portrait by jimshawphoto.com
Back in 1984, when Jack Simonds first showed up at Caramore, uncertainty abounded. A disjointed staff, negative press, and shaky funding sources were just a few of the problems facing the small Caramore program as it forged its unique mission: to better the lives of those suffering with mental illness through vocational, residential, and clinical coordination services.
Chief among the uncertainties of those early days was the fact that the Caramore staff and clients never really knew for sure if they would be able to get to the office or not. Back in those days, rain showers often resulted in a flooded access bridge leading to Caramore. Facilities on loan from the University housed the Caramore administrative offices when Jack Simonds first accepted the challenge of leading as President.
In 1997, under Jack's leadership, Caramore moved its administrative and operations center to a beautiful, brand new, 10,000 square foot facility on Smith Level Road in Carrboro—a facility that is accessible and vibrant everyday, rain or shine! To this day, many Caramore staff refer to our building as "the house that Jack built."
Jack Simonds served as the Caramore President and Chief Executive Officer from 1984 to 2002. During those years, Caramore grew in significance and accomplishment. Jack's vision, passion, and leadership continue to inspire and sustain the dedicated group of men and women who now serve as Caramore staff. Today, Caramore leads our state in effectively providing comprehensive community-based support to adults with mental illness. Caramore is now nationally accredited and locally designated as a high-confidence provider of mental health support services.
For nearly twenty years, Jack Simonds demonstrated a unique ability to directly relate to and win over—with wit, wisdom, compassion, and kindness—all who came into contact with Caramore, from staff, to clients, board members, families, customers, colleagues, and salesmen.
Jack Simonds is a man of great leadership and charisma whose vision crafted today’s Caramore. The home of Caramore will forever be known as the Jack Simonds Center to honor his inspiring work and continue our mission for years to come.
Dedication Ceremony and Open House
At Caramore (or rather The
Caramore President / CEO