Stan Risen became the Chief Executive Officer of Stanislaus County in 2013. He has led one of the largest employers in the region with over 4,400 employees, 27 departments and a $1.1 billion budget. Today is his final day as Stanislaus County CEO. He will be succeeded by Assistant Executive Officer, Jody Hayes.
Risen has been instrumental as a leader of the Stanislaus County Chief Executive Office, having served with unsurpassed dedication and professionalism. His career focus has centered on a strong belief in the power of servant leadership. That was demonstrated in his desire to mentor and develop others and earned him a reputation for humility. “I'm not sure I ever really felt qualified for this job,” he told staff at a leadership meeting goodbye.
A commitment to giving back to the community through his dedicated service has been a hallmark of Risen’s career from his start as youth pastor to his service on Ceres City Council, Planning Commission, and Redevelopment Agency. He has always been a strong proponent of government accountability and efficiency, continuous performance improvement and forward motion as an organization.
He began his career in public service starting in the Stanislaus County Assessor’s Office in 1987 and was promoted to the Chief Executive Office in 1999 where he advanced to his appointment as CEO in November 2013.
As a visionary and inspirational leader for Focus on Prevention, a county-wide initiative striving to improve the quality of life for all Stanislaus County residents and families, Risen worked to align community members from ten different sectors around priorities such as homelessness, strengthening families, supporting youth, and reducing recidivism/reentry into criminal justice system. This ten-year initiative required coordination efforts that have broken down longtime silos across the county. "Giving 100% with all that he did, he gained trust and was greatly respected," according to Board Chair, Vito Chiesa. Risen's common sense approach to developing programs that address prevention rather than merely treating symptoms has garnered immense community support since the launch of the program in 2015.
His passion for collaboration and relationship building brought together community sectors including non-profits, health, education, faith, neighborhoods, media, arts, government, and business. His spirit of community collaboration has been commended by many. “The way you have led this county, broken walls down and found solutions has helped us build great relationships,” said Supervisor Terry Withrow.
Stan enjoys outdoor life and maintains a strong focus on faith and family. He has been married to his wife Cheryl for 38 years, has four children and four grandchildren and is an active member of Crosspoint Community Church in Modesto, CA.