Empowering Families: A CEO's Commitment to Financial Literacy and Independence

Financial literacy and independence are crucial for personal success and stability, particularly for those from low-income backgrounds. Many organizations focus on providing resources and education in this area, but few stand out for their innovative and effective approaches. One such organization is Starfish Family Services, a nonprofit human service agency serving children and families in metro Detroit since 1963. Their holistic approach has provided high-quality programs and support services, serving over 4,000 children and their families annually. In this article, we will explore the work of Ann Kalass, the CEO of Starfish Family Services, and her passionate commitment to strengthening families and empowering individuals of all ages to take control of their financial futures.

As the CEO of Starfish Family Services since June 2007, Ann Kalass has led the organization with a clear vision and a focus on strategic planning, board and staff development, fundraising, and program strategy. With over 15 years of experience at the helm of the $20 million human service agency, she has demonstrated a deep commitment to the organization’s mission and values. Before working at Starfish Family Services, Kalass spent 13 years as a Marketing Communications Manager at Ford Motor Company, where she honed her marketing and sales management skills. Her experience in product management at Okamoto USA from 1988 to 1991 also equipped her with valuable insights into product development and strategy.

Kalass’s dedication to positively impacting communities and families is evident in her work at Starfish Family Services. Under her leadership, the organization has developed various programs and services to empower families and children, including early childhood education and development, behavioral health wellness, and support for empowered parents. These programs and services have enabled families to create brighter futures for their children and achieve financial stability and independence.

At the heart of Kalass’s work is a deep commitment to the values of Starfish Family Services. She is dedicated to ensuring that the organization operates with integrity, generates trust through honesty and transparency, fosters healthy relationships, and works to confront systemic inequalities and barriers to success. Through teamwork, she believes that families and employees can work together to achieve shared goals and support each other in achieving their full potential.

¬†Ann Kalass’s leadership at Starfish Family Services has been instrumental in promoting financial literacy and independence for families and children in metro Detroit. She has created a culture of dedication and commitment to the organization’s values through her passion for strengthening families and empowering individuals. Her innovative and holistic approach to service provision has made a real difference in the lives of thousands of families, enabling them to create brighter futures for their children. The impact of her work extends beyond her organization, inspiring others to prioritize financial literacy and independence as critical components of personal and community success.

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