SAN JOSE, CA, January 21,2021 – The FIRST 5 Santa Clara County Commission announced today that FIRST 5’s long-time Chief Executive Officer Jolene Smith will retire from her position this year. The Commission will conduct an extensive search for a successor beginning this spring.
“The FIRST 5 Commission salutes the work of our long time CEO Jolene Smith and applauds her almost two decades of leadership in the early childhood arena,” commented Santa Clara County Supervisor and Chairperson of the FIRST 5 Commission Susan Ellenberg. “Her spirit, energy and passion for FIRST 5 has enabled a strong organization to flourish. She has set the standard of what success looks like and the Commission has quite the task in filling the role from which she will retire. We will focus on a smooth and thoughtful transition of CEO leadership and it is our priority to ensure that FIRST 5 Santa Clara County continues to be a leading, innovative, creative, and collaborative organization.”
Smith, who joined FIRST 5 in 2000, and became CEO in 2005, has been a driving force in transforming FIRST 5 into one of the most innovative organizations serving young children and their families in our community. During her tenure, FIRST 5 has earned a stellar reputation for its commitment and partnerships to develop critical programs that support families with children ages 0-5.