Deter Spader takes helm at HOPE

Courtesy of HOPE Adoption and Family Services
Courtesy of HOPE Adoption and Family Services
Nicole Deter Spader, new executive director of HOPE Adoption and Family Services, stands outside the organization’s Oak Park Heights office recently.

OAK PARK HEIGHTS — HOPE Adoption and Family Services new executive director aims to provide a future of growth to the locally based organization.

Nicole Deter Spader has worked in the non-profit sector for over 20 years, and started out at Pikes Peak Therapeutic Riding Center in Colorado. She’s looking forward to helping other families and children as she enters her new position.

“I really love that HOPE is about helping, finding and providing children with positive families and building strong families as well,” she said. “I’ve been working with kids for 15 years and putting them into great families is important to me.”

Deter Spader said she knows HOPE is a solid organization because it’s been around for almost 35 years, but she also knows that there’s much more potential waiting to be tapped.

Deter Spader wants to grow HOPE and double its size and services offered, She would like to double the 45 children that are placed in homes every year within the next 18 months to two years as well as increase their work with more international programs. She expects HOPE’s new partnership with Haiti to increase tremendously. She also looks forward to continue the organization’s work with Minnesota and Wisconsin youth that need a place to go from foster care.

“Over the last few years, mainly due to the economy, adoption has dropped off a bit but it’s back on the rise and I hope that adoption will grow and we’ll develop a new mode of operation and create a new model to make it happen.” she said.

The challenges Deter Spader said she faces are similar to what most non-profits deal with: getting more bang for their buck.

“As an organization we have to find a way to do a better job of raising funds to keep fees low and making a difference for as many families as possible,” Deter Spader said.