Milwaukee -- Longtime children and family services leader Teri Zywicki has been named president and CEO of the Milwaukee Center for Independence.
For more than 34 years, Zywicki has dedicated her career to improving programs and services for children, youth and adults with special needs. MCFI serves children and adults with disabilities and other barriers to success, providing quality care and hope to more than 8,500 individuals a year in Wisconsin.
“Teri brings a wealth of experience and a passion for the mission of our organization,” said Jeff Fleming, chairman of MCFI’s board of directors. “This organization has always focused on improving the lives of individuals with special needs, and Teri is committed to the quality and innovation that have been hallmarks of MCFI.”
Zywicki joins MCFI following a distinguished 16-year career as president and CEO of SaintA, one of Wisconsin’s leading health-care agencies that provides foster care, education and mental health services for children and families in need. During her tenure, annual agency revenues grew from $10 million to $35 million, and SaintA became a national leader in trauma informed care -- therapeutic practices that acknowledge the profound effects of trauma on the developing brain and help children to overcome adverse experiences and thrive.
Previously, Zywicki was executive director of PATH Wisconsin, a child-welfare agency that provides family based services in multiple states. As its founder, she was responsible for the startup, expansion and administration of all services including treatment foster care, adoption, in-home therapy, foster family mentoring and parent support programs, and safety monitoring. Zywicki also served at PATH in Minnesota, first as metro area director in Minneapolis where she oversaw 250 adult and youth foster placements, and prior to that, as a social worker and metro director.
“I am thrilled to join the highly respected MCFI Team, and to continue to strengthen its legacy of providing quality services to children and adults in Milwaukee and beyond.”
Zywicki received a master’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a bachelor’s in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She has been an adjunct professor at Bemidji State, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and Augsburg College. Currently, she is chairwoman of the Wisconsin Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board and serves on the boards of IFF and previously served on the Wisconsin Association of Family and Children’s Agencies Board.
Zywicki will begin her duties as president and CEO at Milwaukee Center for Independence in the new year.
She assumes the role previously held by retiring Dr. Howard Garber, who has served as CEO and president of MCFI for more than 25 years. During his tenure, the 80-year-old agency grew to more than 50 programs and service lines.
MCFI is operated by the Centers for Independence. For more information on MCFI, please visit www.mcfi.net.