FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The board of directors of Fort Wayne-based Amani Family Services has announced Chief Executive Officer Irene Paxia is stepping down down to spend more time with her family in Italy. The social services organization says Chief Operating Officer Ewelina Connolly will assume the role of CEO in July.
“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 Paxia.
Amani says Paxia oversaw the organization growing from serving 550 clients per year to over 2,000 clients, with staffing increases from one full time employee and eight part time employees to having 26 full time employees and a budget of more than $1.6 million.
Board Chair Mike Zawahri says Paxia was instrumental in helping the community’s immigrant and refugee populations.
“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.”
Connolly joined Amani as a therapist in 2012 and was named clinical director in 2017.