September 23, 2021

A Message From Our Board Chair

It is with a mix of sadness and gratitude that the Friends of the Children – Los Angeles (Friends LA) Board of Directors shares the news that Thomas Lee will be stepping down as the organization’s Executive Director. After four incredible years, Thomas will be joining First Place for Youth as CEO. Thomas’ last day at Friends LA will be October 1st.

Friends of the Children hired Thomas in 2018 to start the LA Chapter and launch our two-generation pilot. Thomas has accomplished that and much more. His inspiring leadership and deft management have played a key role in the growth of Friends LA and its impact on the lives of countless youth and caregivers. Under Thomas’ leadership, the Friends LA chapter has expanded to the Antelope Valley and has become one of the fastest growing chapters in the Friends of the Children network. Thomas will be greatly missed by all who have had the opportunity to work with him.

Thomas leaves the organization in a strong position, both financially and programmatically. Friends LA has a devoted and innovative team that will continue to work with our committed Board of Directors and Junior Board of Directors to ensure that the organization continues to serve our youth, caregivers, and community partners to reach our goal of long-term wellbeing. Jorie Das, Friends LA’s Chief of Staff, has worked in partnership with Thomas for the past three years. Jorie has graciously agreed to step into the role of Interim Executive Director to ensure a seamless transition. The Board of Directors has formed a search committee to find Thomas' successor and we will be circulating the job description in the coming weeks. We welcome your assistance in identifying qualified candidates.

Thank you for your continued support of Friends LA and our work with children and families.


Peter Lizotte

Friends LA Board Chair