embrella Board of Directors
Mary Grace Dondiego
Mary Sue Dondiego
A Message From Our Board Chair
s I look back on our history, I am so proud of how far we’ve come. It’s amazing to think that we will be celebrating our 45th anniversary as a nonprofit this year – an incredible accomplishment!
For 45 years, we’ve provided children and youth who are in, or adopted from, foster care with opportunities to achieve their dreams. We’ve encouraged and educated foster and adoptive parents who, without us, might close their home to a child in need, and we’ve strengthened kinship caregivers so that, with our support, they can open their door to a family member’s hurting child.
But we’ve never been an organization to rest on our laurels. We are constantly, and enthusiastically, moving forward.
In 2018, we moved to a larger and more professional office to house our growing team and our visitors more comfortably.
We caught the attention of Taylor Swift, who donated more than 1,000 tickets to our foster and kinship families to see her in concert, giving our kids a night they will never forget. And of course, we’ve changed our name to embrella, with our tagline, “Embracing & Empowering Families.” Feedback on the name change, the tagline, and of course, the logo has been extremely positive. It looks like our otters have stolen our heart, along with everyone else’s.
So, what comes next? We will focus on getting the word out about the good work we do and why it matters, becoming embrella ambassadors both out in public and online. Our team is moving forward on increasing and improving our existing donor-supported programs and expanding access to these programs for our adoptive and our presumptive eligibility families. One day in the not-too-distant future, we hope to reach even further, allowing our children to continue to benefit from our programs once they are reunified and supporting biological parents so that their children can safely stay with them in their own homes.
This Strategic Plan maps out our next steps as a team. To reach our goals, we still have a long way to go. But, with our commitment to our families, our donors, our staff, and to one another — and with 45 years’ experience under our belt — I am confident that we will reach them.
— Mary Grace Dondiego
Advisory Council Members
Assistant Vice President, Wells Fargo
NJ Scholars Graduate
President and CEO
Board President, Family Success Institute
Lisa Chapland, Esq.
Director of Governmental Affairs for the New Jersey Bar Association
Bennett and Enis De Sapio
2017 Outstanding New Foster Family of the Year
Phyllis Di Nardi
NJ Scholars Program
Theodora McCormick, Esq.
Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.
Marcus A. Stallworth, LMSW
Co-Owner, Welcome 2 Reality. LLC
CWLA Training and Development Specialist
Jenene Thomas CEO
Jenene Thomas Communications
Cecilia Zalkind, CEO
Advocates for Children of NJ