KRISTINE WILLHITE Chief Executive Officer
Kristine comes to Siffrin not only from a business background, but also as a parent and sister of someone with a developmental disability. Her passion for serving the underserved began at a very young age growing up with a brother who had a rare syndrome that caused intellectual and developmental disabilities including blindness. Her brother, now deceased, received services from Siffrin that enabled him to live independently and feel pride in owning an apartment, attending work as the pizza box folder for Papa John’s, do his own laundry, and participate in fun outings. Kristine knows firsthand what it means to a family to know their loved one is receiving quality assistance and care and lived a full life with dignity. Inspired to serve the underserved, Kristine fostered children for many years for Pathway Caring for Children. Of the children she fostered and provided respite for many had an intellectual and/or developmental disability. She adopted one of her foster placements who has autism and he continues to live with Kristine and her husband and attends respite and day services to spend time with peers and make new friends.
Kristine holds a MA in Nonprofit Administration from Louisiana State University Shreveport as well as a BA in Early Childhood Education from Kent State University and has two decades of management experience. Prior to coming to Siffrin, Kristine served as a Regional Coordinator at the Early Childhood Resource Center, a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System. Her main responsibilities included supervision of staff, regional grant management, program development, and grant writing. Grant management included fiscal monitoring of grant budgets, development of project activities and timelines and the full scope of program delivery. Some of Kristine’s contributions as a Regional Coordinator included working on a team to receive a 1-million-dollar per year, sustainable Resource & Referral Grant; launching a Comprehensive Literacy Grant from the Ohio Department of Education, developing strategies to get child care programs to their highest star ratings; developing quality professional development training classes and programs; leading a statewide team and developing systems for Child Care Referrals for families with disabilities, who are homeless and where English is not their first language, and successful fiscal management of over six grants. A Stark County resident, she is also a Leadership Stark County Signature Program graduate.
Kristine served on the Board of Directors for Siffrin for two years and began her position as CEO in October 2021.
“Siffrin is successful in achieving its mission due to the caring and talented staff that work here. I am humbled to know and work with such truly dedicated team members that work together every day to achieve great results and make a difference in the lives of others.”
The Siffrin team embodies this quote: “Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.” - Maya Angelou