JFS Leadership Team
Executive Director and CEO|
Don Goldman has more than 35 years of leadership experience in Fortune 500 corporations, start-up ventures, and non-profit organizations. After a successful career in the highly competitive technology and communications sectors, Don transitioned to nonprofit work. In 2007, he joined JFS as Executive Director and CEO. During his tenure the agency has tripled in size, now providing essential human services for more than 10,000 individuals and families each year. Previously, Don was Chief Operating Officer at Birch Telecom where he helped grow the business to more than $200 million in revenues and 2,000 employees. He was a co-founder of BizSpace, a dot-com start-up launched in 1996 raising nearly $6 million in venture capital and growing to 55 employees. He also spent 10 years at Sprint launching new products and leading the development team for Sprint Wireless services. Don holds a BA with honors in Political Economy from the Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer|
Cindy’s unique blend of strategic business skills, innovation, and solid CPA foundation supports the Executive Director and the Board of Directors in achieving JFS’s strategic goals. Cindy is responsible for oversight and leadership of all financial matters, day-to-day business operations and new agency opportunities. She has experience in innovation and business management leadership from Hallmark Cards and American Century Investments.
Chief Program Officer|
Maggie Haghirian came to JFS in 2018 from Safehome, Inc., where she was the Shelter Director. In her role of Chief Program Officer, Maggie oversees the agency’s core program areas, including KesherKC, Older Adult Services, Mental Health, and Volunteer Engagement. Before taking on this role, she served as Director of KesherKC, where she used her experience with client-centered care to launch our integrated approach to connecting clients to food, housing, employment, and financial resources they need for a more secure future. Maggie holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Kansas, and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Missouri Western State College.
Chief People & Process Officer|
Celeste served as JFS Director of Communications before 2014 when she moved to Jerusalem to study the Hebrew Bible. She returned to Kansas City and to JFS, where she directs HR and internal operations. With an HR and human development focus for more than 30 years, working primarily in the non-profit world, Celeste holds a bachelor’s degree in TV & Film from Boston University. She is dedicated to using organizational design and conversational technologies to help others reach their personal and professional potential.
Chief Development Officer|
Debbie Bass is responsible for spearheading all fundraising initiatives at JFS. During her thirty-year fundraising career, she has been responsible for raising $68 million. For eight years, Debbie served as Vice President of Development of the National WWI Museum and Memorial, where she led the $25 million Call to Duty Centennial fundraising campaign and initiated the $50 million Second Century campaign. Previous roles have been Associate Director/Director of Major Gifts of both the Foundation for the Shawnee Mission Medical Center and the Truman Medical Center Charitable Foundation. Debbie has been involved with JFS in various ways since elementary school. She and her family especially enjoy their involvement in the JFS Hanukkah project.