Arizona’s Children Association Announces New President & CEO

Arizona’s Children Association (AzCA) announced this week that its board of directors has selected Jacob Schmitt as the organization’s next President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. This decision followed the passing of their late President and Chief Executive Officer, Denise Ensdorff, in May of this year.

“When we lost Denise in May, we felt the loss of her spirit. In our heart of hearts, we knew she would want us to promise that the mission of Arizona’s Children Association would continue to be fulfilled,” said Anna Osborn, Board Chair. “During this difficult time, it was crucial to continue caring for children and families. As a board, we knew we needed to find someone who had the ability to lead us through this time of unprecedented change. With the various moving parts, we knew Jacob not only embodied these qualities he would also be committed to ensuring our mission remained a priority.”

On behalf of the board, Osborn expressed confidence in the decision to appoint Schmitt following a comprehensive search process—noting his passion and experience is what the agency needs to move forward.

“The board formed a CEO search committee made up of a passionate and diverse cross section of the board,” said Osborn. “We weighed through the most qualified of applicants and chose to interview the candidates we felt would best represent AzCA today and secure our future, serving the families and communities we love another 100+ years from now. We wanted someone with a passion for our mission, a thoughtful leader who also has a strong business acumen. Along with [the board’s] full support, we’re grateful he has a talented and dedicated staff to support him and AzCA’s mission.”

Schmitt began his work at AzCA in 2013 and was responsible for AzCA’s performance and quality improvement program as well as compliance with all federal, state, contractual, and accreditation requirements. He served as the Chief Compliance Officer and Director of Quality before recently moving into the role of Interim President and CEO. Schmitt has more than 20 years of experience in providing and overseeing social service programs in both public and private sectors. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Studies from Cornell College and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Bellevue University.

“Having worked at Arizona’s Children Association for more than five years, I value how the mission and history of the agency drives the important work our staff provide for the children and families across Arizona,” said Schmitt. “We continue to remain at the forefront for child welfare and behavioral health services and serve as a standard in Arizona and beyond for high quality services for children and families. It is an honor to be chosen to lead this exceptional organization as the new President and CEO of Arizona’s Children Association. I look forward to working alongside our staff and partners in this new role.”

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