NORFOLK, Va. — A Gallia County native and graduate of the Gallia Academy High School Class of 1985 has certainly done her friends and family proud by dedicating her career to serve children and end homelessness in Norfolk, Va. where she now resides.
Thaler McCormick, known locally as Jennifer Thaler, currently residing in Norfolk, Virginia, is the CEO of ForKids, Inc. Graduating from Gallia Academy High School in 1985, she attended Miami University, earning her bachelor’s degree, with a major in Business, and a master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia School of Architecture, with a minor in Historic Preservation.
Following her graduation, McCormick worked as a senior consultant for Arthur Anderson in Washington, D.C., traveling throughout the United States. She also wrote on house and development issues for the Urban Land Institute.
McCormick joined ForKids, Inc., in 1996, initially as services director, prior to her promotion to CEO in 2001. When she joined ForKids, the organization was just beginning to grow beyond the boundaries of Haven House, an eight-unit emergency shelter. During her tenure as services director, she built the agency’s extensive children’s services program and clinical services. As chief executive, she has actively pursued and implemented a broad network of partnerships — with the public sector, service organizations and other non-profits. This has resulted in a ten fold increase in the agency’s service capacity. Today, ForKids assists more than 150 families each day, throughout Hampton Roads.
ForKids’ innovative, results-driven programs for homeless families, have garnered numerous awards, including the 2008 Special Project Award, from the Hampton Roads House Consortium, for the development of West 38th Street; the 2008 Campbell and Company Award for Excellence in Fundraising, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals International; the 2006 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders Award; the 2005 Virginia Housing Award for Best Housing Program and the 2004 United Way Agency of the Year.
During her tenure with ForKids, McCormick has secured millions in federal government grants, while successfully reducing ForKids dependence on government funding. Since 2001, she has increased community contributions from less than $100,000 per year to nearly $2 million. Her success in implementing results-driven practices, while bringing ForKids onto a firm financial footing, has earned her the 2011 First Lady of Virginia’s Hall of Fame Award; the 2009 Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership Prize, from the Virginia Beach Foundation and the “Women in Business Achievement Award” from INSIDE Business Magazine in 2005.
McCormick’s work to end homelessness has taken her to Washington, D.C., to participate in a White House Roundtable discussion on national solutions for family homelessness and to Moscow, Russia, to provide training in case management best practices for the AIDS Foundation East-West. She was a member of the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Commission to End Homelessness, creating the 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness in Norfolk. She is currently chair for the Western Tidewater Continuum of Care and serves on numerous boards and advisory councils.
She is the daughter of Janice M. Thaler, of Gallipolis, and the late Dr. Donald M. Thaler, well known orthopaedic surgeon in southeast Ohio. Married to Nathaniel McCormick, architect for the City of Norfolk, they are the parents of Madeleine and Ella, both students at Williams School.