Calverton, MD. (Feb. 1, 2024) – Nationally-known leader in adoption and family services, Janice Goldwater, will step down after 34 years of service as founder and CEO of Calverton-based adoption and family well-being nonprofit organization, Paths for Families (formerly Adoptions Together). Chief Program Officer and Incoming CEO, Lisa Dominguez, will officially step into the role of CEO in Spring 2024.
Goldwater shared the news through a letter to the community [excerpt]:
I started this agency in 1990, in response to a strong community need. I spent years pushing boundaries to make positive changes in accessible and relevant services, which makes me feel so proud. Founding this organization and leading with my colleagues has been the gift of a lifetime.
Together, we have changed the practice of adoption and family building. We have established the first counseling and training programs designed specifically for this community. Witnessing our agile team addressing individual and social challenges is profound. Many individuals have been positively impacted through our interventions, and the community is better because of this work.
As the time comes for a leadership transition, I am fully prepared to pass the baton. We are ready. And I could not be more hopeful and supportive of the Board’s choice of Lisa to lead this next leg of Paths for Families’ journey.
When we welcomed Lisa two years ago, it was with a clear vision of strengthening our executive team and building a bench for the CEO position. Lisa’s expertise was a known asset, but it’s been her inspiring leadership and significant contributions over the past two years that have truly set her apart. I know she is the best person to lead Paths for Families into its next chapter, upholding and advancing our mission to the highest standard. I have felt immense gratitude, pride, and ease in this process.
I would like to give a special thank you to our entire board, Board Chair, Bob Cecil, and Chair of the Succession Planning Committee, Cheryl Richter, who have worked with intention on this process to ensure the organization will soar.
Read the full letter here.
On May 1, 2024, Dominguez will officially take the reigns as CEO of Paths for Families, though her leadership will be felt much sooner as the two work together to transition responsibilities over the next several months.
“Our work is about building connections. I want our team to stay whole and healthy, so they can keep the needs of those we’re serving in the forefront while taking care of themselves. I want them to move with passion and thoughtfulness, and most importantly, to know that what they do matters,” said Goldwater. “Under Lisa’s leadership, I know they will.”
For more information on Incoming CEO Lisa Dominguez, please see a Q&A with her here.
About Paths for Families
Paths for Families is an adoption and family well-being organization that partners with individuals and communities dedicated to the lifelong work of building and sustaining families. For more than 30 years, we’ve been here for expectant parents exploring adoption, birth parents, prospective and current adoptive families, children in need of adoption, people who were adopted, and professionals in the community. With the understanding that every path is unique, we enhance and support the wellbeing of children and families through placement services, counseling, and training. With a focus on nurturing positive and restorative experiences, we bring dedicated, technical expertise and trauma-informed, evidence-based practices to the communities we serve. On a systemic level, we share our training with professionals in child welfare and the broader community to build more trauma-responsive systems of care. We treat everyone with the understanding, kindness, and respect we believe all humans deserve. This is the compass that guides us in our work, putting human dignity and ethical practices at the forefront of everything we do for children, families, and their communities so they can genuinely feel they are not alone on this journey.