The Family Center in Somerville Names Sue Heilman as New CEO

The non-profit agency that serves at-risk families appointed a new CEO who previously headed Horizons for Homeless Children and once received Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s Women of Justice Award.

, located in Union Square, is a non-profit that provides therapy and support services to low-income, at-risk families throughout Greater Boston.

The organization recently appointed Sue Heilman as its new CEO. Here's the announcement:


SOMERVILLE, MA (July 24, 2012) — The Family Center, a 30-year-old non-profit agency that serves at-risk families in the Greater Boston area, appointed non-profit leader Sue Heilman as its new Chief Executive Officer. “The Board of Directors is delighted to announce Sue Heilman’s appointment,” said Anne Peretz, founder and board chair. “With more than 25 years of experience growing and leading mission-based organizations, Sue brings a deep commitment to at-risk children and families, as well as significant experience in many areas including strategy development, program design, fundraising and policy.”

Previously, Heilman headed Horizons for Homeless Children for 18 years, which is based in Boston and has offices and program locations across Massachusetts, building it to the largest U.S. organization focused on the needs of young homeless children. Recently, Heilman served as Executive Director of the National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement (NCPFCE) for the Office of Head Start at the Brazelton Touchpoints Center. At NCPFCE, she brought evidence-based practices to Head Start staff and families across the country. Among her distinctions, Heilman has received Wheaton College’s Distinguished Alumna Award and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s Women of Justice Award.  

“I am honored to join The Family Center as it celebrates its 30th anniversary,” said Heilman. “The Family Center has a proud history of designing programs for poor and immigrant communities to build family self-sufficiency, and I look forward to working with our dedicated board and staff and loyal base of friends and partners to significantly expand every aspect of our programming, outreach and impact.”

“The Family Center began in 1982 from a van parked outside a Cambridge housing project.” Heilman added. “Now our Somerville headquarters includes several group meeting/training rooms, family coaching rooms and a variety of family activity spaces, annually serving hundreds of families from the Greater Boston community. We also train non-profit agency staff each year at both our Somerville facility and our New York location; well over 1,000 such staff have been trained since 1995.”

Heilman assumes organizational leadership from Cheryl Vines, The Family Center’s former Executive Director and a staff member for 24 years. Vines transitions to a new position, Vice President of National Replication, as The Family Center expands its transformative parent development programs. In this role, Vines will develop new partnerships and markets, ensuring fidelity to The Family Center’s programming methods and curriculum.

“This enhanced leadership configuration presages the beginning of a new phase of growth for The Family Center,” board chair Anne Peretz noted. “It builds on current programs, and we are excited to work with existing and new partners to extend dramatically the scale of work in service for our society’s most vulnerable and at-risk families and children.”



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