketing team, leading Chick-fil-A’s national partnerships with ESPN, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, and the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame.

“John is a demonstrated leader with a gift for mission-focused work. The children and families served by Eagle Ranch will be further cared for by John’s innovative mind and faithful heart,” said Chick-fil-A Chairman and CEO Dan Cathy. “I’m delighted to see John and his family have this incredible opportunity.”

Shackelford and his wife, Stephanie, along with their two children, will be moving to Eagle Ranch from the Grant Park neighborhood of downtown Atlanta. In the community, Shackelford has initiated and volunteered with several ministry projects reaching children and families. He served on the Board of Directors of Beloved Atlanta and as a community group leader at City Church Eastside.

Staub and Shackelford will work together to make a seamless transition within the organization. Longer-term plans for Staub include continuing his work with Eagle Ranch’s Wings Initiative, providing counsel and mentorship to people who are starting or retooling children’s programs and other nonprofits. To date, the Wings Initiative has assisted more than 1,000 organizations.

A biography and a video introducing John Shackelford may be viewed at EagleRanch.org.

About Eagle Ranch

Eagle Ranch is one of the Southeast’s largest residential children’s programs. Located in Flowery Branch, Eagle Ranch helps children and families in more than 40 counties in North Georgia and metro Atlanta. Children are provided a Christ-centered home, education and counseling in an 18-24 month program that involves the entire family, with the goal of the child returning home. Eagle Ranch serves up to 42 boys and 24 girls on its 315-acre campus, giving the structure, stability and time needed to work through a crisis situation. Additionally, Eagle Ranch has a variety of outreach efforts designed to educate and support families, therapeutic professionals, and nonprofit organizations across the United States and worldwide. For more information visit EagleRanch.org, or visit us on Facebook and Instagram.

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