Beau Necco, founder and CEO of foster care provider Necco, was a part of the Social Entrepreneurship movement even before Toms and Love Your Melon made it “hip”. Beau Necco built a private company with the simple vision of social impact and accountability; a place where a child’s happiness and security are always the most important metrics.
Founder and CEO Beau Necco has always been a bold, yet calculated risk taker, a trait that manifested itself during his childhood in Appalachia. Beau Necco is the son of a university professor father who taught child behavior disorders and a mother who ran Head Start programs in the hollers of West Virginia. As a result, social and juvenile justice were always themes surrounding dinner conversation. For years, Beau Necco watched his parents struggle to help others amid bureaucratic waste and “success”- metrics that did not take into account the wellbeing of the children in the system. Those early impressions were to manifest themselves years later.
Always curious and fierce in logic, Beau Necco pursued his B.A. in Philosophy and International Business from The Ohio State University, where he graduated and earned admission into Harvard University for graduate school. After spending several months soaking in the stark contrast of Harvard’s elitism, he opted for yet another culture shift, and headed abroad to complete his M.B.A. from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Upon graduating, Beau Necco returned to Appalachia where he continued to see good people trying to help children be hampered by government bureaucracy. He wondered if there was a way to “privatize” social justice in order to change lives more quickly.
The impetus came in 1996, when President Bill Clinton’s Welfare Reform Act became law, allowing states greater flexibility to spend child welfare funding. With the help of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Beau created Necco, the country’s first for-profit therapeutic foster care organization. Necco placed its first child in foster care, T.J., on January 19, 1997 and has been working to reshape the narrative of children’s lives ever since. Twenty years later, Necco has built over 25,000 families and adopted more than 5,000 children at a significant cost savings to taxpayers.
Necco has also been influential in helping improve the foster care and adoption system by lobbying for legislative reform in the states it operates. Most recently, Beau Necco counseled Kentucky legislators and stakeholders in a bipartisan effort to improve Kentucky’s troubled adoption and foster care system. This led to the successful passage of Kentucky HB 1, the most sweeping reform to streamline the family court system by giving foster parents more rights, eliminating unnecessary delays, and reducing barriers to adoption.
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Necco operates 24 offices in West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Georgia, including a residential living facility in Pedro, Ohio. In 2003, the company was ranked 53rd on the Inc.5000 list of Fastest Growing Companies with a five-year growth rate of 2,446 percent. Founder and CEO Beau Necco has also been lauded for his work as a social entrepreneur, having most recently been named Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” in the category of Social Entrepreneurship.