Gfeller takes over as executive director at Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma

Robert J. “Bob” Gfeller Jr. started his new job Wednesday as executive director of the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma in Winston-Salem.

Gfeller is a former nationally recognized customer-experience expert and executive vice president for Lowe’s. He has more than 30 years of branding and retail marketing experience, including management of brands such as Coca-Cola and Nabisco.

Pediatric trauma is a personal issue for Gfeller and his wife, Lisa, who lost their younger son, Matthew, after he suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2008 during a Reynolds High School football game. The family established the Matthew Gfeller Foundation to support pediatric traumatic injury research, prevention and awareness.

“Bob has a deep passion for the mission of the Childress Institute and brings a broad range of marketing strengths with him as well,” said Dr. John D. McConnell, chief executive officer of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “The Gfellers are long-time residents of Winston-Salem, and I am delighted that they are now a part of our Wake Forest Baptist community.”

Gfeller replaces Dr. Wayne Meredith, who has been the institute’s executive director since its beginning. Meredith will remain chairman of the Department of Surgery at Wake Forest Baptist.