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CWLA Names New Officers to Board; Leaders Steer Child Welfare's Public Policy Agenda and Industry Best Practices

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Shawn Flaherty

WASHINGTON, DC - The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), the nation's oldest and largest membership-based child welfare organization, recently named five officers and several committee chairs to its board of directors for the 2011-2012 fiscal year during its annual meeting.

"CWLA is fortunate to have a strong, engaged group of officers and committee chairs. Leadership is always important but more so during these difficult times facing children and the child welfare system. Having a knowledgeable board from a variety of disciplines will help CWLA respond and adapt to the challenges at the federal, state, and local areas. Specifically, their expertise and leadership will ensure an even louder voice for our nation's children--especially during the on-going budget debates on Capitol Hill that could have unprecedented implications for children," said CWLA CEO Christine James-Brown.

The five officers include:
  • Board Chair: Joe Costa is CEO, Hillsides, a Pasadena-based multi-service children's charity. Costa served as vice chair last year and is a member of the Executive Committee, Governance Committee, Audit Committee and Membership Committee. He is the Western Region representative on the board.
  • Vice Chair: Julie Sweeney-Springwater serves as director, New England Association of Child Welfare Commissioners and Directors. Sweeney-Springwater served as CWLA board chair last year and is ex-official on all board standing committees. She represents the New England Region.
  • Vice Chair: Brenda Donald is the vice president, Center for Effective Family Services and Systems, at Annie E. Casey Foundation. She is the former secretary for the Department of Human Resources for the State of Maryland. She served on CWLA's Governance Committee.
  • Secretary: Tamar Abrams is the principle of DC-based Abrams Communications and long-time child advocate.
  • Treasurer: Howard Shiffman, CEO of Denver-based Purchasing Partners of America, continues as Treasurer for a second year. He also served as a member of the Executive and Membership Committees.
In addition to the five officers, CWLA named three committee chairs:
  • Audit: Larry Liederman, controller, San-Francisco-based Ignite Game Technologies
  • Resource Development: C.T. O'Donnell, president and CEO, O'Donnell's Strategy & Results
  • Membership: Todd Landry, executive director, Dallas-based Lena Pope Home, Inc.
In keeping with good corporate governance standards, CWLA's 24-member board is comprised of leaders who represent its membership as well as those recruited for their knowledge and expertise in key areas such as finance, governance and communications. CWLA board members are appointed to a maximum of three, three year terms.

About CWLA CWLA is a powerful coalition of hundreds of private and public agencies serving vulnerable children and families since 1920. Through its programs, publications, conferences, professional development, and consultation, CWLA speaks with authority and candor about the status and the needs of American children, young people, and families. As the nationally recognized standard-setter for child welfare services, CWLA provides direct support to agencies that serve children and families, improving the quality of the services they provide to more than nine million children every year.

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