YW Leadership

The executive staff of YW provides the strong leadership essential to empowering women and eliminating the barriers to self-sufficiency.

Key Personnel

Jennifer M. Ware

Jennifer M. Ware
Chief Executive Officer

Jennifer M. Ware was chosen to lead YW in March 2009. Jennifer has drawn on her fundraising and brand expertise to develop a strategic direction that will increase YW’s impact on women, families, and the community. Jennifer brings more than 20 years of nonprofit management experience, including a decade of executive leadership at two large Dallas nonprofits. Jennifer most recently served as Chief Development Officer for Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, an agency serving 42,000 girls across 32 north Texas counties. She has also worked with organizations such as the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center and Baylor Health Care System Foundation. Jennifer is a member of Dallas Assembly and a graduate of Leadership Texas, Leadership Plano Class 22 and holds a BA in Psychology from Austin College.

Susan Smithson

Susan Smithson
Chief Program Officer

Susan Smithson brings more than 19 years of experience in program development and administration to YW. She has worked in public, for-profit, and nonprofit sectors and has held multiple leadership positions for agencies serving the needs of individuals and families. Susan is committed to decreasing economic and health disparities in the community, and represents YW on numerous community initiatives. Her passion has led her to serve on the Advisory Board of the Center for Community Health, the Board of RAISE Texas and the Information and Education Planning Committee for Parkland Health and Hospital System. Susan previously served as Director of Mental Retardation Services for the Denton County MHMR Center and holds a BA in Psychology from Texas Woman’s University.