PromiseShip Announces Change in Leadership

Published: 3/7/2019

PromiseShip, a public-private partnership working with the state of Nebraska to provide community-based care for children and their families who are involved in the child welfare system, today announced a change in the leadership of the organization.

PromiseShip’s board chair, Theresa Barron-McKeagney, announced that senior director of executive operations Ron Zychowski will assume the role of president and CEO. PromiseShip’s current president and CEO, David Newell, is stepping down for a new opportunity in the nonprofit sector that will be announced at a later date.

Zychowski has a proven track record that spans more than 40 years of senior leadership positions in a variety of disciplines, with more than two decades spent directly in human services. He was one of the key leaders in transitioning Florida’s child welfare system from a public system to a community-based system of care. Since arriving at PromiseShip, Zychowski has assisted the CEO and executive leadership team to improve performance through the implementation of data-informed leadership. Through his leadership, the lives of countless children and families have been transformed for the better.

“I am honored and humbled by the confidence the PromiseShip Board of Directors has placed in me to lead this exceptional organization,” said Zychowski. “In a manner of speaking, I am returning home. I was privileged to consult with the founding partners in establishing this organization.”

Since its inception in 2009, when Boys Town, Child Saving Institute, Heartland Family Service, OMNI Inventive Care and Nebraska Family Support Network created PromiseShip, the organization has helped transform the lives of nearly 20,000 children and families through a network of almost 50 local agencies. Last year alone, the organization, formerly known as Nebraska Families Collaborative, served more than 5,000 children and their families in Douglas and Sarpy counties. This year, PromiseShip celebrates the 10-year anniversary of its successful public-private partnership with the state of Nebraska.

“The greatest privilege of my career has been to serve the children and families of Nebraska through my role as President and CEO of PromiseShip,” said Newell. “PromiseShip has been a steadfast leader in improving outcomes for Nebraska’s kids, and it is upon this foundation that Nebraska’s public-private partnership will transform the child welfare system both locally and nationally.”

“Nebraska children and families have been the intentional and sole focus of Dave Newell since his arrival in 2009,” said board chair Barron-McKeagney. “The populations served, the relationships with provider partners, community organizations and the state of Nebraska, in my opinion, are stronger due to Dave’s leadership and commitment to building a stronger community. We are very sorry to see him leave Nebraska but wish him and his family the very best from the PromiseShip Board of Directors.”

Newell will remain as president and CEO until May 24, 2019.

For the past 10 years, the organization has helped the Eastern Service Area meet all of the federal child safety measures for the first time in nearly two decades and maintained mandated caseload ratios for the past 18 months. PromiseShip also launched events that directly benefit children and families including its annual fundraising luncheon, foster and kinship family appreciation events and bimonthly open houses to provide information and resources for families working with the organization.

Enhancing its programs and services has also been essential to improving outcomes. Several key child welfare initiatives, such as Family Finding, were first successfully piloted in the Eastern Service Area.

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