By Jordan Beach
As Chief Executive Officer of the Goshen Valley Foundation, Zach Blend ‘17 found Reinhardt to be the best option to earn his Master of Business Administration.
“I chose Reinhardt mainly due to its presence within Cherokee County and other alumni who I appreciate and respect in the community,” Blend said. “I also felt like it was tremendous value compared to other MBA programs in the area.”
Goshen Valley Boys Ranch is just a short drive from Reinhardt University’s main campus and is one of the Goshen Foundation’s four agencies that improve the lives of foster children in North Georgia. The Ranch houses around 40 young men and provides them with a family setting to live, grow and learn. Reinhardt students and faculty have participated in the Ranch’s Second Saturdays, a monthly service event for community members to work on projects on the property.
Other services offered by the Goshen Valley Foundation include Goshen New Beginnings, Goshen Homes and the Goshen Therapeutic Services, the Foundation’s most recent service.
“Therapeutic Services is an initiative that we launched in 2019 to serve as the vehicle in which Goshen Valley can serve families preventatively through community-based services.”
Blend’s role as CEO is to oversee the four agencies, each serving a unique demographic within the foster care system.
“My role specifically focuses on strategy and implementation of matters pertaining to our immediate and long-term planning. I also oversee our development efforts in the community.”
While Blend has worked in various roles with Goshen Valley since 2011, he found Reinhardt’s MBA program to be relevant to the work he does every day.
“What I appreciated most about the MBA at Reinhardt is that it was very practical, and each class was directed towards a topic that I deemed relevant within my responsibility to Goshen Valley.”
Since graduating from Reinhardt’s graduate program, Blend returned to the McCamish School of Business and Sport Studies for Spring 2019 as an adjunct professor for the project management course.
“I found it quite enjoyable being able to share my experiences and my realities as an executive of a nonprofit with a group of students, all of whom were communicating their own interest in being a part of a business environment.”
Blend’s students focused on Reinhardt’s food pantry, raising awareness around campus and promoting its resources.
“The topic itself was engaging because the class was involved in a campus-wide project to raise awareness of the food pantry at Reinhardt,” said Blend. “I believe I was able to apply knowledge in the space of project management, but also make it purposeful as well.”
To learn more about Goshen Valley, visit GoshenValley.org.