Wellspring Hires Jennifer Kasmier as Executive Director

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May 23, 2017

(Fort Wayne, IN) – Wellspring Interfaith Social Services is pleased to announce Jennifer Kasmier has been named the new Executive Director, effective July 1. Kasmier succeeds Frank Zirille who has held the position since 2005 and will retire on June 30.

Kasmier brings five years of experience to the agency as she began her career with Wellspring as an intern through IPFW’s Human Services department. Part-time employment with the agency after her graduation in 2012 evolved into full-time employment in 2013 as the Community Outreach Coordinator along with working in the Older Adult, After School and Summer Day Camp programs. In 2015, Kasmier was promoted to Assistant Executive Director to supervise all Program Directors and oversee all evaluation frameworks for Wellspring’s programming.

“For the past five years, I have been so fortunate to work at Wellspring,” said Kasmier. “I feel confident and honored to take the agency into its next phase serving the Fort Wayne community.”

Wellspring’s Board of Directors conducted a local search beginning in March. After an extensive interview process with a number of highly qualified candidates, the Board concluded that Kasmier was the ideal choice to lead Wellspring.

Michelle Hipskind, Wellspring’s Board President stated, “The board, staff and clients all look forward to Jennifer’s leadership, enthusiasm and commitment as she moves from her supporting role as Assistant Executive Director to Executive Director of Wellspring. Her dedication to our mission and forward thinking, compassionate approach will position the organization at its very best, now and well into the future.”

Wellspring began in 1968 as the West Central Neighborhood Committee. Its first program was its free Summer Day Camp Program, which continues today along with its After School Program, Food Bank, Older Adult Program and Wellspring Shoppe (free clothing bank). In 2016, Wellspring reached 6,377 individuals, with a high percentage on an ongoing basis, with its free services. The agency will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2018.


 Zirille to retire as Executive Director of Wellspring

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February 14, 2017

(Fort Wayne, IN) – Wellspring Interfaith Social Services today announced the retirement of Executive Director, Frank Zirille effective June 30, 2017. He has led the agency since January 1, 2005.

During Zirille’s tenure the agency has grown to serve 6,377 individuals (2016) and has expanded the scope of its direct-service programs – older adult program, youth services (after-school and summer day and overnight camps) and community outreach efforts (food bank and the Wellspring Shoppe, a free clothing bank). “Frank’s vision and leadership have been instrumental in the growth of Wellspring,” stated Michelle Hipskind, Board President. Wellspring’s approved 2017 budget is $929,670.

Wellspring was created in 1968 as the West Central Neighborhood Committee by assistant pastors of two downtown congregations. Later it was known as West Central Neighborhood Ministry until changing its name to Wellspring Interfaith Social Services in 2004. Only three individuals have served as Executive Director – the Rev. Bill Moody, Andrea Thomas and Zirille.

“It’s been an enjoyable 12 years here at Wellspring,” said Zirille, “and I’m especially proud of how the organization has provided its services – all free, with the focus on bringing respect and dignity to the individuals and families reached. I commend the board and staff of the agency in sculpting a Cultural Creed in the fall of 2015. The Cultural Creed underscores how we provide services on a day-to-day basis and sets the tone for our future growth.”

Zirille served as the first Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana 1972-1994 and was Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Chicago 1994-2002.