CAFS welcomes new Chief Development Officer

Children’s Aid and Family Services is pleased to welcome Tessie Thomas to the agency as Chief Development Officer. Tessie is a seasoned business executive with transformational leadership experience at non-profits and for-profits. She is a Founding Partner of Enersights, a management consulting firm.

As Interim Director of Development at the Montclair Art Museum, she led all fundraising activities including major gift solicitation, grant writing, membership, and special events. An active member of her community, Tessie has been President of the Montclair PTA Council, Vice President and Board Member of the Montclair Art Museum, the co-Chair of the Development Committee, and a member of the Education and Special Events Committees. Tessie has served on several Boards, including the Garden Club of Montclair, AAPI Montclair, and the YMCA of Montclair.

In the for-profit arena, Tessie served as Global Head of Technology Training for Goldman Sachs and Global Manager of Training and Development for D.E. Shaw. Tessie attended Politecnico Di Milano in Milan, Italy, and the University of Texas at Austin. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science.

“Tessie has deep experience in fundraising, campaign strategy, partnership building and complex project management, along with a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion,” says Shavonda E. Sumter, President and CEO. “I am delighted to welcome her to Children’s Aid and am confident her experience will help us in all areas of development.”

Tessie is passionate about the agency’s mission and excited to join the team. “Through its successful philanthropy, Children’s Aid and Family Services is empowering children and adults to achieve their full potential, specifically lifting up the most vulnerable constituent in our community, addressing one of the seminal challenges of our times,” she says. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of this fantastic team to effectively carry out this important mission.”