DARRELL “FLASH” GORDON was a former starting outside linebacker on the 1988 National Championship Notre Dame Football Team. In addition to the 1988 National championship Fiesta Bowl, Darrell played in the 1989 Hula Bowl Football all-star game with prominent NFL athletes including Deion Sanders, Derek Thomas and Troy Aikman. Gordon was also honored as a White House guest of former President Reagan and President Bush Sr., in recognition of his team’s athletic performances. In 2003, Darrell received The National Williams D. Reynolds Award by the Notre Dame Alumni Association for performing exceptional work with youth for the betterment of the quality of life. In 2005, Darrell also received The Exceptional Service Award by The Chase College of Law for exhibiting the ideals of Chase through daily contributions in service to the community. In 2006, Darrell was the recipient of the top 20 Distinguished Minority Notre Dame Alumni Exemplar Award. In 2008, Darrell received the Notre Dame Law Association St. Yves Award for devoting substantial time and effort in the practice or support of social justice law. In 2014, He was chosen as 1 of 25 top executives in the state of Indiana to participate in the 2015 Journey Fellowship. In 2015, Darrell was recipient of the Center for Leadership Development Minority Achievers award for excellence in Business & Industry and the IARCA Excellence in Service Award. In 2016, Darrell was awarded the highest honor in the State of Indiana, the Sagamore of the Wabash award, from Governor Mike Pence (now Vice President of the United States). In 2019, Darrell was the recipient of the 2019 Champion of Diversity award from the Indiana Minority Business Magazine. A native of Hillside, New Jersey, Darrell had the privilege of playing under the leadership of one of college football Hall of Fame most-winning coach, Lou Holtz at the University of Notre Dame. Darrell’s accomplishments on the gridiron can only be matched by his accomplishments off the field.

Darrell earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business and a Master’s degree of Science in Administration from Notre Dame, a Juris Doctorate from Northern Kentucky University’s Chase College of Law, a Certification in Fund Raising Management (CFRM) from Indiana University School of Philanthropy, and Strategic Perspective in Nonprofit Management from Harvard Business School Executive Education Program.

Since 2001, Darrell has served as Chief Executive Officer of a multi-million-dollar youth organization. Before that he served as an adjunct Sports Law Professor for the graduate school at Ball State University and worked for the NCAA for five years in their legislative and student athlete advisory department. Darrell also serves as a national public speaker on the topics of Character Development, Diversity Training, Leadership Empowerment for Change. In September 2018, Darrell became an author when his first book hit the shelves entitled, “Change Does Not Occur In A Flash”.

Darrell’s dynamic personality and ability to motivate himself and others helps to direct his team of staff and children to the 2005 Achievement of Excellence Non-Profit Organization of the Year Award. He has successfully acquired COA accreditation as a provider for cost-effectiveness and exemplar outcomes. Darrell has transformed the organization and increased net assets in his 13 years by 154% from $3.7 million to $9.5 million. Darrell Gordon has exhibited extraordinary leadership and determination in the social service and business sector environment since serving as CEO/President at Wernle Youth & Family Treatment Center, a nationally recognized residential treatment facility serving severely neglected and abused youth primarily in Indiana and Ohio. He has led an organization which was truly struggling to one with a positive national presence. Under his leadership, in 2014 Wernle was chosen as 1 of 3 national finalists for the 2014 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen award for extraordinary improvement to facility quality of life and operations. To add to Darrell’s success at Wernle, in 2016 he secured two of the largest charitable gifts in the nation to a social services agency, totaling over $3,000,000.

His strong ties in the sporting community, as well as with his Notre Dame Alma Mater, have resulted in the support and participation of celebrities, for the organization’s children and programs, including friends such as Joe Montana, Joe Theismann, Regis Philbin, Dick Vitale, Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Nicholas Sparks, Jim Caviezel, Fr. John Jenkins and Coach Lou Holtz, to name but a few.

Darrell is also an author and has appeared on many national talk shows, news broadcasts, and commercials discussing topics on youth development, student-athletic success, dealing with change, organizational development and the need for character.


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