Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®) empowers teens who are at-risk with the tools and opportunities needed to avoid risky behaviors – like dropout and teen pregnancy – and become leaders with a powerful vision for their future.
Claire Wyneken Takes Helm of Wyman as President-Designate
St. Louis, MO [July 14, 2016] – Wyman has announced the appointment of a new CEO to take the helm of the organization, as Dave Hilliard, Wyman’s current President and CEO, transitions into retirement after 41 years in this role. Claire Wyneken, Wyman’s current Chief of Staff, has been appointed to the role of President-Designate, and will serve in this position until Hilliard’s retirement on Dec. 31, 2016. Her role as CEO will commence on Jan. 1, 2017.
Wyneken joined Wyman in 1988, and has dedicated her entire professional career to youth development. She has collectively spent nearly three decades in service to teens, and has held numerous leadership roles on Wyman’s programs, operations, and leadership teams since 1994. She was appointed Wyman’s Chief of Staff in 2013.
“Throughout her career, Claire has set her sights on charting a path toward high-quality interventions to ensure that everyone, no matter their race, age, gender, or sexual orientation, has equal rights and opportunities to succeed,” said Keat Wilkins, Chairman of Wyman’s Board of Trustees. “Her leadership, combined with her acumen for taking smart risks, partnering with others to achieve long-term solutions and high-quality outcomes, and focus on equity are critical to serving the increasingly complex needs of today’s teens. Claire has helped Wyman answer this call, and we’re not done yet. We look forward to this new chapter in Wyman’s history, and the fervent work ahead of us.”
“Claire has been the driving force behind many of Wyman’s greatest milestones,” added Hilliard. “I’ve had the privilege of working alongside Claire for nearly 30 years, and her keen ability for bringing people together; motivating people to be their best, most honest self; and engaging them authentically has earned the respect of our staff, and has led to our ability to improve the outcomes for teens both locally and nationally.”
In 1997, Wyneken oversaw Wyman’s first collective impact initiative in the Near South Side, and eventually sought out evidence-based best practices, now known as the Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®), to help teens reduce their risk of dropout, teen pregnancy, truancy and class failure. After the successful implementation of TOP in St. Louis, Wyneken oversaw the acquisition of the program, as well as the quality assurance, national training and strategic deployment of the model from 2006 through 2010. Wyman still employs this model to equip adults across the nation to create engaging, empowering and experiential environments that help teens build healthy behaviors and relationships; develop life and leadership skills; and achieve educational success.
Wyneken has also dedicated much of her time and energy to creating an “employee-first” environment, and has led numerous employee engagement and leadership initiatives. As a result, Wyman continues to attract the best and brightest in the field to sustainably impact the lives of the nation’s youth.
“We believe that every young person has potential to succeed, regardless of their life circumstances, but it’s up to us to ensure that they have equal access and opportunity to do so,” said Wyneken. “Now more than ever, we face a moral imperative to change the way we think, the way we operate, and the way we treat each other. I can say with certainty that we are up for this challenge, and I look forward to working alongside our team and partners to help youth succeed, and even more importantly, use their voice to help us ignite the change that they deserve to see."
In addition to serving on many boards and advisory councils, she serves as the board president for the Teen Pregnancy and Prevention Partnership, and is an alumnus of the National Conference for Community & Justice – Dismantling Racism Institute (1997), CORO Women in Leadership (1998), and Leadership St. Louis (2002). She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and Masters in Leadership and Organizational Development at Saint Louis University.
Dave Hilliard, President and CEO, announced his retirement in March of this year. Under his leadership, Wyman has grown from a St. Louis-based youth summer camp, into an organization that is renowned nationally for its expertise in positive youth development. During his tenure, Wyman has been recognized as one of the “100 Top Non-Profits in America Creating Social Impact” by the Social Impact Exchange, and by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Justice. Wyman has consistently earned the highest quality ratings from Charity Navigator, the United Way of Greater St. Louis and the Council on Accreditation.
Wyman, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit and proud member of the United Way, has been dedicated to serving youth from disadvantaged circumstances for more than a century. Wyman empowers teens, equips adults and strengthens systems. Wyman’s engaging, empowering and experiential programs and services help teens build skills, develop a sense of self, and connections to their world. As a result, teens achieve educational success, develop healthy behaviors and relationships, and exhibit life and leadership skills. From thousands of teens in St. Louis – to tens of thousands nationally – Wyman programs and services make a difference in the lives of today’s teens and tomorrow’s leaders.
Director, Communication & External Affairs