When you hire a new CEO to lead a nonprofit organization, you’re not just hiring someone to do one job – you’re hiring someone who is going to embody the organization, live the organizational mission and provide leadership that leads to results.
The process of recruiting a CEO is no small feat: It could take months or up to a year to find the right person. To help celebrate the work and new leadership of three Virginia nonprofits, we are highlighting three organizations that recently have welcomed new CEOs: The Robins Foundation, Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) and Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME).
The Robins Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded by Lora M. Robins and E. Claiborne Robins on a shared belief in the power of education and the ability to shape lives and society. The foundation offers numerous grants to organizations, with Early childhood education and building dynamic communities two of its main causes. Its new CEO, psychologist Dr. Christopher Chin, continues to prioritize these areas.
Appointed on March 2, Chin has a strong background in philanthropy and child development as a licensed clinical psychologist with a doctorate in clinical psychology and neuropsychology. His leadership as the co-director of the Literacy Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University and familiarity with the Robins Foundation, serving most recently as vice president of operations and organizational development, has prepared him for this next step as CEO. Chin is committed to strengthening investments and partnerships in early childhood development.
Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)
Food Allergy Research & Education is a nonprofit that improves the life and health of over 32 million Americans with food allergies. The organization, headquartered in McLean, also advocates for and helps fund groundbreaking research into food allergies and education initiatives to improve awareness of the many food allergies that exist. On May 16, Dr. Sung Poblete will assume the role as the new CEO of FARE, which has raised $100 million over the past 10 years.
Poblete previously served as the CEO of Stand Up To Cancer. She also has worked as the vice president of clinical operations for a subsidiary of Fresenius Medical Care North America, helping develop management programs for those who suffer from chronic kidney diseases.
In a press release announcing the hire, David Jaffe, chair of the FARE board of directors, said, “Sung’s perfect mix of proven leadership, fundraising, advocacy and research experience is precisely what FARE needs to take us to the next level. We can’t wait to see what the future holds.”
Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia (HOME)
Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia was founded in 1971 and focuses on enforcing the Fair Housing Act and ensuring equal access to housing for all people. HOME was created to address housing-related systemic inequities that perpetuate segregation, concentrations of poverty and wealth inequality. This is accomplished by focusing on three key areas: housing and retention policy, housing counseling and education and the enforcement of fair housing. By providing these resources, HOME alleviates the burden faced by many in the Richmond community and helps families find equal opportunity and treatment.
HOME’s leadership long has been a pillar of the Richmond community, and after an extensive search, the organization welcomed its fifth president and CEO, Thomas Okuda Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick, who joined HOME on April 6, previously served on HOME’s board of directors from 2013-21 and was board chair from 2015-16. He also served as the chair of the Virginia Equal Housing Foundation from 2017-20 and has a background on both HOME’s legal and policy advisory committee boards.
In a statement announcing the news, Fitzpatrick said, “I am profoundly honored to have been selected to lead this storied organization, and I look forward to continuing in the proud tradition of aggressive enforcement of fair housing laws and ensuring that the promises of the Fair Housing Act can be realized.”