Friday, Jan. 29, 2010 | 6 a.m.
Christine Spadafor walked away from her job in the private sector in 2006. Now, St. Jude’s Ranch for Children is better off because of it.
Spadafor led St. Jude’s Ranch out of near-certain bankruptcy when she took over. And now, through a financial and operational turnaround, it has become a thriving nonprofit with a growth agenda and reputation for innovation.
“I am privileged and blessed to be the CEO of St. Jude’s Ranch for Children,” Spadafor said. “I’m humbled every day by the courage, resilience and grace demonstrated by our children.”
In 2010, St. Jude’s will start three new therapeutic programs, including an independent living program in Las Vegas to serve young adults ages 18-25, most of whom have aged out of foster care. Those additions come after starting four new programs in ’09.
“In 2009, even in a challenging economy, we expanded our programs to care for more abused, abandoned and neglected children in need in the Las Vegas Valley,” Spadafor said. “In 2010, we expect the economy to be more challenging and we’ll continue to focus on delivery of high-quality services while continuing to evaluate growth opportunities.”
Spadafor has two Harvard graduate degrees (law and science) and a background as a registered nurse with more than 15 years of corporate and legal expertise. She also sits on the global board of the Starlight Children’s Foundation and on the steering committee of the Casey Family Programs-funded project, The Community We Will, which is developing and implementing a regional approach to safely reduce the number of children in foster care and building a welfare system that protects children and strengthens families.
By Rob Langrell, Special publications editor