Youth Villages stories

Youth Villages stories

Youth Villages adds three to national board of directors

Mar 30, 2021 | News Releases

Crissy Lintner, Director of Marketing and Communications
901-461-3139 |

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (March 31, 2021) – Youth Villages today announced the addition of three new members to its national board of directors: Monica Wharton of Memphis; Jes Averhart of Durham, North Carolina; and Chris Hunter of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Monica Wharton is the executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, a comprehensive healthcare system with more than 13,000 employees and 2,500 providers serving communities across the Mid-South. Wharton oversees human resources, information technology, corporate risk, compliance and legal services. She is a member of the 10-person System Leadership Team that guides strategic direction for the nonprofit. She previously served as senior vice president/chief legal officer between 2017 and May 2020. Wharton is a member of the Leadership Memphis class of 2014 and serves as board chair for the American Heart Association, as well as on the boards of the Women’s Foundation of Greater Memphis, the University of Memphis Foundation, the Community Foundation of Memphis, and Facing History and Ourselves. She is past chair of the Tennessee Bar Association Health Law Executive Council.

Jes Averhart, CEO of Jes & Co. and creator of Reinvention Roadmap, is a fourth-generation entrepreneur focused on leadership development and women’s empowerment. She led partner engagement at the American Underground, a Google for Startups Tech Hub (called the “Startup Capital of the South” by CNBC). During her tenure, she managed relationships with Google, Fidelity Labs, Wells Fargo, Coastal Credit Union, Lincoln Financial and others. She immersed herself in the startup scene, which inspired her to co-found Black Wall Street Homecoming, a nonprofit aimed at closing the funding gap for Black and Brown tech founders. 

Chris Hunter is president of group and military business at Humana, where he is responsible for driving the growth and profitability of Humana’s Employer Group products, including medical, specialty and wellness offerings serving more than 12 million members. He also focuses on Humana’s military business, which is the largest medical services contractor providing service to six million active duty and retired military and their eligible members through TriCare, the Defense Health Agency. Hunter graduated with highest honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has an MBA from the Harvard Business School. In addition to the Youth Villages board, he serves on the board of the honors program at UNC.  

“As Youth Villages continues growth across the country, the addition of successful executives to support our mission is even more necessary,” said Patrick Lawler, CEO of Youth Villages. “Monica, Jes and Chris are outstanding in their fields, and each will bring great guidance and insight to our initiatives.”

About Youth Villages 
Youth Villages is a national leader in children’s mental and behavioral health committed to building strong families, delivering effective services and significantly improving outcomes for children, families and young people involved in child welfare and juvenile justice systems across the country. Founded in 1986, the organization’s 3,300 employees help more than 30,000 children annually in 23 states across the U.S. and the District of Columbia. Youth Villages has been recognized by the Harvard Business School and U.S. News & World Report and was identified by The White House as one of the nation’s most promising results-oriented nonprofit organizations. Learn more at