GraceWorks Ministries CEO Valencia A. Breckenridge Announces Retirement

Valencia A. Breckenridge (submitted photo)

Valencia A. Breckenridge knew the moment she saw the job description for a GraceWorks CEO that it was the place for her.

“I remember saying to God this is my job,” Breckenridge said. “This is the job I’m supposed to be doing. The ministry of GraceWorks represents the desire of our community to care for one another. The very idea of let’s come together to help those who don’t have resonated with me.”

Hired in November 2016, Breckenridge officially retires June 30, and the occasion will be marked by a public open house reception from 3:30 to 7 p.m. June 27 at GraceWorks, 104 Southeast Parkway, Franklin.

The community is also invited to contribute to Breckenridge’s legacy Foundations for the Future fund, established in her honor. GraceWorks’ Board of Directors has authorized a designated fund specifically for preliminary expenses required for a new permanent GraceWorks facility. Examples of these preparations may include permit fees, architectural and engineering planning, land surveys and more.

In the intervening eight years, she has never changed her mind about her certainty about the job, and neither have GraceWorks staff, board members and volunteers.

“Valencia brought professionalism and direction to GraceWorks,” said Cathy Wilkes, previous assistant to Breckenridge, now Church Partner Coordinator. “She is a believer in God and loves to share her Christian faith. She has been an amazing mentor to me during her years at GraceWorks. It’s hard for me to think that her passionate personality will not be roaming the GraceWorks halls in July. I love her and will miss her wholeheartedly.”

Breckenridge grew up in the south side of Chicago, a place where she experienced poverty and occasional crime all around her. From there she learned toughness, grit and an encompassing empathy for the downtrodden.

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