Yara is passionate about investing in children to improve outcomes. Her professional history has given her insight into societal problems that stem from childhood trauma, and she is relentless in her pursuit of tackling these issues at their root. As Chief Operating Officer, Yara moves Chosen’s mission forward by overseeing financial planning, supporting organizational growth, and furthering the development of Chosen’s performance culture.
Yara joined Chosen in 2021, bringing over 20 years of operations and financial experience combined with 10 years of non-profit oversight. She holds a Master of Business Administration in Health Care Management from The University of Phoenix and has specialized training in non-profit leadership, grant management, and HIPAA compliance.
Yara focuses on being an active member in her community. She has co-chaired the Mental Health Advisory Council for Edmound Public Schools, she has taught Sunday school, and has served on the boards of the Public Schools Foundation and Parent Teacher Organization. In 2019, she received recognition as a Champion of Character on behalf of the Character Council and the City of Edmond for her awareness and proactive approach to addressing specific issues related to children who have experienced trauma. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to combine her business talents with her passion to support and serve Chosen’s mission.
Yara’s heart for trauma-responsive programs led her to Chosen, but it was her mother who lit the path for her awareness, having served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). Additionally, Yara was inspired by her sister’s journey as a foster parent, which further opened her eyes to the unique challenges and needs of foster children and their families. This personal experience, coupled with her previous position as Executive Director of a private foundation, deepened Yara’s involvement and passion for philanthropy.
Yara has been married to her husband, Joe, since 2005 and they have three wonderful daughters. She enjoys traveling, volunteering, and spending time in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York.