Irene Paxia open house tomorrow – 6/23/2021

Irene Paxia

The public is invited to attend an open house for Irene Paxia, Amani CEO, on Wednesday June 23, from 12 to 2 p.m. at Amani’s offices, 5104 North Clinton Street.

Amani Family Services Announces Leadership Change

Fort Wayne, Indiana (June 22, 2021) – The Amani Family Services Board of Directors today announced that current CEO Irene Paxia is stepping down in order to spend more time with her family in Italy; current COO Ewelina Connolly will assume the position of CEO on July 1, 2021.

“This is a hard decision but also a good decision – precipitated by family needs. I have struggled with the responsibility and desire to care for my parents. Amani is in great hands with Ewelina, we have worked very well and closely together. Amani is entering a new exciting stage of impact,” said Irene Paxia, former CEO.

Paxia was named executive director of the organization, then named Crime Victim Care of Allen County, in 2015. During that time, she has grown the organization from serving 550 clients annually to over 2,000 clients. Staffing increased from 1 full time and 8 part time employees to 26 full time employees and the budget from $658,375 to $1,629,740. Key accomplishments for Amani include: strengthening board governance through a formal committee structure and recruiting new board talent; a comprehensive rebranding initiative and updating mission and vision statements; increasing the pool of supporters; launching One Beat, Amani’s signature fundraiser; adopting two strategic plans for 2016-2020 and 2021-2024; establishing the Clinical Director, COO, Senior Accountant, and other positions; co-hosting community events such Diversity Awards, World Refugee Day, and International Women’s Day; acquiring and renovating a new office space; and forming the Community Advisory Board, with 12 volunteers from 11 different countries.

“We are grateful to Irene for her service not only to Amani but to our community’s immigrant and refugee population,” said Mike Zawahri, board chair of Amani and Pyromation CFO. “She has grown not only Amani Family Services, but also the local awareness about the important contributions immigrants and refugees make to our community. We will miss her and wish her only the best. At the same time, we are thrilled to welcome Ewelina as the new CEO. Ewelina brings a great deal of experience and passion to the position and we know her enthusiasm will continue to move Amani forward.”

Ewelina Connolly joined Amani first as a therapist in 2012 and returned in the Clinical Director role in 2017. She holds a Master of Science in Education from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Law and Administration from Copernici University, Torun, Poland. She is also Licensed Clinical Addictions Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and has experience in a variety of organizations (including Caring About People and Indiana University-Purdue University). She is a native of Plock, Poland.

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