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  • newsroom-icon NEWS STORIESJan 9, 2017

    Columbus, Ohio – Does your company offer adoption benefits to its employees in the form of financial reimbursement or paid time off? If so, you are working for an adoption-friendly workplace. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption wants to recognize your company in its 2017 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplace survey that is open now.

    For 11 years, the Foundation has surveyed the nation’s employers to reveal those that offer the best adoption benefits to families looking to expand through foster care adoption, private infant adoption and international adoption. The 2016 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplace is Ferring Pharmaceuticals, which offers $25,000 in financial reimbursement and more than five weeks of paid time off to employees who adopt.

    “Ferring is committed to helping build families. Ferring is proud to be recognized as the nation’s most Adoption-Friendly Workplace by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption,” said Aaron Graff, Chief Executive Officer, Ferring Holding Inc.

    “We are continually searching for employers who offer the most competitive adoption benefits in the country to highlight as examples of what we hope all organizations will consider for their employees,” said Rita Soronen, President & CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. “Employees often rely on company benefits to even consider adoption as an option to grow their family. We appreciate the employers who are leading the way in this arena.”

    The survey is first based on financial reimbursement, but also recognizes companies that offer paid time off only, along with industry breakouts and employers who offer time off to foster parents.

    Here is how to apply:

    • Go to
    • If you completed the survey last year, use the same login information from 2016
    • If you are completing the survey for the first time, click on “create your password”
    • Only fields marked with an asterisk are required

    The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption will reach out to all applicants with results later this year. To learn more about the benefits offered by our 2016 winners, visit

    Mary Ellen Smalley

  • newsroom-icon NEWS STORIESJan 5, 2017

    Columbus, Ohio – The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption welcomes two new board of trustees members this month. Deepak Ajmani and Robert Geen will each join the board for a three-year term.

    Ajmani is the Vice President of Restaurant Services for the Wendy’s Company based in Dublin, Ohio. Ajmani most recently led the Florida Division as Division Vice President for over seven years. He has a deep passion for the Wendy’s brand and is a growth minded leader.

    “It energizes me to see how Wendy’s has partnered with the Foundation in local communities to raise awareness and accomplish one goal of finding a loving family for every child in foster care,” said Ajmani. “I’m excited to now support these efforts as a board member.”

    Rob Geen is also joining the board. He currently serves as the Director of Policy Reform and Advocacy at the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF). In this capacity, he is responsible for designing and implementing an advocacy strategy related to child welfare, juvenile justice and evidence-based practice.

    “In the twenty years I spent as a researcher, the most rewarding experience I had was designing and implementing an evaluation of the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program. It was a privilege to have a small role in helping this amazing program grow and forever impact the lives of thousands of children,” Geen said. “I am now honored to join the Dave Thomas Foundation board where I hope I can be of some assistance in further scaling Wendy’s Wonderful Kids and making sure that every child enjoys the love and lifetime security of a family.”

    “We are fortunate to have both of these gentlemen joining our board,” said Rita Soronen, President & CEO of the Foundation. “Rob’s background in child welfare advocacy and research is priceless as we look to expand the reach of our work. Deepak’s deep knowledge of the Wendy’s system will only help further strengthen the connection between the Foundation and The Wendy’s Company, franchisees and suppliers.”

    Neither Geen nor Amanji are strangers to the work of the Foundation. In fact, Geen was on the team that reviewed the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program and delivered the research proving its effectiveness. “That research has been invaluable to the Foundation as we work to partner with many more states to scale the model,” Soronen said. “Deepak has been lockstep with the Foundation in his work with the restaurants, promoting in-store campaigns, which for decades have helped fund the Foundations programs. Each member of the board is a dedicated advocate of foster care adoption and Rob and Deepak are terrific additions.”

    Mary Ellen Smalley

  • newsroom-icon NEWS STORIESJan 4, 2017

    Columbus, Ohio – Each year the YWCA of Columbus recognizes a select group of women as their annual
    Women of Achievement.

    Only 249 women have earned this honor over the past 31 years. This year, Dave Thomas Foundation for
    Adoption President and CEO Rita Soronen has been given this honor as a member of the class 2017 Women of
    Achievement. Each recipient of this award shares a deep commitment to breaking down barriers and creating
    opportunities for women in Central Ohio.

    “We are proud of all that Rita does for the children in foster care waiting for forever families and all the additional
    work she does to enhance our community,” said Jill Crumbacher, Senior Vice President of Marketing and
    Development at the Foundation.

    Previous honorees include Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs, Donatos’ Chairwoman Jane Grote Abell, former
    WBNS news anchor Andrea Cambern and President of the Ohio Health Foundation Karen Morrison. A complete
    list of all past honorees can be found here.

    “I am honored to be a part of this impressive and inspiring group of women who are working to raise the
    consciousness of women’s issues in Central Ohio and who are breaking barriers,” said Rita Soronen. “I am
    humbled to be in the same category of such noteworthy women who are impacting our city in significant ways.”
    Soronen has been the President and CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption for 14 years and has spent
    her professional life fighting for the rights of children and families.

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