COA Youth & Family Centers executive director retiring

Tom Schneider, executive director of COA Youth & Family Centers.

Tom Schneider, who has led Milwaukee-based COA Youth & Family Centers for nearly 20 years, announced he will retire at the end of the year. 

Schneider joined COA, a Milwaukee-based organization focused on early child and youth development and community development, as executive director in 2001.

At the time, the organization had programming at its Riverwest Center, its administrative office, one school and summers at Camp Helen Brachman in central Wisconsin. COA has since grown to also include its Goldin Center, year-round programming at the camp, programming at COA’s Kilbourn-Kadish Park and at Moody Park, and at six schools. It serves about 10,000 children and families annually. 

“My work at COA has been the most rewarding experience I can imagine,” Schneider said in a letter to the organization’s supporters. “I get to see great kids, wonderful families, and amazing staff every day. During my tenure, and in part thanks to you, COA has undergone a massive transformation.” 

In 2019, COA was the highest-rated charity in Wisconsin for its financial health and transparency, and the sixth-highest among children’s and family service nonprofits nationally, according to New Jersey-based watchdog group Charity Navigator.

The board of directors has started a search for Schneider’s successor. 

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.

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