Melissa Jenovai, LMSW, 
Named New President/CEO
The Board of Directors of Spaulding for the Children has announced Melissa S. Jenovai, LMSW, will serve as the next President and CEO of Michigan’s first child welfare agency to specialize in placing children with special needs into adoptive homes. Currently serving as Spaulding’s Vice President of Child and Family Services, Ms. Jenovai will assume her new office on Oct. 1, 2022.

Ms. Jenovai will succeed Cristina Peixoto as President and CEO of Spaulding for Children. Ms. Peixoto joined Spaulding in 2010 and became President and CEO in 2017.
“The board is excited to have Melissa Jenovai as our next CEO after a thorough executive search process,” Kristi Plain, Board President, Spaulding for Children, said. “Her experience, passion and commitment to the welfare of children make her an excellent candidate and we are excited to work with her on shaping Spaulding’s future.”

Ms. Jenovai began her career at Spaulding in 2005 as an intern and moved through the ranks into leadership roles. She became VP of Child and Family Services in 2017. 

“I am honored and humbled to continue the mission and work of Spaulding for Children,” Jenovai said. “The contributions made by Cristina Peixoto and the team at Spaulding for Children are recognized across the nation for helping improve the lives of children and families, as well as improving the quality of life for our greater community.”
Celebrating The Fourth of July
and All Its Promises
The United States of America celebrated its 246th year as an independent nation this July 4. While the country is not yet the perfect realization of its founding ideals, we continues to move toward what President Abraham Lincoln termed "A more perfect Union." And on this Fourth of July, the U.S. Department of Defense announced the appointment of the first African American to the rank of four-star general of the United States Marine Corps, Gen. Michael Langley.
Thank You for Your Service
We would like to thank two special people for their service and commitment to Spaulding for Children as members of the Board of Directors. Sheryl G. Collier gave Spaulding for Children 26 years' service; and Dr. Veryl "Vee" Williams, PhD for 7 years' service.
Ms. Sheryl G. Collier joined the Board of Spaulding for Children in 1996. She is a retired Business Unit Executive, and a highly accomplished Software and Services Technical Sales Leader/Executive at IBM. She shared with Spaulding her experience from the world of business as a results-oriented leader with a record for over-achieving objectives. She also introduced Spaulding to the IBM Employees group, which has become a long-time supporter of the Agency.
Dr. Veryl "Vee" Williams, PhD joined the Board in 2015. She is the Executive Director and Founder of Bridges R.E.S.P.I.T.E. Services, PLLC, where she works to mentor and clinically supervise Limited Licensed Social Workers and provide a wide array of children and Family Services. She also shared with Spaulding her experience as Deputy Director at a Community Mental Health Organization, under the Detroit Wayne County Community Mental Health Authority.  Dr. Vee recently relocated out of the state.
We wish them both well in their new endeavors. Their wisdom, dedication and examples will continue to inspire and move Spaulding for Children toward excellence.
Pickleman's Shows Whole Lotta Love for Spaulding
Spaulding for Children has new corporate sponsor: Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe. The new organizational relationship springs from the personal relationship of longtime Spaulding supporter and Board member Kennth Rice and Pickleman's founder Douglas Stritzel.

Mr. Rice joined Spaulding’s board in 2014. Currently, he serves as the Nominating Committee Chair and is a former Board Secretary.
Mr. Rice also is the Chief Operating Officer at Pickleman’s. Ken was recruited to join Pickleman’s by Mr. Stritzel. The two met and trained together at Wendy’s. 

Thanks to the duo's enthusiasm for Spaulding, Pickelman’s has signed up as The Golf Cart sponsor and is providing Gift Bags for the Spaulding Scramble, coming up  on Saturday, Sept. 17. A good number of Pickleman's company representatives and franchisees also will travel to Michigan to participate in the outting. 
They truly are a special group of individuals. With "Whole Lotta Love, One Big Pickle!" as their tagline, Pickleman's made philanthropy a core principle of the organization.

“They have created a great dining experience and as a company they believe in giving love back to the communities they serve.” Ken said. “So, when I presented Spaulding and how they support families, it was agreed that the fit was perfect.” 
Recently, Mr. Stritzel hosted an online birthday fundraiser for Spaulding. The event generated thousands of dollars in donations, which included personal gifts from Doug and Ken.

Pickleman's offers a wide array of all natural products with the freshest ingredients including Toasted Sandwiches, Pizzas, Soups, Salads and Desserts, the first store opened in 2005. They use proprietary recipes for all their offerings from bread to soups.  
With several delicatessens in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma, Pickleman's closest delicatessen to Southeast Michigan is in Noblesville, Ind. 

