Sherry Thomas-Cloud to be new leader at Family and Children Services

After more than 44 years with Family & Children Services, eight of those as CEO, Rosemary Gardiner is retiring from the agency.

Sherry Thomas-Cloud has been named as the new CEO, effective Oct. 3. 

Since 2013, Thomas-Cloud has served as executive director of the Douglass Community Association in Kalamazoo, a nonprofit agency that provides services in behavioral health and recreation for youth, adults, and families. 

Prior to that, she served as director of Kalamazoo County Department of Human Services (KCDHS). She is a Licensed Master Social Worker, has taught at Western Michigan University (WMU) School of Social Work and has a long record of community involvement and collaboration.

“Her career in health and human services is exemplary and she embodies the traits our customers have grown to expect," says Family & Children Services Board President Mac Waldorf. "As a former DHS leader and as executive director of the Douglas Community Association, Sherry has seen both sides of the nonprofit world and will work diligently to bridge the gap between required services of our community and access to much-needed funding sources.”

Family & Children's Services  offers a continuum of behavioral health and child welfare programs and services. All services support individuals and families as they create healthy changes in their lives. Family & Children Services is dedicated to – and known for – best practices in human- service delivery in the community. In 2016, Family & Children Services will serve more than 7,000 individuals and families, including about 4,000 children. It has served the community since 1903.

The agency is a  nonprofit organization with a 2016 operating budget of $11.625 million. It receives funding through contracts with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Community Mental Health programs, allocations from local United Ways, insurance reimbursements, fees for services based on a sliding scale and contributions from individuals and businesses.

Thomas-Cloud’ was hired through an extensive search by the Family & Children Services board, assisted by Kalamazoo-based professional recruiting firm Welsh & Associates. She will arrive shortly before the agency opens a newly constructed family center and renovated centers for youth' activity, counseling, and central reception – all at the agency’s Kalamazoo location on Lake Street in the Edison Neighborhood. A grand opening for the new spaces will be held later this year. It will be the culmination of the agency’s successful $5.6 million “Making Room for Hope” campaign and the beginning of greatly expanded programs and services for foster parents and children, youth in need of social-emotional education, individuals in need of counseling and other Family & Children Services clients.

Thomas-Cloud says,  “The agency’s mission to meet the needs of struggling families and individuals of all ages helps make Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and all of Southwestern Michigan a better place in which to live and work. All our families and children are stronger because of the good work carried out by Family & Children Services. I look forward to helping continue that legacy.”

Source: Family & Children Services