Nikki Stefanow and Pat Banaszak
A leadership change for FYI planned for the end of the year was moved up to July. Nikki Stefanow is the executive director, effective July 1, as Pat Banaszak has moved into an independent employee advisor position.
“During June, in conjunction with the executive board of FYI, we made the decision to make a shift for the final six months of this year, in order to best facilitate a smooth transition for both of us,” Banaszak said, whose career of service with the organization spans more than four decades. “My primary focus will be to provide advice and guidance to Nikki wherever she feels she can leverage the value of my experience.”
Both Stefanow and Banaszak have shared the lead role in the organization as co-executive directors since August of 2018, with Banaszak mentoring Stefanow along the way in preparation for this leadership change.
Banaszak, who along with the late Carol Tipton founded FYI in 1978, has agreed to be a valuable consultant for the rest of 2020, assisting Stefanow to create the best possible transition for our nonprofit. Stefanow assumes all decision-making authority and responsibility.
Stefanow came to FYI as a volunteer at the Fairborn office of the Women’s Network in 2008. She was employed as the program’s director in 2013, overseeing the operation of all three of the networks. The Women’s Network evolved into the Parenting Network under six years of her leadership as the network’s director. In August 2018, she also added the co-executive director role to her duties.
“I believe that God has brought me here to put FYI in a more unified direction so that we can grow and get FYI better known, not just in our community, but on a broader basis,” she said. “People need to know that we are here to rescue kids and change their lives. We have these great programs and not enough people seem to know about them.”
Stefanow hopes an increased unity across FYI’s programs will help communities see FYI’s presence more.
“Part of that challenge is our programs, organizations and staff have not been as unified as they could be,” she continued. “We have been these separate programs, all doing great things, but not always connected. Alone we can only do so much, but bound together we can accomplish much more. ”
FYI has in the last year made great strides towards that goal, but God’s work has truly just begun.
“This is honestly a time that we need more champions to come alongside us to help spread that word and empower families with hope to overcome adversities during these unpredictable times,” she said.
One important area that Banaszak will be assisting Stefanow in is maintaining key relationships throughout the six-county area FYI serves: Clark, Greene, Shelby, Champaign, Logan, and Miami counties.
“I will be helping to facilitate strong relationships for her with all of our grantors and supporters throughout the political, civic and broader communities we serve,” Banaszak said.
She leaves a message for all those who support FYI.
“I encourage everyone to give Nikki your support as she carries forward the mission and passion of FYI over the coming years,” Banaszak said.