I have been involved in various ways with Thrive Washington since its founding, and I have always had huge respect for this organization and its promise. That respect only grew during my two years as CEO. We have made so much progress in creating an organization with great clarity of mission and purpose. The staff here, whom we call “Thrivers,” are an incredible group of smart, dedicated and strategic folks who care deeply about the children and families of our state.
Knowing all of this made a difficult decision a little easier.
In late May, I will leave Thrive to become the director of Global Corporate Citizenship for the Northwest Region of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. I will lead the team I left when I was tapped to join Thrive. This was a very challenging choice to make because I love early learning so much, but this is an exciting opportunity and I am honored to accept it.
As a leader, I look for the right situation – and the right moment in time – to combine what I’m good at and what I care about. Thrive offered me ample opportunity to apply my skills and passions, and I am grateful to have worked so hard for so much good. We have collectively reimagined Thrive to fulfill its promise as the vital component of the early learning system it was always meant to be. Thrive is now a solid organization with a strong and engaged board and several substantial multi-year funding commitments to provide the next CEO a firm foundation for the next organizational leap.
The Thrive board has begun a search process we believe will ensure a smooth and efficient transition for my replacement. There will likely be a gap, however, between my departure in May and a new CEO’s arrival. I am committed to staying engaged – as appropriate – and am confident the board and staff leadership have strong capacity to manage Thrive’s affairs in the interim. Thrive’s next CEO will bring different skills, experience and perspectives to the job, and that will be a good thing for the continued development of the organization. Thrive will never waver in its commitment to close the opportunity gap in our state.
My hope is that I can continue to be of service, in some way, to Thrive’s mission and the work in which I so deeply believe. Thank you for your partnership and support through this leadership transition as Thrive’s work continues to grow to ensure all children receive a great start in school and life.