Richard K. Whitaker, Jr. began his career in the Quad Cities in 1994 as a doctoral intern at the historic Marriage and Family Counseling Service in Rock Island, Illinois prior to receiving his PhD in marriage and family therapy from Brigham Young University. Since that pivotal year, Dr. Whitaker has pursued a career in community mental health, providing services, supervision and executive administration at community mental health centers in Grand Island, Nebraska (9 years) and Jasper, Indiana (12 years as CFO). Since January 2017, Dr. Whitaker has served as the CEO of Vera French Community Mental Health Center in Davenport, Iowa. He also serves as a governor-appointed commissioner for the Iowa Mental Health and Disability Services (MHDS) Commission, as a member of the Iowa Children’s Behavioral Health State Board, as a board member for the Iowa Association of Community Providers, as an Eastern Iowa MHDS Regional Advisory Board member and as a steering committee member and Innovation Team Co-Lead for the Quad Cities Behavioral Health Coalition. Dr. and Miriam Whitaker are the parents of three daughters and one son and are proud grandparents. Dr. Whitaker puts a top priority on his family time and also finds time for service in the community, sports of all kinds, vocal performance and occasional travel. He is fluent in Spanish as a second language and helps to lead and support a Spanish-speaking church congregation.