Henrietta, N.Y.- The founder and C.E.O. of Heritage Christian Services announced Thursday he is retiring.
Robert Pieters will step down at the end of the year after 26 years of service.
In 1980, Pieters and his wife, Marie, banded with other parents who had children with developmental disabilities to start a Christian-based non-profit. They mortgaged their homes and partnered with church communities to open their first neighborhood home four years later.
Once Pieters became president in 1986, he spent more than two decades growing the agency from four homes to more than 100 facilities and eventually operating on a budget in excess of $55 million.
Named the 2010 Executive of the Year by the Rochester Business Journal, Pieters will continue to serve Heritage Christian by joining its board in 2013.
His successor will be Marisa Geitner, who became executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2005.