ASCI Appoints New Executive Vice President of Child & Family Services

We are proud to announce the appointment of Ricardo “Rick” Williams as the Executive Vice President of Child and Family Services (CFS) and Family and Community Engagement (FACE) at our Pittsburgh, Pa., headquarters. In this position, Williams will provide innovative leadership and direction for all ASCI casework and programming that services and supports the kinship triad (i.e., birth parents, kinship caregiver and child/youth).

“This is something that I’ve been doing for the last 20 years of my life, being a former executive director of a YMCA and then also working in government, dealing with equity issues within the city of Pittsburgh,” Williams explains. “ASCI brings you right to the level where the families are and is able to service them in a unique way. They really get deep into the families, connecting those families together as much as possible through their kinship care model. We really make sure that we’re setting up these families to be successful in life.”

Brace Lowe Sr., ASCI’s COO, states that Williams’ education and experience coupled with his connection to the city of Pittsburgh and his strong sense of community made him a top choice for this crucial leadership position. “It was our professional belief that he would make a great addition to the Child and Family Services team,” Lowe says. “His experience in the nonprofit sector is aligned with the qualifications needed to be successful as the Executive Vice President, and we are excited about what Mr. Williams will bring to this role and the organization as a whole.”

Williams describes himself as a visionary, results-driven community leader with the proven ability to collaborate, design and deliver programs that have meaningful results for all stakeholders, including youth, seniors, people of color and veterans. He has successfully strategized and executed multiple projects, such as managing and tracking multi-million-dollar budgets and leading diversity contract development opportunities and compliance; comprehensive funding and programming strategies for community centers; and crime prevention programs. He is a natural and persuasive communicator recognized among the community and city officials for his keen ability to energize and inspire diverse individuals to work toward achieving common goals. 

“I think we have to look at the child welfare system as a whole and see where those gaps are, and advocate for changes in legislation,” Williams shares. “Because we have to have it family-based, and I think a lot of the systems that are in place aren’t really dealing with the core issues of families right now. The world has evolved and changed, and I don’t think our current system has adjusted to those new realities. I think ASCI is in a perfect space to be able to influence those much-needed enhancements through the services they provide.”

Prior to joining ASCI, Williams served as Manager of Equity and Inclusion for the Office of the Mayor in Pittsburgh. Additional professional and executive experience includes having served as Executive Director for the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh, Contract Monitor and Program Specialist for the Department of Human Services in Allegheny County and Program Director for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers within the Woodland Hills School District. Additionally, Williams was named the New Pittsburgh Courier’s 2012 Man of Excellence.

Currently residing in Pittsburgh with his family, Williams received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh and his master’s degree in nonprofit management from Robert Morris University.

In his new role with ASCI, Williams is prepared to roll up his sleeves and get to work right away. “I want to come in and be able to help as much I can and build on the experience I have acquired —from nonprofit direct service to local government outreach programs —and be able to put it all together and assist this agency to move to another level. I’m a public servant. I’m very blessed to be in this role. It’s been a long time coming for me. I think God has an assignment for me, being here in this space.”

“Rick brings to ASCI a wealth of knowledge, energy and passion for the community in which he was raised, as well as the remarkable people we are honored to serve,” shares ASCI president and CEO Dr. Sharon McDaniel. “His skills are additive and only compliment the outstanding team of leaders at ASCI. We are blessed to have him on the team!”

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of A Second Chance, Inc.

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