Photo Caption: A Career Restart Seminar at Zynga in San Francisco in 2018. In the olden days we used to do employer events in person! On the plus side, our virtual events reach many more caregivers, in many more places, than we could ever reach in person.
Seven years ago when I left my corporate communications career to launch Path Forward, I never could have imagined what it would become.
Over that time it’s been my honor to nurture this nonprofit and bring it to a place of strength, where we partner with outstanding corporations, serve a growing community of job seekers and alumni, and benefit from a generous base of supporters eager to champion our cause.
And yet, at some point every founder needs to know when to step back and allow the organization to take on new leadership. At the end of last year, as I reflected on my experience at Path Forward and what we’d accomplished, it became clear to me that the time had come to take on new challenges and serve the cause of equity in new ways. Which is why today I’m announcing my decision to step down as the executive director of Path Forward at the end of March.
It was also clear to me that the organization was in a place to find a new leader who can take the mission forward. In the last two years we’ve successfully recruited and developed a team of people who will bring the organization to new heights. We also brought in new board members who have already contributed to the future direction of the organization.
Since its founding in 2016, Path Forward has launched, expanded and supported return to work programs at more than 100 employers – including Amazon, Walmart, Apple, Allstate, Expedia, and PepsiCo. In that time we’ve seen more than 1,000 caregivers restart their careers with one of our employer partners and have supported thousands more at every stage of their restart journey.
I’m proud to say that the Path Forward program has an 80% average conversion rate into full-time employment. Nothing gives me more joy than knowing how many people are currently employed, in their field of choice, because of our commitment to this cause.
Path Forward’s team and board remain committed to our mission of empowering people to return to the workforce after caregiving. The work of opening the doors of opportunity to these traditionally overlooked candidates and changing the way that employers think about returning talent has never been more important.
I leave Path Forward in the more-than-capable hands of Christine Winston, our second-in-command for the last seven years, who has taken on the role of interim executive director and will lead our extraordinary team of talented professionals and work with our board in the search for a new leader.
While I’m sad to walk away, I’m also eager to see what the future holds for Path Forward and will be cheering every new achievement. I’m also excited about what the future holds for me. My career has had many twists and turns – from media, to tech, to nonprofit leadership. I’m looking forward to taking all that I’ve learned at Path Forward, and in my career before that, to solve hard problems. Feel free to follow me on my new adventures on Substack.
I am also so grateful. My time at Path Forward has been a time of transformational growth for me and I appreciate everyone who played a part in that, including our board, staff (past and present), and our many donors and supporters. I’d like to especially thank our incredible community of caregivers. I have learned so much from the people that Path Forward has served. I will continue to show up for you wherever and whenever you need me.
Tami Forman is the founding executive director of Path Forward and a frequent speaker on issues related to caregiving and workforce participation.