Jewish Family Service of Colorado’s (JFS) President and Chief Executive Officer, Yana Vishnitsky, LCSW, announced that she will retire in January 2017. She has served the agency for 37 years and has held her current role for 15 years. JFS has achieved significant success and growth under Vishnitsky’s leadership. In 2000, the agency had a $4.8 million budget and provided services to nearly 8,000 people. Fifteen years later, those numbers have nearly tripled; the 2015 budget was $14.4 million and the agency benefited nearly 25,000 people.
Vishnitsky, a patent attorney and mechanical engineer in St. Petersburg, Russia, started from square one when she moved to Denver in 1978. Her Russian education and degrees meant very little in this country, but she was fluent in English. She started working at JFS just a few days after she arrived in Denver, serving as a translator and case manager. Her job was to assist hundreds of Russian émigrés adapt to life in Colorado.
She went back to school and received an undergraduate social work degree from Colorado State University and a graduate degree from Smith College. Vishnitsky completed her post-graduate training at the Denver Institute of Psychoanalysis and became an esteemed psychotherapist. At Jewish Family Service, she served as director of the Russian Resettlement department and the associate executive director of the agency before becoming President and CEO in 2000.
“My decision to retire is bittersweet,” Vishnitsky says. “A part of me cannot imagine a life without JFS, but after 37 years, the time has come. I will be leaving JFS in excellent hands, with strong leadership and a capable, dedicated staff. The agency is in sound financial health and has a thoughtful strategic direction moving forward.”
Jane E. Rosenbaum, JFS Board chair, says, “Yana has had everything to do with the remarkable success of JFS over the past 37 years. She’ll be leaving a legacy of leadership, excellence, growth, and service to our community.” The JFS Board of Directors will launch a thoughtful process to identify and hire Yana’s successor, beginning with appointing a search committee made up of current and former board members.
About Jewish Family Service of Colorado
Jewish Family Service of Colorado (JFS) believes in strengthening the community by providing vital services to people in need. Every day, JFS helps people overcome life’s challenges to live fuller, more meaningful lives. Founded in 1872, JFS is a nonsectarian, nonprofit human services agency serving metro Denver and Boulder. JFS helps seniors live independently at home, provides quality mental health counseling, offers training and job placement to those with developmental disabilities and other barriers to employment, and provides food and financial aid to people in crisis. Every year, the agency benefits nearly 25,000 people of all ages, faiths, incomes, and abilities. For more information, call 303.597.5000 or visit www.jewishfamilyservice.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!