Moving Up: Ted Greer, CEO at Center for Family Services

Source: The Palm Beach Post
Photo Credit: Allen Eyestone

By Mary Thurwachter – Special to The Palm Beach Post

Name: Ted Greer

Distinction: CEO of The Center for Family Services

City: West Palm Beach

Ted Greer’s skills as a non-profit administrator helped him to raise millions in grants and from fundraising activities. The money gave him a chance to implement programs for truancy prevention, health and wellness, disease prevention and a drop-in center for youth and adults (including youths aging out of foster care with independent living skills).

These days, Greer is using those skills as Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Family Services of Palm Beach County (, a non-profit that helps more than 15,000 people each year.

He oversees a $3.5 million budget, of which $1.1 million comes from events.

Among his other duties, Greer spends a lot of time talking to anyone who will listen about the needs of the Center for Family Services, a 53-year-old social services organization with a mission of strengthening families through counseling, education and homeless intervention. The agency provides services for homeless families with children and families at risk for homelessness, substance abuse treatment programs and therapy for children who are victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence.

“One of the first things I did when I got here (six months ago), was to go out in front of every possible funding source,” he said. It’s already paying off. The Center for Family Services just received a $125,000 grant from the Quantum Foundation.

This year, he is also seeking federal funds for the organization, something that hadn’t been done before.

Previously, Greer was the chief executive officer of Fresh Start Family Services, a Florida non-profit that empowers children and families by providing services and access to resources needed to attain self-sufficiency.

The son of a minister, Greer grew up in Miami and had dreams of becoming a police officer.

“In junior high, my mother sat me down to talk about the impact being a police officer had on families,” Greer said. “That’s when I decided on the mental health field. Since then, I’ve never wanted to do anything else.”

After Hurricane Andrew, Greer said he was called to ministry like his dad. His two jobs work hand-in-hand.

But patience is critical to both professions, he said. Success takes time.

Age: 50.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in social work, master’s in healthcare administration and doctorate in ministry from Christian Bible College in Rocky Mount, N.C.

Personal: Married for 17 years to Olivia Elaine Greer; two daughters, Keziah Elaine, 14, Kereyne Candis, 9. Lives in Delray Beach.

Hobbies: Cruising, sports.

Career highlight: “Served as a conduit for low-income minority lung cancer patients to access and enroll in a collaborative clinical trial with New York Cornell University and Jackson Memorial Hospital at no out-of-pocket cost to eligible patients.”

Favorite quote: “Patience is a virtue!” – from the poem “Piers Plowman” written between 1360 and 1387