The company is growing quickly. And Stritzel said they brought Rice on board to steward that growth. Their goal is 30 stores by year end and 100 by 2024. 

Hopefully we will see a Pickleman’s in Michigan in the coming years as they are recruiting franchisees.  To learn more, click here.
988 - New Crisis Line 

Connects Michigan Residents Experiencing Behavioral Health Crisis to Resources 
Michiganders in crisis now have an easy-to-remember three-digit number to call for help – 988. Michigan has joined the nation in transitioning to the 988-dialing code, which will operate through the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s network of more than 200 locally operated and funded crisis centers across the country. 

Anyone with these concerns can call:
·         Mental health-related distress.
·         Thoughts of suicide.
·         Substance use crisis.
·         Emotional distress.
·         There are specialized services available for veterans, LGBTQ individuals and other groups.
·         People who are worried about a loved one who may need support also can call.
“The 988 number is another step toward strengthening and transforming crisis care and mental health services in our state, which is a key focus of the department,” said Elizabeth Hertel, Michigan Department of health and Human Services (MDHHS) director. “This universal number means no matter where you live or call from, you can reach a trained crisis counselor who can help. We encourage Michigan residents or their family members to call 988 if they are experiencing mental health-related distress, emotional distress or a substance use crisis.”

The 988-dialing code does not replace the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 800-273-TALK (8255) – or other locally operated crisis lines. Instead, it serves as a universal entry point to connect individuals in need to trained crisis counselors who can help. MDHHS is working to ensure a solid infrastructure is built through coordination with 911 and other crisis service providers as the 988-dialing code launches.

“Crisis is defined by the caller,” said Dr. Debra Pinals, medical director for Behavioral Health and Forensic Programs, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “And by providing an easy-to-remember number we are making help more accessible and strengthening support to those in need. Trained counselors will be available 24/7 to field calls. They will listen to the caller’s problems, assess their needs and provide support by connecting them with resources, and alert local emergency crisis teams, if necessary. The roll out of 988 as an easier number to remember will provide a natural extension to the already promising work of the department in implementing the Michigan Crisis and Access Line.”

For more information, click here to visit 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline and Michigan Crisis & Access Line.
Get to Know NTDC
Last month, NTDC officially launched nationwide. In this short video, hear directly from parents and professionals about how this free resource is educating and empowering them with trauma-informed, culturally-relevant, and flexible training and tools.

Contact Sue Cohick for more information at
Ideas for Summer Fun

We asked you and all the members of our team to share some of their ideas for Summer Fun. What we discovered:

"My kids and their friends know that we always have ice cream, water and juice available to drink. When we are home the pool is always open." – Jamie Bozarth, HR Director

"We love watching the fireworks in the summer!" – Melissa Jenovai, VP of Child & Family Services
"I like to eat real fruit popsicles with my family on a hot summer day. You can see the smiles on everyone’s face as they enjoy the refreshing treat! It is not only refreshing, but it’s also affordable." – Cheryl Gist, Administrative Assistant

We hope you are enjoying the summer season. And, please, share some of the things you're doing. Send a note to Cheryl Gist at

We won't keep the fun to ourselves. We want to share with everybody!

Save the Date: Saturday, August 20, 2022

Resource Fair 

Join Us!
Spaulding for Children is searching for a Project Manager. The position is responsible for meeting the goals and objectives as laid out in the project’s approved annual work plan and for supervising the Kinship Specialist.  The Project Manager also is responsible for participating in the planning and delivery of assigned activities. This includes working closely with the leadership team, the evaluation team, the Advisory and Sub Committees. 

If you or someone you know is interested for the position, click here for details on our home page.
Back to School Shopping Spree: September 8
We are hosting a school supply "Shopping Spree" for the children we serve.

Children and youth can obtain school supplies on Thursday, Sept. 8 from 5-7 p.m. 
The families we serve can contact their worker for additional information.

We also are looking for contributions.

If you are interested in contributing,
please click here to check out the wish list on Amazon
Save the Date: Saturday, Sept. 24

Cristina's Retirement Open House Picnic

Please join us on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, from 12 noon to 3 p.m. as we thank Cristina Peixoto for her 12 years' service to Spaulding for Children, including almost six years as our President and CEO and more than 30 years in children services.

The event will be a combination Picnic and Open House. Invitations with all the details will go out in August.
More Dates to Save
Thank you to the team at 
Campbell Marketing & Communications 
for their continued support. 

Change a child's life, become a foster parent!

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In partnership with families, communities, organizations, states and the nation, Spaulding for Children’s mission is to assure that all children grow up in safe, permanent families and have the help they need to be successful in life.

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