Family Promise CEO Claas Ehlers Announces Departure

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July 29, 2022

We have important news to share with our community: our CEO, Claas Ehlers, has accepted a new position as CEO of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement and will be leaving Family Promise.

Founded by a mother who lost her son in the Sandy Hook massacre, Choose Love, like Family Promise, seeks to change the future for children, through social-emotional learning and character building. 

This year marks Claas’s 20th year of service to our incredible organization. He joined Family Promise in 2002 and Karen Olson immediately saw the potential, passion, and integrity he brings as a leader. When Claas stepped into the role of CEO in 2016, he brought a vision to expand and deepen Affiliates’ impact in serving families.   

In five and a half years under Claas’s leadership, we have tripled our significant KPIs around families served, partnerships, funders, and brand awareness. We have grown our national team and our board. Claas has transformed Family Promise into a national leader and provider of holistic solutions to family homelessness. And, most importantly, we have changed the future for hundreds of thousands of children.   

The decision to leave was difficult, but he’s excited about the opportunity to take on a new challenge. 

Claas’s last day with Family Promise will be August 23rd. Because Claas has been working with our national board on succession planning, the board is expecting to select a new CEO by the end of the year. Our board chair, Betsy Bernard, will work closely with the leadership team. Shari Competiello, Chief of Staff, will step in as Acting CEO to ensure continuity.   

Family Promise National has seen only two leaders in its 34 years, a remarkable testament to the stability of the organization and the dedication of the team. When Karen Olson retired and Claas took the reins, The Bridgespan Group lauded us for our seamless founder-to-new CEO transition. We are confident and committed to another smooth succession.   

Claas will be deeply missed. He embodies our core values of hospitality, empathy, community, and empowerment. He has worked tirelessly to support our Affiliates as dynamic, innovative leaders.  

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