Omaha, Neb. – Candias (Candi) C. Jones has been named Executive Director of Girls Incorporated of Omaha. Girls Inc. Board of Directors President Amy Lawrenson announced today that Jones will begin her new role August 21. “I’ve had the privilege of knowing Candi for several years,” said Lawrenson. “She has always been someone I’ve held in the highest regard, and I’m thrilled she will be leading Girls Inc. into the future. She is a leader in Omaha, invested in the future of girls in our community, an excellent role model, and a genuinely caring person.”
Jones has extensive experience in non-profit leadership/board development, workshop facilitation/training/education, executive leadership, human resource expertise, and organizational development/effectiveness. Jones’s abilities helping individuals attain self-sufficiency by developing and fostering relationships and providing resources that cultivate their talents and interests are a perfect fit for Girls Inc. and its mission to inspire all girls to be “Strong, Smart, and Bold.”
An Omaha native, Jones comes to Girls Inc. as the Executive Vice President of People, Talent & Culture at Community Health Development Partners, an organization focused on providing equitable healthcare, wellness, and mental health services to communities across the country. As Executive VP, she provided strategic leadership and oversight for all HR functions across the health and wellness system, including clinics and support services. She also led the design and execution of talent management programs, including recruitment and onboarding.
From 2014-2021, Jones served as the Professional Talent Developer/HR Consultant (Diversity and Inclusion) at Mutual of Omaha, designing, structuring, and successfully managing a talent development program within Mutual that effectively impacted its business and provided new solutions to the talent management process.
Jones is also the owner of Coaching with Candi, LLC, a business she launched to support other survivors of sexual trauma and provide guidance to organizations on how to better engage the communities they serve without causing more harm. She is a certified trauma informed specialist and certified executive coach, and is a proven visionary and leader rooted in racial, health, and gender equity advocacy, excelling at policy development, community building, team development, and innovative strategic planning.
“I am filled with immense gratitude and a sense of profound responsibility having accepted the role of Executive Director of Girls Inc. I am truly humbled and honored to lead this impactful journey of empowerment and positive change for our girls and our community,” stated Jones. “As the new Executive Director of Girls Inc. of Omaha, I will uphold and strengthen the legacy of being a champion of gender equality and continue to build a world where girls are confident, capable, bold, and unstoppable in the face of any challenge.” A selection committee led the national search for the new Executive Director. “The posting brought in applicants from across the U.S,” says Lawrenson. “Candi was unanimously approved by the full Board of Directors after a rigorous interview process, and we couldn’t be more excited about this next phase for Girls Inc. and the young women it serves.”
Jones is deeply involved with the community, serving as the current President of the Women’s Fund Circles Leadership Team, and as a Board member for the Methodist Foundation, Nebraska Children and Families, and the Nebraska Coalition. She is also a member of the Anti-Trafficking Youth Services Program Multidisciplinary Team and was appointed to the State Domestic Abuse Death Review Team. In addition, she previously served as the Urban League Young Professionals Chair (Personal and Professional Development), Board President for Survivors Rising, and Board President for BERG (Black Employee Resource Group – Mutual of Omaha).
Jones has been recognized with the National Sexual Violence Resources Center’s Visionary Voice Award (2023), the Midwest Chingona Award (2022), the Tribute to Women Award (2022), the Young, Black, and Influential Award (2021), and the Omaha Chamber of Commerce Changemaker Award (2020). She attended the University of Maryland, focusing on communication studies/HR management. She is a life-long learner, enjoys reading everything from historical references to James Baldwin to Brené Brown, and also writes extensively.
As Jones begins her tenure as Executive Director, she says, “I want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the entire team at Girls Inc. and predecessors for laying a strong foundation and creating an environment where girls can thrive and grow. I plan to collaborate with partners, educators, policymakers, and the community to ensure that girls have equal access to opportunities and resources. This is transformational work, and with the support of everyone who believes in our mission, Girls Inc. will break barriers and shatter stereotypes.”
ABOUT GIRLS INC.
Girls Incorporated of Omaha, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be “Strong, Smart and Bold,” provides educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities for girls ages 5 to 18. Girls Inc. opened its first center in 1975, and currently operates two locations in north and south Omaha. Serving over 2,000 girls through its centers and outreach programs, Girls Inc. provides transportation from more than 50 schools in the Omaha area.
Girls Inc.’s programs cultivate learning and skill development in the areas of academic support and enrichment; career and life planning; self-reliance and life skills; health and wellness; leadership and community action; and culture and heritage. Curriculum and activities are chosen to be intrinsically appealing to girls and to engender interest and enthusiasm. Athletic and enrichment activities are carefully chosen to complement academic offerings as well as to develop physical health and fitness and to promote teamwork.
Girls Inc. is well known for hosting “Lunch for the Girls,” its annual signature fundraising event. Past Lunch for the Girls speakers have included Nobel Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai, President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Madeleine Albright, Barbara and Jenna Bush, Stacey Abrams, Gloria Steinem, Donna Brazile, Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar, and Warren Buffett. During the Lunch, current and past Girls Inc. members share the stage with the keynote speakers each year, often stealing the spotlight as they share their experiences with Girls Inc. programming. This year’s event is scheduled for September 14 and will feature speaker businesswoman Debra L. Lee, former chairman and chief executive officer of BET Networks.
In 2016, Girls Inc. collaborated with Nebraska Medicine to open an on-site health clinic, striving to improve the health outcomes of Girls Inc. girls and reduce barriers to preventative care.
For more information, please contact Girls Inc. Board of Directors President Amy Lawrenson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-636-8261.