UNC Lenoir CEO retires after successful career
Gary Black recently retired President and CEO of UNC Lenoir Hospital. Here he receives a volunteer jacket from Yvonne Jones, president of UNC Lenoir Volunteers. Submitted photo.
After 43 years in healthcare, 32 years at UNC Lenoir and 26 years as President and CEO, Gary Black worked his final day.
“I’m 68 years old and there just comes a time when it's right,” Black said. “People kept telling me you'll know when it's the right time and this is absolutely the right time for me and my wife.”
Black said retirement gives him a chance to spend more time with his wife, Maggie and enjoy their grandchildren. One thing he is looking forward to with retirement is his new schedule.
“This may sound simple but having control of my schedule is something I am really looking forward to,” Black said.
While he is excited about retirement, Black will miss his daily interactions and relationships with those around him.
“You know the ones who were pulling towards the same goals and dealing with the significant challenges that community hospitals deal with in so many ways,” Black said.
Black got started in the healthcare industry after graduating from college. He started as an accountant for a hospital in Sarasota, Fla.
“I didn’t really know a lot about working in a hospital; I was just going to do the financial statements for the hospital and then I began to realize that it is a very dynamic career,” Black said.
Black said the best part about his time at UNC Lenoir was the ownership.
“They really have a ownership in delivering a service they could be proud of,” Black said. “Obviously that is unique to community hospitals and that is something enjoyable when you are in my role.”
Since the announcement of Black’s retirement, the board of directors approved the hiring of Jeannette Skinner as interim CEO. Black’s advice for her and anyone else in a position of leadership is to build relationships.
“I would recommend to anybody in leadership, is to hold in high esteem the ability to build relationships and maintain those relationships,” Black said. “The elements that make up relationships are things like integrity, honesty, and trust so if you're going to have strong relationships and bonds then you're going to exhibit those other characteristics that are so important for people to come to together, which we have to do in health care to deliver a service.”
At UNC Lenoir on Wednesday it was “Gary Day” where Black spent time with those he’s worked with over the years. He also received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine for his service to the community.
“I’ve had a very memorable experience here at Lenoir,” he said. “It's certainly made up the majority of my healthcare career. I am incredibly lucky for having been able to do this for such a long period of time and I want to thank everybody for all the support not only me but the hospital all these years.”