Dear Friends and Colleagues:
I’m writing to share with you an important milestone for Seneca Family of Agencies, our Board, our staff, and our communities. As many of you know, just over a year ago, the Board and I began the process of transition-planning. In July, I will transition from my current role as CEO and into an advisory and consulting role with Seneca. Concurrent with that transition, I will begin a new role as CEO of a new organization created in collaboration with Seneca’s Board, and dedicated to individual and policy advocacy for children and families.
July 1st will mark 36 years since we began the journey from Seneca Center for Children and Families to Seneca Family of Agencies. None of us could have imagined the adventure from a small group of dedicated teachers, counselors, and social workers to the organization that we have become today. Throughout, we’ve had so many reasons to be grateful to you, our Boards, our friends, and our partners as we jointly advocated for systems, programs, and supports to help children and families through the most difficult times in their lives. I want to express my deep appreciation to all of our staff—present and past—who helped to create Seneca and never flinched in their mission to serve children and families, unconditionally.
As I look back on the last 36 years, I want to recognize the incredible contributions of my partners in the development of this organization. Beginning in 1985 and for 15 years, as a co-founder of Seneca, Chris Stoner-Mertz has impacted every aspect of our values, vision, and mission. She is an outstanding partner and Seneca would not be what it is today without her. Chris was followed in that role by Katherine West. Katherine continued and expanded on Chris’s tradition of holding children and families at the center of everything we do, and helped to organize Seneca across every aspect of our work and development. Katherine’s heart and vision are everywhere in this organization. Following Katherine, for the last two years (and for 18 years in other roles, prior to that), Leticia Galyean has continued in the tradition of these extraordinary people, holding true to the mission, vision, and values, to help move this organization forward. It is in recognition of this tradition that we’re taking this opportunity to announce Leticia Galyean as the next CEO of Seneca, leading our mission to support children and families unconditionally.
Leticia is a passionate and tireless advocate for children and families, and I feel so fortunate to have worked alongside such a dedicated individual for the past 20 years. After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley, Leticia began her career with Seneca in May 2001. While working at Seneca as a Counselor, Leticia returned to UC Berkeley to earn her Master of Social Welfare degree before going on to hold several clinical and leadership positions within the agency, including Program Director, Regional Executive Director, and Executive Director of our Data, Evaluation, and Strategic Initiatives team. In these roles, she supported hundreds of staff, youth, and families annually. Leticia is the right leader at the right time to take Seneca into the next chapter of our mission, and I am thrilled to see her step into this role.
My team at Seneca and I will always be grateful to you, our community of friends and partners. Together, we have positively influenced the values, practices, and policies that impact California’s children and youth every day. I’m excited to continue that journey with you all in my new role, and to support Leticia in hers.
In Gratitude and Appreciation,