Hand-in-Hand CEO Mark Smith sent into retirement with a drive-by parade

Hand-in-Hand CEO Mark Smith sent into retirement with a drive-by parade

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After 20 years, Mark Smith, CEO of Hand-in-Hand has retired.

He was honored by his staff with a surprise drive-by retirement parade, because COVID-19 restrictions prevented a party.

Hand-in-Hand began as a summer camp program 20 years ago, and has grown to offer more than 15 year-round programs. They offer fun, inclusive learning and play for children with special needs, which in turn offers respite to parents and siblings.

“Families need a break, to have time for siblings," Smith said when he was named the Bettendorf July 4th Parade Grand Marshal. "Part of our programming involves caring for participants so parents can take a break and have time for siblings. Spouses need each other too."

Hand-in-Hand employs about 60 people.

Angie Kendell was named his successor. She has worked for nonprofit agencies in the Quad-Cities, including Genesis Health Services Foundation and Genesis Philanthropy.

On the cover: Car riders honor Mark Smith, CEO of Hand-in-Hand for the past 20 years, on his retirement. The drive-by celebration was a surprise.

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