Ricardo Estrada Named New President and CEO of Metropolitan Family Services

CHICAGO (January 24, 2011) – Ricardo (Ric) Estrada has been named the new President and CEO of Metropolitan Family Services, effective March 1, 2011. Metropolitan Family Services is one of Chicago’s first and largest human services organizations and today provides a wide variety of programs and services to approximately 45,000 individuals and families annually through its seven community centers throughout the Chicago area.

Estrada, a Chicago resident since childhood, has over 20 years of experience in the social services and education sectors and has held numerous leadership positions. Most recently he served as First Deputy Commissioner, Department of Family and Support Services, with the City of Chicago. There he led operations for the department’s program units, developing strategies to best use the department’s resources for programs strengthening Chicago’s vulnerable communities.

Prior to that he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Erie Elementary Charter School in Chicago. He developed the school’s concept and business plan, as well as recruited key staff and the board. In addition, Estrada secured $1.2 million in financing for first-year operations and commitments of nearly $2 million in private revenue to support five years of incremental growth. He also was Executive Director, and previously Associate Executive Director, of Erie Neighborhood House; in that role Estrada increased the organization’s budget from $5.8 million to more than $10 million, expanded services into multiple communities, developed five community technology centers, and secured more than $2 million annually in private grants.

Estrada’s prior positions, which include several directorships, an associate professorship and consultancies, were held at various Chicago organizations including Orphanlink International, Chicago Commons Association, Latino Youth, Inc., Saint Augustine University and the University of Chicago. Estrada actually launched his professional career as a graduate policy intern with Metropolitan Family Services (then known as United Charities), in 1992.

His professional affiliations include recently being named a Trustee of the University of Illinois; serving as Vice President, Board of Directors, of Leadership Greater Chicago; Board memberships with the Donors Forum of Chicago and the Latino Policy Forum; membership with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Selection Committee, Emerging Leaders Program; and Executive Committee membership with the Illinois Childcare Advisory Council.

Estrada’s many accolades and awards include being named an American Marshall Memorial Fellow and the Loyola University Chicago Latino Alumnus of the Year, as well as receiving the City Club of Chicago John A. McDermott Award for Distinguished Social Leadership, and the Citibank Hispanic Heritage Award. He also was selected as one of Crain’s Chicago Business’ “40 under 40” in 2002.

Estrada’s educational background is grounded in social services and business, including an MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago, an MA in Social Service Policy and Administration from the University of Chicago, and a BS in Psychology from Loyola University of Chicago.

He lives in Chicago with his wife Beatriz and has two daughters.

Ginger Pillman, Chair of Metropolitan’s Board of Directors, said, “We at Metropolitan Family Services are truly pleased that Ric Estrada will be taking the helm of the organization, and will be the ninth president in Metropolitan’s 153-year history. We look forward to his innovative and dynamic direction as we strategically address the opportunities and challenges facing the thousands of vulnerable families Metropolitan serves throughout the Chicago area. On behalf of Metropolitan’s Board of Directors, I also take this opportunity to warmly thank our outgoing President and CEO, Dr. Richard Jones, for his amazing leadership over the past 13 years.”

Jones, who is retiring from Metropolitan after a 43-year career in human services, is a respected leader locally, nationally and internationally. His years at Metropolitan Family Services represented his third presidential role in leading a major metropolitan organization, having served previously as the Executive Director of Boston Children’s Services in Boston, Massachusetts, and President and CEO of the Center for Children and Family in Cleveland, Ohio. As Metropolitan’s CEO Jones was instrumental in developing the agency’s community-centered focus and implementing a strategic plan to meet the evolving needs of families in its target communities and produce measurable and meaningful outcomes in the lives of those it serves. Dr. Richard Jones will become President Emeritus and Consultant to the CEO during the remainder of his tenure.

About Metropolitan Family Services
Metropolitan Family Services is one of Chicago’s first and largest human services agencies and reaches approximately 45,000 individuals and families in Chicago and the suburbs with programs and services that help families realize their potential and lead healthy, productive lives.

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